Attendee Survey and Practical Appraisal of a Telegram®-Based Dermatology Congress During the COVID-19 Confinement./ Congreso virtual de dermatología realizado a través de Telegram® durante el confinamiento de la COVID-19: organización y evaluación
INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak introduced dramatic changes in all our lives, daily practice, and medical conferences. In search of a tool to spread dermatologic knowledge during confinement, an online medical meeting was held on April 25th to 26th, 2020. In this study, we aimed to assess the characteristics, opinion and satisfaction of the attendees to a free-of-charge online congress. Secondarily, we intended to explain how this meeting was prepared. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Online survey administered to the attendees to an online congress organised via the Telegram® Messenger App. Its organisation and planning, which needed no financial support and was done by volunteer organisers, moderators and speakers, is described step by step. RESULTS: The satisfaction of both speakers and attendees was very high. All participants considered that this format had a great present and future, and most of them rated it as superior to regular face-to-face meetings. Female gender and predominantly private practice favoured this opinion. DISCUSSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of most scientific gatherings. This has been seen by some authors as an excellent opportunity, encouraging medical societies and organisations to lead the change to virtual meetings. Although confinement did not allow real contact, our online meeting showed it was possible to ensure interaction and participation between attendees, moderators and speakers. Dermatologists enjoyed some dermatologic science, even despite the extraordinary circumstances disrupting their daily clinical practice. Most of them felt they were participating in something new and compelling that many felt superior to traditional meetings.