OBJECTIVES: To assess changes in working patterns and education experienced by radiology residents in Northwest Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic .
METHODS: An online questionnaire was sent to residents of 9 postgraduate schools in Lombardy and Piedmont, investigating demographics, changes in radiological workload, involvement in COVID-19-related activities, research, distance learning, COVID-19 contacts and infection, changes in training profile, and impact on psychological wellbeing . Descriptive and χ 2 statistics were used .
RESULTS: Among 373 residents invited, 300 (80 %) participated . Between March and April 2020 , 44% (133/300) of respondents dedicated their full time to radiology; 41% (124/300) engaged in COVID-19-related activities, 73% (90/124) of whom working in COVID-19 wards; 40% (121/300) dedicated> 25% of time to distance learning; and 66% (199/300) were more involved in research activities than before the pandemic . Over half of residents (57% , 171/300) had contacts with COVID-19-positive subjects , 5% (14/300) were infected, and 8% (23/300) lost a loved one due to COVID-19 . Only 1% (3/300) of residents stated that, given the implications of this pandemic scenario, they would not have chosen radiology as their specialty, whereas 7% (22/300) would change their subspecialty . The most common concerns were spreading the infection to their loved ones (30% , 91/300), and becoming sick (7% , 21/300). Positive changes were also noted, such as being more willing to cooperate with other colleagues (36% , 109/300).
CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic changed radiology residents' training programmes, with distance learning, engaging in COVID-19-related activities, and a greater involvement in research becoming part of their everyday practice .
KEY POINTS: • Of 300 participants, 44% were fully dedicated to radiological activity and 41% devoted time to COVID-19-related activities , 73% of whom to COVID-19 wards . • Distance learning was substantial for 40% of residents, and 66% were involved in research activities more than before the COVID-19 pandemic . • Over half of residents were exposed to COVID-19 contacts and less than one in twenty was infected.
Index: COVID-19, Education, distance, Pandemic, Radiology, Survey and questionnaires