BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a transformation of clinical care practices to protect both patients and providers . These changes led to a decrease in patient volume, impacting physician trainee education due to lost clinical and didactic opportunities . We measured the prevalence of trainee concern over missed educational opportunities and investigated the risk factors leading to such concerns .
METHODS: All residents and fellows at a large academic medical center were invited to participate in a web-based survey in May of 2020 . Participants responded to questions regarding demographic characteristics, specialty, primary assigned responsibility during the previous 2 weeks (clinical, education, or research), perceived concern over missed educational opportunities, and burnout . Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between missed educational opportunities and the measured variables .
RESULTS : 22% (301 of 1375) of the trainees completed the survey . 47% of the participants were concerned about missed educational opportunities . Trainees assigned to education at home had 2.85 [95% CI 1.33-6.45] greater odds of being concerned over missed educational opportunities as compared with trainees performing clinical work . Trainees performing research were not similarly affected [aOR = 0.96 , 95% CI (0.47-1.93) ]. Trainees in pathology or radiology had 2.51 [95% CI 1.16-5.68] greater odds of concern for missed educational opportunities as compared with medicine . Trainees with greater concern over missed opportunities were more likely to be experiencing burnout (p = 0.038).
CONCLUSIONS: Trainees in radiology or pathology and those assigned to education at home were more likely to be concerned about their missed educational opportunities . Residency programs should consider providing trainees with research or at home clinical opportunities as an alternative to self-study should future need for reduced clinical hours arise.