BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had a profound impact on surgical services, potentially having a detrimental impact on training opportunities . The aim of this global survey was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on surgical training and to develop a framework for recovery .
METHODS: A cross-sectional, web-based survey was conducted . This was designed by a steering committee of medical educationalists and validated by a group of trainees before dissemination .
RESULTS: A total of 608 responses were obtained from 34 countries and 15 specialties . The results demonstrated major disruption in all aspects of training . The impact was greatest for conferences (525 of 608) and hands-on courses (517 of 608), but less for inpatient care-related training (268 of 608). European trainees were significantly more likely to experience direct training disruption than trainees in Asia (odds ratio 0.15) or Australia (OR 0.10) (& #967; 2 = 87.162, P <0.001). Alternative training resources (webinars , 359 of 608; educational videos , 234 of 608) have emerged, although trainees expressed some dissatisfaction with them . The collective responses generated a four-pillar framework for training recovery that involved: guidance from training stakeholders with the involvement of trainees; prioritization of training, especially the roles of senior surgeons/trainers; provision of access to alternative/new teaching methods; and measures to address trainee anxiety .
CONCLUSION: Training has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic . The introduction of new teaching methods and a focus on training after the pandemic are imperative.