October 19, 2020

ACS: Effect of COVID-19 on surgical experience of residents, early-career surgeons

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

An American College of Surgeons survey finds a significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical residents and early-career surgeons.

Of 1,160 respondents (465 residents, 695 early-career surgeons), 96% reported the pandemic had a negative effect on their clinical experience.


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About one third reported inadequate access to personal protective equipment (PPE), and more than one fifth reported yes to every screening symptom for depression and burnout.

A total of 84% of residents reported a more than 50% reduction in operative volume and an inability to meet minimum case requirements

Multivariable analysis found that female gender and lack of wellness resources were predictive of depression and burnout. Access to adequate PPE was protective against burnout.

The findings provide data on actionable items, including mitigation of burnout and depression by increasing access to PPE and providing wellness programs, with a particular focus on high-risk groups, the authors say.

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