Impact Of Covid-19 Pandemic On Training: Global Perceptions Of Gastroenterology And Hepatology Fellows In The USA

Abstract [from Digestive Diseases and Sciences]

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted numerous facets of healthcare workers' lives. There have also been significant changes in Gastroenterology (GI) fellowship training as a result of the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Aims: We conducted a national survey of Gastroenterology fellows to evaluate fellows' perceptions, changes in clinical duties, and education during the pandemic.

Methods: A survey was sent to Gastroenterology (GI) fellows in the USA. Information regarding redeployment, fellow restriction in endoscopy, outpatient clinics and inpatient consults, impact on educational activities, and available wellness resources was obtained. Fellows' level of agreement with adjustments to clinical duties was also assessed.

Results: One hundred and seventy-seven Gastroenterology fellows responded, and 29.4% were redeployed to non-GI services during the pandemic. COVID-19 impacted all aspects of GI fellowship training in the USA (endoscopy, outpatient clinics, inpatient consults, educational activities). Fellows' level of agreement in changes to various aspects of fellowship varied. 72.5% of respondents reported that their programs provided them with increased wellness resources to cope with the additional stress during the pandemic. For respondents with children, 17.6% reported no support with childcare.

Conclusions: Our results show that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted GI fellowship training in the USA in multiple domains, including gastrointestinal endoscopy, inpatient consults, outpatient clinics, and educational conferences. Our study highlights the importance of considering and incorporating fellows' viewpoints, as changes are made in response to the ongoing pandemic.