Orthopaedics Residency in Post Covid Era
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only affected medical fields but also has a great influential impact on surgical fields like orthopaedics, as routine outpatient care and elective surgeries were hampered. All routine orthopaedic surgeries were postponed /cancelled because of this pandemic. Orthopaedics practice and training has been changed in post covid era. Orthopaedics residents have faced lot of problems in covid time. Long exhaustive duties and lack of orthopaedics surgery in covid time affected residents. Out of three years of residency almost six to eight months are taken away by covid. They have been trained less in orthopaedics surgery as well as teaching is also got affected in covid era. Residents got less exposure to subspecialities like arthroplasty, arthroscopy and spine. They have worked with physicians in corona wards to fight against COVID along with their routine orthopaedic duties.
In 98% of institutions, academic teaching like seminars, workshops, case presentations, journal club, and ward rounds discussion has stopped during pandemic to prevent overcrowding and to maintain social distancing as many were asymptomatic carriers.
There may be long term consequences, as residency training is crucial period to develop surgical skills and knowledge and if this is not proper, it can affect future orthopaedic practice of candidate.
Due to reduced volume of orthopaedic cases, several departments have adopted a “residency surge plan”, with a part of trainees committed to routine hospital duties and remaining quarantined at home or posted in COVID-19-dedicated wards. Disruption of orthopaedic residency routine, usually consisting of surgical training, inpatient and outpatient care, will likely have an enormous impact on resident education. This is particularly relevant when considering that surgical training is practical in nature and is normally delivered in a climate of increasing autonomy, responsibility and complexity. Therefore, preserving orthopaedic education integrity while safeguarding resident health is a priority. Orthopaedics residents have worked very hard in covid period. Their enormous efforts have saved many lives. Though they are not well trained to treat covid patients but their huge efforts helped hospitals to overcome shortage of doctors in covid times. Their teaching and orthopaedics work was affected. Neet pre pg exam postponement increased their first-year residency time to almost 2 years. Now, they are compensating their teaching, academic work, clinical and surgical work. It has affected them physically and mentally.
Small teaching modules, online webinars, offline classes and dissertation teaching are methods which have improved academics and teaching of students. Teachers should also try to show leniency towards their thesis work and exams.