Medical Student Concerns Relating to Neurosurgery Education During COVID-19.

TitleMedical Student Concerns Relating to Neurosurgery Education During COVID-19.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsGuadix SW, Winston GM, Chae JK, Haghdel A, Chen J, Younus I, Radwanski R, Greenfield JP, Pannullo SC
JournalWorld Neurosurg
Date Published2020 07
KeywordsBetacoronavirus, Career Choice, Coronavirus Infections, COVID-19, Education, Medical, Female, Humans, Male, Neurosurgery, Pandemics, Pneumonia, Viral, SARS-CoV-2, Students, Medical, Surveys and Questionnaires

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created significant obstacles within medical education. For medical students interested in pursuing neurosurgery as a specialty, the educational policies surrounding COVID-19 have resulted in unique challenges. The present study used a nationwide survey to identify the concerns of medical students interested in pursuing neurosurgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: Students who had previously registered for medical student neurosurgery training camps were sent an online Qualtrics survey requesting them to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting their neurosurgical education. The Pearson χ test and post hoc pairwise Fisher exact test were used for analysis of categorical variables, and the 2-tailed paired Student t test was used for continuous variables.

RESULTS: The survey was distributed to 852 medical students, with 127 analyzed responses. Concerns regarding conferences and networking opportunities (63%), clinical experience (59%), and board examination scores (42%) were most frequently cited. Of the third-year medical students, 76% reported ≥1 cancelled or postponed neurosurgery rotation. On average, students were more likely to take 1 year off from medical school after than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, measured from 0 to 100 (25.3 ± 36.0 vs. 39.5 ± 37.5; P = 0.004). Virtual mentorship pairing was the highest rated educational intervention suggested by first- and second-year medical students. The third- and fourth-year medical students had cited virtual surgical skills workshops most frequently.

CONCLUSIONS: The results from the present nationwide survey have highlighted the concerns of medical students regarding their neurosurgery education during the COVID-19 pandemic. With these findings, neurosurgery organizations can consider targeted plans for students of each year to continue their education and development.

Alternate JournalWorld Neurosurg
PubMed ID32426066
PubMed Central IDPMC7229732