The Effect of COVID-19 on Training and Case Volume of Vascular Surgery Trainees

Nicole Ilonzo, Issam Koleilat, Vivek Prakash, John Charitable, Karan Garg, Daniel Han, Peter Faries, John Phair*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In many facilities, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused suspension of elective surgery. We therefore sought to determine the impact of this on the surgical experience of vascular trainees. Methods: Surgical case volume, breadth, and the participating trainee post-graduate level from 3 large New York City Hospitals with integrated residency and fellowship programs (Mount Sinai, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and New York University) were reviewed. Procedures performed between February 26 to March 25, 2020 (pre-pandemic month) and March 26 to April 25, 2020 (peak pandemic period) were compared to those performed during the same time period in 2019. The trainees from these programs were also sent surveys to evaluate their subjective experience during this time. Results: The total number of cases during the month leading into the peak pandemic period was 635 cases in 2019 and 560 cases in 2020 (12% decrease). During the peak pandemic period, case volume decreased from 445 in 2019 to 114 in 2020 (74% reduction). The highest volume procedures during the peak pandemic month in 2020 were amputations and peripheral cases for acute limb ischemia; during the 2019 period, the most common cases were therapeutic endovascular procedures. There was a decrease in case volume for vascular senior residents of 77% and vascular junior and midlevel residents of 75%. There was a 77% survey response rate with 50% of respondents in the senior years of training. Overall, 20% of respondents expressed concern about completing ACGME requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: Vascular surgery-specific clinical educational and operative experiences during redeployment efforts have been limited. Further efforts should be directed to quantify the impact on training and to evaluate the efficacy of training supplements such as teleconferences and simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • education
  • vascular training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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