Specialty-Training Program During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Single Center Survey on over 300 Trainees and Trainers

COVID-19 döneminde uzmanlık eğitim programı


  • İpek Kıvılcım Oğuzülgen Gazi University
  • Ayşe Kalkancı
  • Mehmet Suhan Ayhan
  • Ülver Derici
  • Alpaslan Şenköylü
  • İpek Işık Gönül
  • Özlem Gülbahar
  • Özlem Güzel Tunçcan
  • İlyas Okur
  • Mustafa Necmi İlhan


COVID-19, specialty training, trainers, trainees, online learning


Objective: COVID-19 pandemic caused significant modifications in education of trainees who are in medical speciality training programs. Limiting the number of residents in the clinics, cancelling elective surgical procedures, stopping face to face practical education, and transforming theoretical education into distance learning platforms resulted in alterations in the curriculum. Limited number of studies in the literature surveyed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on specialty training in various medical disciplines.

Methods: We addressed to assess the situation of trainees’ education using an online questionnaire from the trainees’ and directors’ perspective during the pandemic. The survey platform SurveyMonkey® was used to distribute the survey and to collect responses. We generated a list of multiple-choice questions about how social distancing affected the delivery of medical education, potential compromise in core training and difficulties in conducting clinical research for the thesis.

Results: A total of 364 trainees among 552 (65.9%) under training at our university hospital and 90% of the directors (37 of 41) responded the survey. Almost 78 percent of the trainees claimed that they have been negatively affected during the pandemic. Although majority of the trainees (60.3%) reported that extension of their education program is not necessary, most of the program directors were in tendency of extending the duration of the speciality training period. The participants predominantly considered that online training would keep on being a part of the training program after the pandemic.

Conclusion: Education programs are negatively affected during pandemics. However, authorities should manage this deficiency by a new perspective since present trainees are familiar to use technology-driven virtual sources for their education.  After the pandemic, computer-assisted online learning and web-based programs should be integrated into educational curriculum.


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