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1.
Ann Surg ; 275(3): 435-437, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707712

ABSTRACT

Sex inequity in academic achievement was well documented before the COVID-19 pandemic, and evolving data suggest that women in academic surgery are disproportionately disadvantaged by the pandemic. This perspective piece reviews currently accepted solutions to the sex achievement gap, with their associated shortcomings. We also propose innovative strategies to overcoming barriers to sex equity in academic medicine that broadly fall into three categories: strategies to mitigate inequitable caregiving responsibilities, strategies to reduce cognitive load, and strategies to value uncompensated, impactful work. These approaches address inequities at the system-level, as opposed to the individual-level, lifting the burden of changing the system from women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Faculty, Medical , Physicians, Women , Specialties, Surgical , Female , Humans , Sex Distribution
3.
Ann Surg ; 275(3): 435-437, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356742

ABSTRACT

Sex inequity in academic achievement was well documented before the COVID-19 pandemic, and evolving data suggest that women in academic surgery are disproportionately disadvantaged by the pandemic. This perspective piece reviews currently accepted solutions to the sex achievement gap, with their associated shortcomings. We also propose innovative strategies to overcoming barriers to sex equity in academic medicine that broadly fall into three categories: strategies to mitigate inequitable caregiving responsibilities, strategies to reduce cognitive load, and strategies to value uncompensated, impactful work. These approaches address inequities at the system-level, as opposed to the individual-level, lifting the burden of changing the system from women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Faculty, Medical , Physicians, Women , Specialties, Surgical , Female , Humans , Sex Distribution
4.
J Vasc Surg ; 74(4): 1354-1361.e4, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237797

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Integrated vascular surgery residency is among the most competitive specialties, but little is known about the applicant perspective. The coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak impacted the 2021 integrated vascular surgery residency match because of travel restrictions. We sought to better understand pre-pandemic applicant recruitment strategies, logistics of away rotations, and the residency interview process to identify areas for improvement in the application process. METHODS: An anonymous survey was sent to matched students in 2020, inquiring about motivations for pursuing vascular surgery (VS), logistic of away rotations and interviews, and factors influencing students' rank lists. RESULTS: Seventy of the 73 matched students completed the survey (95.9% response rate). The median age was 27 (range, 25-41); 32.9% were female, 91.4% were U.S. medical students, and 77.1% were from institutions with a VS training program. Factors most strongly influencing the decision to choose VS as a career were interest in open vascular procedures, endovascular procedures, perceived job satisfaction, emerging technologies, and influence of a mentor. The prospect of the job market, future salary, and competitiveness of the application process had the least impact. Of the matched students, 82.9% completed an away rotation (median, 2; range, 1-4), with 51.7% of students paying a total cost of more than $2500. Fifty percent of students matched either at their home institution or where they had performed an away rotation. Students reported application submissions to a median of 50 programs (range, 1-70) and interviewed at 17 (range, 1-28), with 40% of students paying a total of more than $4000 for interview costs. The most significant factors affecting students' rank lists included program culture, open aortic surgical volume, geography, and complex endovascular procedure volume. Tours of facilities, resident salary, and male/female distribution had the least importance. CONCLUSIONS: Successfully matched applicants in 2020 prioritized operative case volume and program collegiality when ranking programs. Despite their high cost, away rotations played an important role in the Match, suggesting that time spent at potential institutions allowed ideal assessment of factors for students. The high average number of away rotations and in-person interviews performed in 2019-2020 was limited for the 2021 Match due to coronavirus disease 2019 restrictions. Programs will have to continue developing creative alternatives or additions to away rotations and the application processes to assure continued success in future post-pandemic Match cycles.


Subject(s)
Career Choice , Internship and Residency/statistics & numerical data , Specialties, Surgical/statistics & numerical data , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Vascular Surgical Procedures/education , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Female , Humans , Internship and Residency/organization & administration , Internship and Residency/standards , Male , Mentors , Motivation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personnel Selection/organization & administration , Personnel Selection/standards , Personnel Selection/statistics & numerical data , Specialties, Surgical/education , Specialties, Surgical/organization & administration , Students, Medical/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Travel
5.
Vascular ; 29(6): 856-864, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052392

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: The unprecedented pandemic spread of the novel coronavirus has severely impacted the delivery of healthcare services in the United States and around the world, and has exposed a variety of inefficiencies in healthcare infrastructure. Some states have been disproportionately affected such as New York and Michigan. In fact, Detroit and its surrounding areas have been named as the initial Midwest epicenter where over 106,000 cases have been confirmed in April 2020. METHOD, RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Facilities in Southeast Michigan have served as the frontline of the pandemic in the Midwest and in order to cope with the surge, rapid, and in some cases, complete restructuring of care was mandatory to effect change and attempt to deal with the emerging crisis. We describe the initial experience and response of 4 large vascular surgery health systems in Michigan to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Care Rationing , Hospital Restructuring , Infection Control , Resource Allocation , Vascular Diseases , Vascular Surgical Procedures , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Civil Defense/standards , Hospital Restructuring/methods , Hospital Restructuring/organization & administration , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Michigan/epidemiology , Organizational Innovation , Patient Selection , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Vascular Diseases/diagnosis , Vascular Diseases/epidemiology , Vascular Diseases/surgery , Vascular Surgical Procedures/organization & administration , Vascular Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data
6.
Acad Med ; 96(5): 655-660, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933904

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant ramifications for provider well-being. During these unprecedented and challenging times, one institution's Department of Surgery put in place several important initiatives for promoting the well-being of trainees as they were redeployed to provide care to COVID-19 patients. In this article, the authors describe these initiatives, which fall into 3 broad categories: redeploying faculty and trainees, ensuring provider safety, and promoting trainee wellness. The redeployment initiatives are the following: reframing the team mindset, creating a culture of grace and forgiveness, establishing a multidisciplinary wellness committee, promoting centralized leadership, providing clear communication, coordinating between departments and programs, implementing phased restructuring of the department's services, establishing scheduling flexibility and redundancy, adhering to training regulations, designating a trainee ombudsperson, assessing physical health risks for high-risk individuals, and planning for structured deimplementation. Initiatives specific to promoting provider safety are appointing a trainee safety advocate, guaranteeing personal protective equipment and relevant information about these materials, providing guidance regarding safe practices at home, and offering alternative housing options when necessary. Finally, the initiatives put in place to directly promote trainee wellness are establishing an environment of psychological safety, providing mental health resources, maintaining the educational missions, solidifying a sense of community by showing appreciation, being attentive to childcare, and using social media to promote community morale. The initiatives to carry out the department's strategy presented in this article, which were well received by both faculty and trainee members of the authors' community, may be employed in other departments and even outside the context of COVID-19. The authors hope that colleagues at other institutions and departments, independent of specialty, will find the initiatives described here helpful during, and perhaps after, the pandemic as they develop their own institution-specific strategies to promote trainee wellness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Internship and Residency , Occupational Stress/prevention & control , Pandemics , Personnel Administration, Hospital , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Leadership , Personal Protective Equipment , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support
7.
Ann Vasc Surg ; 72: 182-190, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898489

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic on health care workers has been substantial. However, the impact on vascular surgery (VS) trainees has not yet been determined. The goals of our study were to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on VS trainees' personal and professional life and to assess stressors, coping, and support structures involved in these trainees' response to the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This was an anonymous online survey administered in April 12-24, 2020 during the surge phase of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is a subset analysis of the cross-sectional Society for Vascular Surgery Wellness Committee Pandemic Practice, Anxiety, Coping, and Support Survey. The cohort surveyed was VS trainees, integrated residents and fellows, in the United States of America. Assessment of the personal impact of the pandemic on VS trainees and the coping strategies used by them was based on the validated Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale and the validated 28-time Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced inventory. RESULTS: A total of 145 VS trainees responded to the survey, with a 23% response rate (145/638). Significant changes were made to the clinical responsibilities of VS trainees, with 111 (91%) reporting cancellation of elective procedures, 101 (82%) with call schedule changes, 34 (24%) with duties other than related to VS, and 29 (24%) participation in outpatient care delivery. Over one-third (52/144) reported they had performed a procedure on a patient with confirmed COVID-19; 37 (25.7%) reported they were unaware of the COVID-19 status at the time. The majority continued to work after exposure (29/34, 78%). Major stressors included concerns about professional development, infection risk to family/friends, and impact of care delay on patients. The median score for GAD-7 was 4 (interquartile range 1-8), which corresponds to no or low self-reported anxiety levels. VS trainees employed mostly active coping and rarely avoidant coping mechanisms, and the majority were aware and used social media and online support systems. No significant difference was observed between integrated residents and fellows, or by gender. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has had significant impact on VS trainees. Trainees reported significant changes to clinical responsibilities, exposure to COVID-19, and pandemic-related stressors but demonstrated healthy coping mechanisms with low self-reported anxiety levels. The VS community should maintain awareness of the impact of the pandemic on the professional and personal development of surgeons in training. We recommend adaptive evolution in training to accommodate the changing learning environment for trainees.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Internship and Residency , Surgeons/psychology , Vascular Surgical Procedures/education , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , SARS-CoV-2 , Specialties, Surgical , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Workload
8.
J Vasc Surg ; 73(3): 762-771.e4, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-863663

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented challenges for health care systems globally. We designed and administered a global survey to examine the effects of COVID-19 on vascular surgeons and explore the COVID-19-related stressors faced, coping strategies used, and support structures available. METHODS: The Pandemic Practice, Anxiety, Coping, and Support Survey for Vascular Surgeons was an anonymous cross-sectional survey sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery Wellness Task Force. The survey analysis evaluated the effects of COVID-19-related stressors on vascular surgeons measured using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale. The 28-item Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced inventory was used to assess the active and avoidant coping strategies. Survey data were collected using REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) from April 14, 2020 to April 24, 2020 inclusive. Additional qualitative data were collected using open-ended questions. Univariable and multivariable analyses of the factors associated with the anxiety levels and qualitative analysis were performed. RESULTS: A total of 1609 survey responses (70.5% male; 82.5% vascular surgeons in practice) from 58 countries (43.4% from United States; 43.4% from Brazil) were eligible for analysis. Some degree of anxiety was reported by 54.5% of the respondents, and 23.3% reported moderate or severe anxiety. Most respondents (∼60%) reported using active coping strategies and the avoidant coping strategy of "self-distraction," and 20% used other avoidant coping strategies. Multivariable analysis identified the following factors as significantly associated with increased self-reported anxiety levels: staying in a separate room at home or staying at the hospital or a hotel after work (odds ratio [OR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.79), donning and doffing personal protective equipment (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.41-2.33), worry about potential adverse patient outcomes due to care delay (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.16-1.87), and financial concerns (OR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.49-2.42). The factors significantly associated with decreased self-reported anxiety levels were hospital support (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.76-0.91) and the use of positive reframing as an active coping strategy (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.81-0.95). CONCLUSIONS: Vascular surgeons globally have been experiencing multiple COVID-19-related stressors during this devastating crisis. These findings have highlighted the continued need for hospital systems to support their vascular surgeons and the importance of national societies to continue to invest in peer-support programs as paramount to promoting the well-being of vascular surgeons during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological , Surgeons/psychology , Vascular Surgical Procedures , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Global Health , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
Vascular ; 29(3): 451-460, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-818023

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has made a significant impact on all spheres of society. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the practices, finances, and social aspects of Brazilian vascular surgeons' lives. METHODS: This is a descriptive analysis of the responses from Brazilian vascular surgeons to the cross-sectional anonymous Society for Vascular Surgery Wellness Task Force Pandemic Practice, Anxiety, Coping, and Support Survey for Vascular Surgeons disseminated 14-24 April 2020. Survey dissemination in Brazil occurred mainly via the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery (SBACV) and social media. The survey evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vascular surgeons' lives by assessing COVID-19-related stressors, anxiety using theGeneral Anxiety Disorder (GAD)-7 scale, and coping strategies using the Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (Brief-COPE) inventory. RESULTS: A total of 452 responses were recorded from Brazil, with 335 (74%) respondents completing the entire survey. The majority of respondents were males (N = 301, 67%) and practiced in an urban hospitals. The majority of respondents considered themselves at high risk to be infected with COVID-19 (N = 251, 55.8%), and just over half the respondents noted that they had adequate PPE at their primary hospital (N = 171, 54%). One hundred and nine (35%) surgeons confirmed that their hospitals followed professional surgical society guidelines for prioritizing surgeries during the pandemic. At the time of the survey, only 33 (10%) surgeons stated they have pre-operative testing of patients for COVID-19 available at their hospital. Academic vascular surgeons reported being redeployed more often to help with other non-vascular duties compared to community-based or solo practitioners (43% vs. 30% vs. 21% respectively, P = .01). Severe anxiety due to pandemic-related financial concerns was similar in those surgeons practicing solo compared to those in community- or academic-based/group practice (46% vs. 38% vs. 22%; P = .54). The respondents reported their anxiety levels as mild based on the stressors investigated instead of moderate-severe (54% vs. 46%; P = .04). Social media was utilized heavily during the pandemic, with video gatherings being the most commonly used tool (76%). Self-distraction (60%) and situational acceptance (81%) were the most frequently reported coping mechanisms used among Brazilian vascular surgeons. CONCLUSION: The COVID pandemic has greatly affected healthcare providers around the world. At the time of this survey, Brazilian vascular surgeons are reporting low anxiety levels during this time and are using mostly active coping mechanisms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vascular Surgical Procedures , Adult , Brazil , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Surgeons , Surveys and Questionnaires
10.
J Vasc Surg ; 73(3): 772-779.e4, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738587

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to widespread postponement and cancelation of elective surgeries in the United States. We designed and administered a global survey to examine the impact of COVID-19 on vascular surgeons. We describe the impact of the pandemic on the practices of vascular surgeons in the United States. METHODS: The Pandemic Practice, Anxiety, Coping, and Support Survey for Vascular Surgeons is an anonymous cross-sectional survey sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery Wellness Task Force disseminated April 14 to 24, 2020. This analysis focuses on pattern changes in vascular surgery practices in the United States including the inpatient setting, ambulatory, and vascular laboratory setting. Specific questions regarding occupational exposure to COVID-19, adequacy of personal protective equipment, elective surgical practice, changes in call schedule, and redeployment to nonvascular surgery duties were also included in the survey. Regional variation was assessed. The survey data were collected using REDCap and analyzed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: A total of 535 vascular surgeons responded to the survey from 45 states. Most of the respondents were male (73.1%), white (70.7%), practiced in urban settings (81.7%), and in teaching hospitals (66.8%). Almost one-half were in hospitals with more than 400 beds (46.4%). There was no regional variation in the presence of preoperative COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 OR protocols, adherence to national surgical standards, or the availability of personal protective equipment. The overwhelming majority of respondents (91.7%) noted elective surgery cancellation, with the Northeast and Southeast regions having the most case cancellations 94.2% and 95.8%, respectively. The Northeast region reported the highest percentage of operations or procedures on patients with COVID-19, which was either identified at the time of the surgery or later in the hospital course (82.7%). Ambulatory visits were performed via telehealth (81.3%), with 71.1% having restricted hours. More than one-half of office-based laboratories (OBLs) were closed, although there was regional variation with more than 80% in the Midwest being closed. Cases performed in OBLs focused on critical limb ischemia (42.9%) and dialysis access maintenance (39.9%). Call schedules modifications were common, although the number of call days remained the same (45.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Vascular surgeons in the United States report substantial impact on their practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and regional variations are demonstrated, particularly in OBL use, intensive care bed availability, and COVID-19 exposure at work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Vascular Surgical Procedures , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
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