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1.
Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open ; 9(12): e4058, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1584010

ABSTRACT

In 2020, the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons and the Association of American Medical Colleges recommended residency programs suspend away rotations and in-person interviews. This study quantifies applicant costs and potential savings in the residency application process resulting from that change, while also evaluating differences in cost with respect to geographic region of the applicant. Methods: A retrospective evaluation of the 2019-2020 Texas STAR (Seeking Transparency in Application to Residency) database was conducted. We queried responses from plastic surgery residency applicants, including expenses associated with the application, away rotations, interviews, and total costs for medical school seniors. Applicant characteristics were recorded. A Kruskal-Wallis H-test was used to evaluate differences in mean costs by medical school region. Results: In total, 117 US allopathic applicants to plastic surgery residency were included. Total expenses for the application cycle were $10,845. This was made up of $1638 in application costs, $4074 in away rotation costs, and $5486 in interview costs. No significant differences were observed for mean total costs for applicants from schools in the Central ($11,045/applicant), Northeast ($9696/applicant), South ($11,332/applicant), and West ($11,205/applicant) (P = 0.209). Conclusion: Assuming relatively minimal expenditures related to a virtual interview cycle and lack of away rotations in 2021, the average cost savings for plastic surgery residency applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic was estimated to be over $9000.

2.
South Med J ; 114(12): 807-811, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534910

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Numerous studies have demonstrated the high risk for burnout and mental illness in medical students. Because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, our medical school transitioned to an all-virtual learning environment from March to June 2020, which raised concerns among student leaders and administrators, as reduced interpersonal attachments have known associations with decreased mental health. In an effort to facilitate student well-being during the pandemic, the Virtual Wellness and Learning Communities (VWLC) program was established. VWLC consisted of hour-long events that offered students the opportunity to engage with their peers online. METHODS: More than 20 events and workshops were conducted from March to June 2020, including trivia nights, song and guitar performances, sketching, video editing tutorials, chess lessons, yoga, and personal investing tips. An institutional review board-approved survey to assess the efficacy of the VWLC program was sent to medical student participants and nonparticipants. RESULTS: The overall response rate of this study was 43% (53/123). The response rate for students who attended a VWLC event was 51% (33/65), and the response rate for students who did not attend a VWLC event was 34% (20/58). Of all of the respondents, 85% (45/53) reported a decreased sense of connectivity with peers because of the pandemic, and 40% (21/53) reported a decrease in their sense of wellness. After attending a VWLC event, 79% (26/33) reported an increased sense of peer connectivity, 61% (20/33) reported improved wellness, and 55% (18/33) believed that these events should continue postpandemic to supplement in-person programming. Those who did not attend a virtual event stated that the main barriers to attending were unfamiliarity with attendees and screen fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened medical student well-being and sense of community. VWLC programming may be an effective strategy for promoting medical student wellness and community while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. To our knowledge, this is the first virtual wellness program for promotion of medical student mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic to be described in the literature.

3.
Chest ; 160(6): 2005-2006, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401307
4.
Plast Reconstr Surg ; 148(3): 462e-474e, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371774

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound effect on surgical training programs, reflecting decreases in elective surgical cases and emergency restructuring of clinical teams. The effect of these measures on U.S. plastic surgery resident education and wellness has not been characterized. METHODS: An institutional review board-exempted anonymous survey was developed through expert panel discussion and pilot testing. All current U.S. plastic surgery trainees were invited to complete a cross-sectional 28-question survey in April of 2020. Respondents were queried regarding demographic information, educational experiences, and wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 668 residents responded to the survey, corresponding to a 56.1 percent response rate. Sex, training program type, postgraduate year, and region were well represented within the sample. Nearly all trainees (97.1 percent) reported restructuring of their clinical teams. One-sixth of respondents were personally redeployed to assist with the care of COVID-19 patients. A considerable proportion of residents felt that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their education (58.1 percent) and wellness (84.8 percent). Residents found virtual curriculum effective and meaningful, and viewed an average of 4.2 lectures weekly. Although most residents did not anticipate a change in career path, some reported negative consequences on job prospects or fellowship. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic had a considerable impact on U.S. plastic surgery education and wellness. Although reductions in case volume may be temporary, this may represent a loss of critical, supervised clinical experience. Some effects may be positive, such as the development of impactful virtual lectures that allow for cross-institutional curriculum.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19 , Health Status , Internship and Residency , Students, Medical/psychology , Surgery, Plastic/education , Adult , Career Choice , Cross-Sectional Studies , Curriculum , Education, Distance/methods , Education, Distance/organization & administration , Education, Distance/trends , Female , Humans , Internship and Residency/methods , Internship and Residency/organization & administration , Internship and Residency/trends , Male , Mental Health , Physical Distancing , Social Support , Stress, Psychological , Surgery, Plastic/organization & administration , Surgery, Plastic/trends , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
5.
Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open ; 9(3): e3535, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199578

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unpreceded changes to medical education. Medical students interested in urology and neurosurgery have reported concerns regarding COVID-19's effects on clinical experience and the residency application process; however, the impact amongst students interested in plastic surgery is unknown. We hypothesized that students applying into plastic surgery may experience much distress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: An electronic survey was developed by 3 plastic surgery residents and 2 academic plastic surgeons and later refined by 4 fourth-year medical students. Questions focused on medical education curricular changes, perceived impact on medical education, and demographics. From April-May 2020 the survey was distributed to medical students who were interested in plastic surgery. Participants were identified through plastic surgery residency program personnel and social media platforms. Results In total: 130 of the 140 respondents reported interest in plastic surgery careers. An estimated 67% were in their clinical years or completing research year(s) before residency applications. Of the respondents, 80% believed that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their medical education. Clinical-level students compared with preclinical-level students, and students applying to residency during the 2020-2021 match cycle compared with students not applying during the 2020-2021 match cycle were significantly more likely to perceive the COVID-19 pandemic as having a negative impact on their medical education (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively). Conclusion: Medical students interested in plastic surgery perceive the COVID-19 pandemic as having a negative impact on their education, likely due to a reduction in clinical exposure.

7.
J Med Ethics ; 46(8): 499-501, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597630

ABSTRACT

The urgent drive for vaccine development in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic has prompted public and private organisations to invest heavily in research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Organisations globally have affirmed the commitment of fair global access, but the means by which a successful vaccine can be mass produced and equitably distributed remains notably unanswered. Barriers for low-income countries include the inability to afford vaccines as well as inadequate resources to vaccinate, barriers that are exacerbated during a pandemic. Fair distribution of a pandemic vaccine is unlikely without a solid ethical framework for allocation. This piece analyses four allocation paradigms: ability to develop or purchase; reciprocity; ability to implement; and distributive justice, and synthesises their ethical considerations to develop an allocation model to fit the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Global Health , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Health Equity/ethics , Pandemics/ethics , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Social Justice , Viral Vaccines , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Developing Countries , Ethical Analysis , Health Resources , Humans , International Cooperation , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Poverty , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Values , Vaccination Coverage/ethics
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