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1.
J Neurosurg ; : 1-10, 2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538341

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant disruption to residency recruitment, including a sudden, comprehensive transition to virtual interviews. The authors sought to characterize applicant experiences and perceptions concerning the change in the application, interview, and match process for neurological surgery residency during the 2020-2021 recruitment cycle. METHODS: A national survey of neurosurgical residency applicants from the 2020-2021 application cycle was performed. This survey was developed in cooperation with the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Young Neurosurgeons Committee (YNC) and sent to all applicants (n = 280) who included academic video submissions to the SNS repository as part of their application package. These 280 applicants accounted for 69.6% of the total 402 neurosurgical applicants this year. RESULTS: Nearly half of the applicants responded to the survey (44.3%, 124 of 280). Applicants favored additional reform of the interview scheduling process, including a centralized scheduling method, a set of standardized release dates for interview invitations, and interview caps for applicants. Less than 8% of students desired a virtual-only platform in the future, though the majority of applicants supported incorporating virtual interviews as part of the process to contain applicant costs and combining them with traditional in-person interview opportunities. Program culture and fit, as well as clinical and research opportunities in subspecialty areas, were the most important factors applicants used to rank programs. However, subjective program "fit" was deemed challenging to assess during virtual-only interviews. CONCLUSIONS: Neurosurgery resident applicants identified standardized interview invitation release dates, centralized interview scheduling methods, caps on the number of interviews available to each candidate, and regulated opportunities for both virtual and in-person recruitment as measures that could significantly improve the applicant experience during and effectiveness of future neurosurgery residency application cycles. Applicants prioritized program culture and "fit" during recruitment, and a majority were open to incorporating virtual elements into future cycles to reduce costs while retaining in-person opportunities to gauge programs and their locations.

2.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 210: 106958, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439944

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed unprecedented new stressors to medical student education. This national survey investigated the prevalence of burnout in U.S. medical students interested in pursuing neurosurgical residency during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A 24-question survey was sent to all American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) medical student chapter members. The abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory (aMBI) was used to measure the following burnout metrics: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Bivariate analyses were conducted and multivariate analyses were performed using a logistic regression models. RESULTS: 254 medical students were included (response rate of 14.5%). The majority were male (55.1%), White (66.1%), and between their 2nd and 3rd years in medical school (62.6%). Burnout was identified in 38 (15.0%) respondents, a rate lower than reported in the pre-COVID era. In multivariate analysis, burnout was significantly associated with choosing not to pursue, or feeling uncertain about pursuing, a medical career again if given the choice (OR = 3.40, p = 0.0075), having second thoughts about choosing to pursue neurosurgery (OR = 3.47, p = 0.0025), attending a medical program in the Northeast compared to the Southeast (OR = 0.32, p = 0.027) or Southwest U.S. (OR = 0.30, p = 0.046), and indicating that one's future clinical performance will have worsened due to COVID-19 (OR = 2.71, p = 0.025). CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates relatively low rates of burnout among U.S. medical students interested in pursuing neurosurgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings also demonstrate multiple factors may aid in early identification of burnout, highlighting potential opportunities for intervention.

5.
Glob Public Health ; 16(10): 1523-1536, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221435

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to the topic of challenging drug patents in the interest of public health. Pharmaceutical companies have already begun to patent existing medicines for the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2, affording them exclusive manufacturing rights over vital medicines. Advocates have raised concerns regarding the pricing of COVID-19 drugs, as well as patent monopolies on the manufacture of COVID-19 treatments. The HIV/AIDS pandemic provides a useful lens through which we can analyse existing pathways for challenging pharmaceutical patents in the context of global pandemic. In this article, we review three legal pathways for overriding and seizing patents on medicines by describing cases in which they were employed to make antiretroviral drugs more accessible to people living with HIV. Last, we highlight the weaknesses inherent in these pathways and offer advocacy and policy suggestions for how to strengthen these pathways to improve access to COVID-19 treatments as they become available in the United States and globally.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Industry , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
6.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E13, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953767

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Telemedicine has rapidly expanded in the recent years as technologies have afforded healthcare practitioners the ability to diagnose and treat patients remotely. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential clinical visits were greatly limited, and much of the outpatient neurosurgical practice at the authors' institution was shifted quickly to telehealth. Although there are prior data suggesting that the use of telemedicine is satisfactory in other surgical fields, data in neurosurgery are limited. This study aimed to investigate both patient and provider satisfaction with telemedicine and its strengths and limitations in outpatient neurosurgery visits. METHODS: This quality improvement study was designed to analyze provider and patient satisfaction with telemedicine consultations in an outpatient neurosurgery clinic setting at a tertiary care, large-volume, academic center. The authors designed an 11-question survey for neurosurgical providers and a 13-question survey for patients using both closed 5-point Likert scale responses and multiple choice responses. The questionnaires were administered to patients and providers during the period when the clinic restricted in-person visits. At the conclusion of the study, the overall data were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. RESULTS: During the study period, 607 surveys were sent out to patients seen by telehealth at the authors' academic center, and 122 responses were received. For the provider survey, 85 surveys were sent out to providers at the authors' center and other academic centers, and 40 surveys were received. Ninety-two percent of patients agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with that particular telehealth visit. Eighty-eight percent of patients agreed that their telehealth visit was more convenient for them than an in-person visit, but only 36% of patients stated they would like their future visits to be telehealth. Sixty-three percent of providers agreed that telehealth visits were more convenient for them than in-person visits, and 85% of responding providers stated that they wished to incorporate telehealth into their future practice. CONCLUSIONS: Although the authors' transition to telehealth was both rapid and unexpected, most providers and patients reported positive experiences with their telemedicine visits and found telemedicine to be an effective form of ambulatory neurosurgical care. Not all patients preferred telemedicine visits over in-person visits, but the high satisfaction with telemedicine by both providers and patients is promising to the future expansion of telehealth in ambulatory neurosurgery.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Neurosurgical Procedures/psychology , Patient Satisfaction , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/standards , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Telemedicine/standards , Young Adult
7.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(11): 1049-1052, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809207

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Academic physicians aim to provide clinical and surgical care to their patients while actively contributing to a growing body of scientific literature. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in procedural-based specialties across the United States witnessing a sharp decline in their clinical volume and surgical cases. OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of COVID-19 on neurosurgical, stroke neurology, and neurointerventional academic productivity. METHODS: The study compared the neurosurgical, stroke neurology, and neurointerventional academic output during the pandemic lockdown with the same time period in previous years. Editors from a sample of neurosurgical, stroke neurology, and neurointerventional journals provided the total number of original manuscript submissions, broken down by months, from the year 2016 to 2020. Manuscript submission was used as a surrogate metric for academic productivity. RESULTS: 8 journals were represented. The aggregated data from all eight journals as a whole showed that a combined average increase of 42.3% was observed on original submissions for 2020. As the average yearly percent increase using the 2016-2019 data for each journal exhibited a combined average increase of 11.2%, the rise in the yearly increase for 2020 in comparison was nearly fourfold. For the same journals in the same time period, the average percent of COVID-19 related publications from January to June of 2020 was 6.87%. CONCLUSION: There was a momentous increase in the number of original submissions for the year 2020, and its effects were uniformly experienced across all of our represented journals.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Efficiency , Neurology/statistics & numerical data , Neurosurgery/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Research/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/physiopathology , Stroke/surgery , Universities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Humans , Neurosurgery/trends , Periodicals as Topic , Publishing , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Research/trends , Universities/trends
8.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 198: 106193, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738292

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed significant changes to physician workflow and healthcare delivery. This national survey investigated the impact of the pandemic on burnout and career satisfaction among U.S. attending neurosurgeons. METHODS: A 24-question survey was sent electronically to all American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) attending members. The abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory (aMBI) was used to measure the following burnout and career satisfaction indices: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Bivariate analyses were conducted and multivariate analyses were performed using logistic regression models. RESULTS: 407 attending neurosurgeons were included in the present study, with an overall response rate of 17.7 %. The majority of respondents were male (88.7 %), White (84.3 %), and in practice for 15 years or more (64.6 %). The majority reported a decrease in work hours due to the pandemic (82.6 %), uncertainty about future earnings (80.3 %), and uncertainty regarding future healthcare reform (84.5 %). Burnout was identified in 83 (20.4 %) respondents, whereas career satisfaction was identified in 316 (77.6 %) respondents. Rate of burnout was decreased when compared to rates reported in the pre-COVID era. In multivariate analysis, burnout was associated with working in a hostile or difficult environment since the rise of COVID-19 (OR = 2.534, p = 0.008), not having children (OR = 3.294, p = 0.011), being in practice for 5-15 years (vs. < 5 years) (OR = 4.568, p = 0.014), spending increased time conducting non-neurosurgical medical care due to COVID-19 (OR = 2.362, p = 0.019), feeling uncertain about future earnings due to COVID-19 (OR = 4.031, p = 0.035), and choosing not to pursue or feeling uncertain about pursuing neurosurgery again if given the choice (OR = 7.492, p < 0.001). Career satisfaction was associated with cerebrovascular subspecialty training (OR = 2.614, p = 0.046) and a willingness to pursue neurosurgery again if given the choice (OR = 2.962, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Factors related to the novel COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to changes in workflow among U.S. attending neurosurgeons. Despite these changes, we report decreased burnout and high career satisfaction among U.S. neurosurgeons. Understanding modifiable stressors among neurosurgeons during the pandemic may help to identify effective future interventions to mitigate burnout and improve career satisfaction.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Job Satisfaction , Medical Staff, Hospital/psychology , Neurosurgery/education , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Attitude of Health Personnel , Burnout, Professional/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Workload
9.
J Clin Neurosci ; 80: 137-142, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-720624

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed significant changes to resident education and workflow. However, the impact of the pandemic on U.S. neurosurgery residents has not been well characterized. We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. neurosurgery resident workflow, burnout, and career satisfaction. In 2020, a survey evaluating factors related to career satisfaction and burnout was emailed to 1,374 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) residents. Bivariate and multivariate (logistic) analyses were performed to characterize predictors of burnout and career satisfaction. 167 survey responses were received, with a response rate (12.2%) comparable to that of similar studies. Exclusion of incomplete responses yielded 111complete responses. Most respondents were male (65.8%) and White (75.7%). Residents reported fewer work hours (67.6%) and concern that COVID-19 would impair theirachievement of surgical milestones (65.8%). Burnout was identified in 29 (26.1%) respondents and career satisfaction in 82 (73.9%) respondents. In multivariate analysis, burnout was significantly associated with alterations in elective rotation/vacation schedules (p = .013) and the decision to not pursue neurosurgery again if given the choice (p < .001). Higher post-graduate year was associated with less burnout (p = .011). Residents displayed greater career satisfaction when focusing their clinical work upon neurosurgical care (p = .065). Factors related to COVID-19 have contributed to workflow changes among U.S. neurosurgery residents. We report a moderate burnout rate and a paradoxically high career satisfaction rate among neurosurgery residents. Understanding modifiable stressors during the COVID-19pandemic may help to formulate interventions to mitigate burnout and improve career satisfaction among residents.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Internship and Residency , Neurosurgery/education , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Adult , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
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