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World Neurosurg ; 155: e412-e417, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364511


INTRODUCTION: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACGME recommended all interviews for the 2021 residency application cycle be held virtually. Because this is major shift from neurosurgical interviews in past years, this study aims to evaluate both applicant and interviewer satisfaction of conducting interviews virtually. METHODS: For faculty, an 11-question online survey was sent to 116 United States neurosurgery training programs. A 14-question online survey was sent to 255 neurosurgery applicants. The resulting data were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. RESULTS: From applicants, 118 responses were received. From faculty, 171 individual responses were received. Thirty-five percent (34.7%) of applicants agreed that they were satisfied with the virtual interview process as a whole. Although 44.5% of faculty disagreed with the statement "I would like to replace in-person interviews with virtual interviews in the future", 57.3% of faculty agreed that they were likely to implement virtual interviews in the future. CONCLUSIONS: Some things might be better assessed through in-person interviews, but there are clear benefits to virtual interviews. Future iterations of the interview process, incorporating virtual interviews, might help determine how and in which situations virtual interviews can be utilized in future residency application cycles.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Faculty, Medical/trends , Internship and Residency/trends , Job Application , Neurosurgery/trends , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19/prevention & control , Faculty, Medical/psychology , Humans , Neurosurgery/education , Online Systems/trends , United States/epidemiology
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E17, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954005


OBJECTIVE: Neurosurgical education in the US has changed significantly as a consequence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Institutional social distancing requirements have resulted in many neurosurgical programs utilizing video conferencing for educational activities. However, it is unclear how or if these practices should continue after the pandemic. The objective of this study was to characterize virtual education in neurosurgery and understand how it should be utilized after COVID-19. METHODS: A 24-question, 3-part online survey was administered anonymously to all 117 US neurosurgical residency programs from May 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020. Questions pertained to the current use of virtual conferencing, preferences over traditional conferences, and future inclinations. The Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 3 = neutral, 5 = strongly agree) was used. Comparisons were calculated using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Statistical significance was set at 0.05. RESULTS: One-hundred eight responses were recorded. Overall, 38 respondents (35.2%) were attendings and 70 (64.8%) were trainees. Forty-one respondents (38.0%) indicated attending 5-6 conferences per week and 70 (64.8%) attend national virtual conferences. When considering different conference types, there was no overall preference (scores < 3) for virtual conferences over traditional conferences. In regard to future use, respondents strongly agreed that they would continue the practice at some capacity after the pandemic (median score 5). Overall, respondents agreed that virtual conferences would partially replace traditional conferences (median score 4), whereas they strongly disagreed with the complete replacement of traditional conferences (median score 1). The most common choices for the partial replacement of tradition conferences were case conferences (59/108, 55%) and board preparation (64/108, 59%). Lastly, there was a significant difference in scores for continued use of virtual conferencing in those who attend nationally sponsored conferences (median score 5, n = 70) and those who do not (median score 4, n = 38; U = 1762.50, z = 2.97, r = 0.29, p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Virtual conferences will likely remain an integral part of neurosurgical education after the COVID-19 pandemic has abated. Across the country, residents and faculty report a preference for continued use of virtual conferencing, especially virtual case conferences and board preparation. Some traditional conferences may even be replaced with virtual conferences, in particular those that are more didactic. Furthermore, nationally sponsored virtual conferences have a positive effect on the preferences for continued use of virtual conferences.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance/standards , Internship and Residency/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/education , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telecommunications/standards , Adult , Aged , Education, Distance/methods , Female , Humans , Internship and Residency/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E13, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953767


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.

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