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World Neurosurg ; 154: e590-e604, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440406


OBJECTIVE: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a shift to virtual residency interviews for the 2020-2021 neurosurgery match, with unknown implications for stakeholders. This study seeks to analyze the perceptions of residency program directors (PDs) and associate program directors (APDs) regarding the current virtual format used for residency selection and interviews. METHODS: An anonymous, 30-question survey was constructed and sent to 115 neurosurgery PDs and 26 APDs to assess respondent demographics, factors used to review applicants, perceptions of applicants and applicant engagement, perceptions of standardized letters and interview questions, the effect of the virtual interview format on various stakeholders, and the future outlook for the virtual residency interview format. RESULTS: A total of 38 PDs and APDs completed this survey, constituting a response rate of 27.0%. Survey respondents received significantly more Electronic Residency Application Service applications in the 2020-2021 cycle compared with the 2019-2020 cycle (P = 0.0029). Subinternship performance by home-rotators, (26.3%), letters of recommendation (23.7%), and Step 1 score (18.4%) were ranked as the most important factors for evaluating candidates during the current virtual application cycle. CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights that applicants applied to a greater number of residency programs compared with years prior, that the criteria used by PDs/APDs to evaluate applicants remained largely consistent compared to previous years, and that the virtual residency interview format may disproportionately disadvantage Doctor of Osteopathic medicine and international medical graduate applicants. Further exploring attitudes toward signaling mechanisms and standardized letters may serve to inform changes to future neurosurgery match cycles.

COVID-19 , Education, Distance , Internship and Residency , Neurosurgery/education , Pandemics , School Admission Criteria/trends , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
World Neurosurg ; 140: e373-e380, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-593961


BACKGROUND: As of May 4, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected >3.5 million people and touched every inhabited continent. Accordingly, it has stressed health systems worldwide, leading to the cancellation of elective surgical cases and discussions regarding health care resource rationing. It is expected that rationing of surgical resources will continue even after the pandemic peak and may recur with future pandemics, creating a need for a means of triaging patients for emergent and elective spine surgery. METHODS: Using a modified Delphi technique, a cohort of 16 fellowship-trained spine surgeons from 10 academic medical centers constructed a scoring system for the triage and prioritization of emergent and elective spine surgeries. Three separate rounds of videoconferencing and written correspondence were used to reach a final scoring system. Sixteen test cases were used to optimize the scoring system so that it could categorize cases as requiring emergent, urgent, high-priority elective, or low-priority elective scheduling. RESULTS: The devised scoring system included 8 independent components: neurologic status, underlying spine stability, presentation of a high-risk postoperative complication, patient medical comorbidities, expected hospital course, expected discharge disposition, facility resource limitations, and local disease burden. The resultant calculator was deployed as a freely available Web-based calculator ( CONCLUSIONS: We present the first quantitative urgency scoring system for the triage and prioritizing of spine surgery cases in resource-limited settings. We believe that our scoring system, although not all encompassing, has potential value as a guide for triaging spine surgical cases during the COVID pandemic and post-COVID period.

Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections , Elective Surgical Procedures , Health Care Rationing , Pandemics , Patient Selection , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Decision Making , Elective Surgical Procedures/methods , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/methods