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Interdiscip Neurosurg ; 30: 101590, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1851302


Objectives: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic many large institutions have turned towards virtual education. Neurosurgery in our institute, recognizing its benefits, readily embraced the virtual learning experience using Zoom Inc (San Jose, California) beginning on May 21, 2020. The result of this form of educational experience may not be apparent readily. Hence, nearing the end of one year of monthly Zoom meetings, an effort was undertaken to assess the feasibility and the barriers of effective virtual teaching learning activity in neurosurgery among the participants. Methods: The participants consisted of neurosurgeons and trainees from department of neurosurgery Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Nepal, neurosurgeons based in Seattle, United States of America and neurosurgeons based in Sweden, who have been regularly attending the monthly virtual education organized by Dr. Wohns. At the end of one-year experience of monthly Zoom teaching and learning activities between the participants a questionnaire comprising objective questions related to their experience of virtual education in neurosurgery was distributed to the participants and answers were collected and analyzed. Results: A total of 18 persons out of 25 responded to the questionnaire. Majority of participants responded favorably to virtual education. A few responders faced disturbance in internet connectivity affecting the quality of video and sound during the presentations. None of the participants faced inconvenience due to time difference. Most responders preferred to continue virtual education even after the pandemic. Conclusions: Overall most participants responded favorably to virtual education which has helped them increase their participation and hence broaden their knowledge in the field. Most participants look forward to continuing this form of education even in future. Thus, this form of education may be incorporated at least in part in the future of neurosurgical training.

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
World Neurosurg ; 142: e434-e439, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-715005


BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic has created challenges to neurosurgical patient care. Despite editorials evaluating neurosurgery responses to 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), data reporting effects of COVID-19 on neurosurgical case volume, census, and resident illness are lacking. The aim of this study was to present a real-world analysis of neurosurgical volumes, resident deployment, and unique challenges encountered during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 outbreak peak in New York City. METHODS: Daily census and case volume data were prospectively collected throughout the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 outbreak in spring 2020. Neurosurgical census was compared against COVID-19 system-wide data. Neurosurgical cases during the crisis were analyzed and compared with 7-week periods from 2019 and early 2020. Resident deployment and illness were reviewed. RESULTS: From March 16, 2020, to May 5, 2020, residents participated in 72 operations and 69 endovascular procedures compared with 448 operations and 253 endovascular procedures from January 2020 to February 2020 and 530 operations and 340 endovascular procedures from March 2019 to May 2019. There was a 59% reduction in neurosurgical census during the outbreak (median 24 patients, 2.75 average total cases daily). COVID-19 neurosurgical admissions peaked in concert with the system-wide pandemic. Three residents demonstrated COVID-19 symptoms (no hospitalizations occurred) for a total 24 workdays lost (median 7 workdays). CONCLUSIONS: These data provide real-world guidance on neurosurgical infrastructure needs during a COVID-19 outbreak. While redeployment to support the COVID-19 response was required, a significant need remained to continue to provide critical neurosurgical service.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Internship and Residency , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Endovascular Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgery/organization & administration , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2