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1.
Ann Plast Surg ; 89(5): 552-559, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087931

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The 2020-2021 interview cycle for integrated plastic surgery applicants was the first to be held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we detail the largest study on integrated plastic surgery applicant perceptions after the virtual interview cycle. METHODS: A 35-question institutional review board-approved survey was distributed to medical students who had applied to the Johns Hopkins/University of Maryland or University of California San Diego integrated residency programs during the 2020-2021 interview cycle. Survey questions assessed the structure, strengths, and weaknesses of the exclusively virtual interview process. Survey administration and data collection were performed using the Qualtrics platform. RESULTS: Of 318 distributed surveys, 94 were completed. In addition, 91.5% of respondents preferred in-person interviews before the interview season, whereas 54.3% preferred in-person interviews afterward. Applicants who favored virtual interviews did not view being unable to physically meet with program staff as a detriment (P = .001) and felt they could effectively advocate for themselves (P = .002). Overall, the most cited strengths were the ability to complete more interviews (P = .01) and cost benefits (P = .02). Criticisms were directed at the impersonal nature of the exchange (86.2%), lack of physical tour (56.4%), and difficulties at self-advocacy (52.1%). CONCLUSION: Preference for virtual interviews increased from 7.5% to 34.0% after the virtual interview cycle. For several students, the ideal interview structure permits both in-person and virtual interviews to maximize flexibility. Augmenting with virtual city tours and one-on-one interviews may mitigate the impersonal nature of virtual interviews as perceived by some applicants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Students, Medical , Surgery, Plastic , Humans , Surgery, Plastic/education , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Plast Reconstr Surg ; 150(3): 684e-690e, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2018366

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The 2020 to 2021 residency and fellowship application cycles were profoundly affected by the introduction of virtual interviews. The authors investigated the impact the virtual format had on plastic surgery residency and fellowship interviews from the perspectives of program directors. METHODS: Surveys were sent to program directors of integrated plastic surgery residency and fellowship programs to ascertain their perspectives regarding the virtual format's impact on residency and fellowship interviews. Program directors were stratified into residency and fellowship cohorts, and comparative analysis was performed. RESULTS: Ninety-two program directors, 28 from integrated plastic surgery residency programs and 64 from fellowship programs, completed our survey (35 percent). Compared to in-person interviews, virtual interviews were reported to be more economical and time efficient by program directors of residency (100 percent and 46 percent, respectively) and fellowship programs (97 percent and 48 percent, respectively). Consequentially, 36 percent and 47 percent of residency and fellowship programs were able to interview more applicants, respectively. Program directors of residency and fellowship programs reported that virtual interviews hindered their ability to assess applicants' fit with the program (75 percent and 63 percent, respectively), personality and communication skills (75 percent and 64 percent, respectively), and commitment to the field, along with their ability to function as a trainee (57 percent and 50 percent, respectively). Overall, 71 percent of program directors of residency and 58 percent of program directors of fellowship programs preferred in-person interviews. The majority of residency (71 percent) and fellowship (56 percent) program directors intend to conduct both in-person and virtual interviews in future application cycles ( p = 0.12). CONCLUSIONS: Despite preferring in-person interviews, program directors intend to host both in-person and virtual interviews in future application cycles. It remains to be seen how virtual interviews will be used moving forward.


Subject(s)
Internship and Residency , Surgery, Plastic , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fellowships and Scholarships , Humans , Surgery, Plastic/education , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
J Craniofac Surg ; 33(6): 1679-1683, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992441

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had far reaching impacts on all aspects of the healthcare system, including plastic surgery training. Due to reduction in the number of elective surgery cases and need for social distancing, plastic surgery education has shifted from the operating room to the virtual learning environment. Although these changes have been qualitatively described, the authors present a quantitative analysis of plastic surgery training changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study has identified residents' greatest impediments and inquired about suggestions for further improvements. Our goal is to help residency programs through the COVID-19 pandemic era and contribute to future guidelines when residency education encounters additional unexpected changes. METHODS: An institutional review board approved anonymous survey using Qualtrics was forwarded on April 23, 2020 to US plastic surgery program directors to be distributed to plastic surgery residents and fellows. Questions centered on the impact of COVID-19 on residents' well-being, education and career plans results were collected for data analysis. Residents were given the option to be in a raffle to win a $50 amazon gift card. Completion of the survey was both anonymous and voluntary. RESULTS: A total of 69 trainees responded (52 integrated residents and 17 independent fellows) from 18 states. Fifty-one percent were male and 49% were female. Fifty-six percent of trainees plan to complete a fellowship program after graduation, 31% will join private practice. Nine percent of trainees reported changes in their postgraduation plans due to the pandemic, 67% were senior trainees. Of those whose goals were affected by COVID-19 pandemic, 56% opted to pursue additional fellowship training. They described reduced operative exposure and cancelations of elective surgeries (50%), the limited availability of private practice jobs (37.5%), and financial reasons (12.5%) for their decision. Twelve percent reported being concerned about not meeting the necessary requirements to finish their residency and graduate on time. Seventy-six percent of trainees expressed concerns about the health and safety of themselves, family and loved ones. Forty-nine percent of trainees reported increased levels of stress since the onset of the pandemic. Ninety-seven percent of trainees reported having reduction in their operative time during the COVID-19 pandemic. They utilized their nonoperative time for online education modules (84%), educational readings (82%), and research (80%). Plastic surgery trainees learned about national webinars through emails from professional society (83%), co-resident/fellow (77%), program director emails (74%), and social media (22%). Webinars attended were mostly through virtual platform modalities, among which Zoom and Webex were the most preferred. Less interactions with colleagues and faculty was the biggest barrier to adopting virtual conferences. Despite this, 72% agreed that having grand rounds, didactics and journal clubs online increased attendance. Additionally, 88% of respondents expressed interests in attending professional society sponsored virtual grand rounds in the future. CONCLUSIONS: Results from our survey demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of plastic surgery residents have had reductions in operative times and widespread curriculum changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. These recent changes have increased residents' stress levels and adversity affected their future career plans. Additionally, COVID-19 has heralded an increase in virtual conferences and learning modules. Plastic surgery trainees expressed a preference for virtual educational platforms and interest in continuing virtual didactics in the future. This may irreversibly change the landscape of future plastic surgery training.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Surgery, Plastic , COVID-19/epidemiology , Fellowships and Scholarships , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Surgery, Plastic/education , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
J Craniofac Surg ; 33(6): 1820-1824, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909070

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been an unprecedented public health crisis. As hospitals took measures to increase their capacity to manage COVID-19 patients, plastic surgeons have also had to modify their routine to continue serving their vital role within the hospital environment. In an effort to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and conserve hospital resources, many plastic surgery programs drastically modified call schedules, restructured inpatient teams, triaged operative cases, and expanded telemedicine encounters. Plastic surgery programs focused on craniofacial procedures were impacted by precautionary preventative protocol and shifts in case load made to protect both the healthcare teams and the patients. At academic centers, plastic surgery trainees of all domains felt the impact of these changes. Recognizing the implications on future craniofacial surgical practice, the pandemic has made, the goal of the authors' study is to measure initial impacts of COVID-19 on plastic surgery trainees using a nationwide survey. The authors' results present the first quantitative analysis of plastic surgery trainees' exposure to COVID-19, deployment to other medical specialties, usage of personal protective equipment, and implementation of telemedicine during the pandemic. While healthcare systems have greatly adapted to pandemic complications and can anticipate vaccination, resurgence of COVID-19 cases linked to the delta variant heightens the authors' urgency in understanding the early pandemic, and its lasting impacts on healthcare. In the months following pandemic onset, telemedicine has become a mainstay in healthcare, trainees have adapted and become integrated in patient care in novel ways, and visits unable to transition to telemedical settings received substantial attention to ensure patient and provider safety. METHODS: An institutional review board-approved anonymous, multiple-choice and short-answer, Qualtrics survey regarding plastic surgery resident experiences with COVID-19 exposure. It was sent to all US plastic surgery program directors and program coordinators on April 23, 2020 with the request to distribute the survey to their residents. Residents were given the option to participate in a raffle for a $50 gift card. Outcomes measured included demographics, exposure to COVID-19, availability of resources, and adjustments to residency training practices. RESULTS: Sixty-nine plastic surgery residents throughout all years of training from 18 states responded. Gender, year of training, and location did not significantly impact these reports.Sixteen percent of residents reported covering a COVID-19 team. Twelve percent reported covering a shift not within their scope of practice. From these reports, residents mostly worked in the intensive care unit (50%) and the emergency department (29%).Half of the residents believe they were exposed to high-risk patients. This was reported in a variety of settings: the emergency department for plastic surgery consults (34%), caring for plastic surgery inpatients (16%), performing trauma reconstruction surgery (16%), cancer reconstruction surgery (12%), elective surgery (6%), and intraoperative consults (6%).Seventy-two percent of residents reported adequate access to personal protective equipment. Equipment type varied by patient exposure. When attending to a non-COVID-19 inpatient, most residents used a standard mask (62%) rather than an N95 mask (21%). N95 masks were generally used in patients with unknown COVID-19 status. Residents reported using eye and face shields when attending to non-COVID-19 ICU patients (17%), patients with unknown COVID-19 status (27%), and in the operating room (34%).Forty percent of residents implemented telemedicine to see patients for new consults, follow-up visits, postop checks, and wound checks. Eighty-five percent of residents report that they would continue to incorporate telemedicine in the future. Most significant reported barrier to using telemedicine is the limited ability to perform a physical examination (33%) followed by limited patient access to telemedicine (21%). Other challenges included poor ease of use for patients or providers, billing questions, and lack of interpersonal connection with patients. CONCLUSION: This study, to the best of the authors' knowledge, is the first to quantitatively investigate how plastic surgery residents have been affected by the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reports resident exposure to COVID-19 and their associated concerns, resident access to and perceived adequacy of personal protective equipment, as well as changes to clinical practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Surgery, Plastic , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 75(9): 3628-3651, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1894826

ABSTRACT

Acute upper limb infections represent a large proportion of on-call referrals and emergency theatre time in plastic surgery. To enable us to maintain effective service provision despite reallocation of hospital resources as a result of COVID-19, and to minimise patient exposure in a hospital setting during the pandemic, we introduced a walk-in clinic and dedicated local anaesthetic (LA) operating theatre for these infections. In this work, we sought to analyse our service changes and resulting patient outcomes. Using electronic records, data from patients presenting with upper extremity infections was collected before the pandemic from 1st January to 30th March 2020, then for a period of three months from 30th March until 30th June 2020, after our changes were implemented. Seventy-two patients were included before 30th March 2020, and 49 patients after. Prior to our changes, most patients underwent surgery (n = 58, 80.6%), requiring overnight admission (n = 64, 88.9%), following mainly general anaesthetic procedures (n = 56, 96.6%). After our service changes, a similar percentage of patients were treated operatively (n = 41, 83.7%), but these procedures mostly utilised LA (n = 37, 90.2%) in the outpatient setting (n = 25, 51.0%). Despite this shift in management approach, no statistically significant difference in readmission rates was calculated between the two groups (p = 0.556) and post-operative complications were fewer in absolute terms. Our results suggest that in many instances, these infections can be managed in an outpatient setting without the need for inpatient care. Selective admission with strict follow-up of patients may be feasible, improving patient experience and reducing resource burden.


Subject(s)
Anesthetics, General , COVID-19 , Surgery, Plastic , Anesthetics, Local , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Scotland/epidemiology , Upper Extremity/surgery
10.
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 75(5): 1696-1703, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1872942

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the functioning of global society and healthcare systems, including surgical departments. We aimed to assess alterations in plastic surgery training in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A 34-question survey was emailed in January and February 2021 to 54 National Associations of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons throughout European countries. The questions concerned the general profile of plastic surgery trainees, plastic surgery department, and training organization during the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on respondents' health. The acquisition of responses was finalized at the end of February 2021. RESULTS: All 71 of the respondents reported alterations in planned courses, workshops, and conferences. Organizational changes included team rotation 62%, followed by redeployment to another department 45.1%. Reduction in admissions to the plastic surgery departments was more significant during the 1stt wave than the 2nd wave of COVID-19 pandemics. During the interim period, admission restrictions were proportional to the infection number. The most frequently reported surgical procedures performed were skin cancer surgeries, trauma, and burns (79%, 77%, and 77%). The majority, 62% of the respondents, noticed the negative impact of pandemics on training; 53.5% think their manual skills and clinical knowledge may deteriorate because of the pandemic. Respondents noticed that their mental (50.7%) and physical (32%) health worsened, along with feeling more stressed in general (57%). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic limited plastic surgery departments' activities and implementation of the plastic surgery training program in all European countries involved in our study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Surgery, Plastic , COVID-19/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Ann Plast Surg ; 88(6): 599-605, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865043

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Integrated plastic surgery residency programs have increased their social media presence to educate and recruit prospective residents. This study aims to understand the impact of integrated plastic surgery residency program social media on the 2020 to 2021 applicants' evaluation of prospective programs, particularly during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An optional 20-item online survey was sent to integrated plastic surgery residency applicants applying to the authors' program. RESULTS: Surveys were sent to 300 integrated plastic surgery residency applicants with an average of 168 responses (56% response rate). Social media resources included official residency program website (87.1%), Instagram (70.2%), and Doximity (46.8%). The most frequently used resource by applicants was the official residency program website (43.9%); Instagram was the second most frequently used (40.2%) followed by Doximity (8.3%). Most respondents agreed that social media was an effective means to inform applicants (66.1%), and it positively impacted their perception of the program (64.8%). The cited benefits were helping the program exhibit its culture and comradery among residents, faculty, and staff (78.4%). Among applicants, 73.6% noted that it had a significant impact on their perceptions of programs. Most respondents truncated their planned plastic surgery subinternships, completing 1 instead of 3 planned subinternships because of coronavirus disease 2019 limitations. CONCLUSIONS: During the 2020 to 2021 plastic surgery application cycle, applicants used social media accounts of plastic surgery residency programs to inform and educate themselves about prospective programs. This study suggests that investing resources into a social media residency accounts is a meaningful pursuit for integrated plastic surgery programs and is an important aspect in today's recruitment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Social Media , Surgery, Plastic , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Surgery, Plastic/education
12.
Plast Reconstr Surg ; 150(1): 221e-226e, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1853301

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY: In the wake of the recent coronavirus disease of 2019 public health emergency, care delivery by means of telemedicine using audiovisual virtual platforms has become an important tool for patient communication. There are many logistic, medicolegal, and practical aspects of telemedicine that should be considered by the practicing plastic surgeon. Successful virtual patient interactions require an understanding of medical licensure requirements to perform telemedicine visits in a certain region. In addition, it is imperative to be familiar with specific liability and malpractice concerns, in addition to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations before conducting electronic visits. During consultations, providers should be aware of proper physician conduct and the potential role of chaperones. Furthermore, appropriate visit documentation, in addition to telemedicine billing and coding, has to be ensured. Lastly, plastic surgeons should adhere to the rules of controlled substance prescription by means of telemedicine platforms. This article describes these salient topics surrounding telemedicine visits that are faced by plastic surgeons and discusses strategies to optimize and ensure safe use of virtual platforms.


Subject(s)
Surgeons , Surgery, Plastic , Telemedicine , Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act , Health Policy , Humans , United States
13.
19.
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 75(9): 3608-3615, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803612

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our tertiary skin cancer service had to adapt rapidly to reduce hospital footfall. Consequently, all clinic appointments for skin cancer patients were converted to telephone consultations. This study aims to provide a comprehensive review of this new service. METHODS: This study consisted of three domains: patient and staff experience, efficacy and productivity. Patient and staff experience was assessed through prospective surveys. Efficacy of telephone appointments was assessed through prospective review of clinic coding to evaluate outcomes including rate of conversion to face-to-face appointment. Markers of treatment pathway efficacy included time from referral to surgical listing and the incidence of benign lesions placed on skin cancer pathways. Productivity was evaluated through review of the cumulative number of completed and missed appointments over a 1-month period before and during the pandemic. RESULTS: All patients were satisfied with the telephone consultation and were preferred to previous experience of face-to-face appointments by 67%. Over 80% of responding clinicians felt telephone clinics should remain as a legacy of COVID-19. Time from referral to scheduling for surgery was significantly shorter for urgent lesions when listed through a teleclinic compared to face-to-face appointment. The telephone service allowed us to maintain 46% of the plastic surgery outpatient activity of May 2019 and missed appointments almost halved. CONCLUSION: Patients and clinicians have responded positively to the new service. This study highlights the merits of an ongoing telephone clinic service for select patients on resolution of the COVID-19 impact on health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Skin Neoplasms , Surgery, Plastic , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation , Skin Neoplasms/surgery , Telephone
20.
Plast Reconstr Surg ; 149(5): 1237-1244, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ethical discourse in the scientific community facilitates the humane conduct of research. The urgent response to COVID-19 has rapidly generated a large body of literature to help policymakers and physicians address novel pandemic challenges. Plastic surgeons, in particular, have to manage the postponement of elective procedures and safely provide care for non-COVID-19 patients. Although COVID-19 research may provide guidance on these challenges, the extent to which ethical discussions are present in these publications remains unknown. METHODS: Articles were identified systematically by searching the PubMed, Embase, Central, and Scopus databases using search terms related to ethics and COVID-19. The search included articles published during the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following data were extracted: presence of an ethical discussion, date of publication, topic of ethical discussion, and scientific discipline of the article. RESULTS: One thousand seven hundred fifty-three articles were included, of which seven were related to plastic surgery. The ethical principle with the greatest representation was nonmaleficence, whereas autonomy had the least representation. Equity and access to care was the most common topic of ethical discussion; the mental health effects of COVID-19 were the least common. The principle of justice had the greatest variation in representation. CONCLUSIONS: In a systematic review of COVID-19-related articles that were published during the first 9 months of the pandemic, the ethical principles of autonomy and justice are neglected in ethical discussions. As ethical dilemmas related to COVID-19 remain prevalent in plastic surgery, attention to ethical discourse should remain a top priority for leaders in the field.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Surgery, Plastic , Beneficence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Social Justice
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