Past, present and future of the national surgical residency program: residents' concerns and post COVID-19 pandemic preparedness


  • Muhammad Zaeem Khalid Department of Surgery, Surgical Unit I, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Haroon Javaid Majid Department of Surgery, Surgical Unit I, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Imran Anwar Department of Surgery, Surgical Unit II, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Junaid Azad Department of Surgery, Surgical Unit I, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan



COVID-19, Pandemic, Surgery, Training, Personal protective equipment


Background: The pandemic affected the day-to-day routine of millions of people, with the healthcare sector being at the frontline.  The surgical units have seen a drastic decrease in the amount of patient load, elective surgical procedures, and consequently a decrease in the quality of surgical training.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-structured questionnaire, containing questions about concerns during COVID-19 Pandemic, availability of PPEs and the effect of surgical training during the pandemic, administered on already enrolled surgical trainees of major tertiary care hospitals of the country. A total of 207 surgical trainees were conveniently enrolled in this descriptive study. 

Results: Out of a total of 207 surgical trainees, 41.7% were first-year residents, 37.9% were second-year, 1.9% were third, 4.4% were forth and 14.1% were fifth-year surgical trainees. 62.6% of doctors reported that their stress levels have increased, most of them were worried about transmitting the infection to their families and vulnerable patients (p<0.01). 56.4% of surgical trainees reported being satisfied with their department’s response to the pandemic, 30.1% doctors said that the testing capacity was insufficient but 60.7% were satisfied with the support of their own hospital. Only 1.9% of doctors were satisfied from their training during the pandemic (p<0.01)

Conclusions: The system needs an urgent improvement in the provision of safety measures, an increase in the use of technology for the purpose of training and an easy provision of psychological support to trainees.


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Original Research Articles