Published: 2021-09-28

Pandemic and medical education of surgical residents in a tertiary care hospital in India: a cross-sectional study

Raghul Sekar, Arun Alexander, Kalaiarasi Raja, Sunil Kumar Saxena


Background: COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous changes in the functioning of residency training. The impact was maximal on surgical residents whose hands-on training was affected. This study aimed to assess the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on medical education and training of surgical residents. 

Methods: A single institutional cross-sectional survey was conducted in a large tertiary care hospital in India. It included residents in various surgical specialties. The survey was divided into six sections to cover all the aspects of their residency.

Results: Out of 106 residents who participated in the study, 95 (59.3%) had worked in the dedicated COVID-19 facility, and 97 (91.5%) feared transmitting the infection to their family members. There was a considerable reduction in both elective and emergency surgeries performed by residents (p<0.05).

There was a significant reduction in the working hours per day, helping residents get more time for research work. Further Maslach burnout inventory score was 7.43±2.35 after the pandemic, which shows a statistically significant reduction (p<0.001) in residents' burnout.

Conclusions: Surgical residents had to balance their residency training with caring for COVID-19 patients. There had been a decrease in their hands-on training, clinical exposure, and working hours. Both theoretical and practical training of surgical residents has been affected during this pandemic. This survey can be used as a tool to improve the lives of surgical residents in any pandemic situation or during further waves of COVID-19.


Surgery, Residents, Residency, COVID-19, India

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