Impact of COVID-19 on Academic Activities of Ophthalmology Postgraduates: A Cross-sectional Survey
Prerana A Shetty,
PG Hostel, AJ Institute of Medical Science, Kuntikana,
Mangalore-575004, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Academics amid the lockdown in Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) outbreak have experienced massive reforms worldwide. This survey was conducted after the lockdown to evaluate its effect on academic activities in ophthalmology.
Aim: To assess the effect of lockdown and related restrictions on ophthalmology Postgraduate (PG) training programmes.
Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional survey using google forms was designed and sent to postgraduates of ophthalmology Department across India through various social media platforms for one week. A total of 45 questions were included related to ophthalmology practice, clinical opportunities, surgical training and online teaching. Data was entered in Microsoft Excel software and descriptive statistics was used to describe the results.
Results:A total of 84 postgraduates were surveyed, out of which majority were from Karnataka (n=41) followed by Kerala (n=35). Total 38 (45.2%) participants observed a reduction in Outpatient Department (OPD) patients and 78.6% decline in Operation Theatre (OT) procedures, 74 (88.10%) trainees required almost a month to restart OT and most of them 81 (96.43%) wore an N95 mask while operating. Nearly, 72 (85.7%) got Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR) test as an additional investigation for all of their patients. Majority of the responders, 81 (96.4%) felt that the webinars were helpful.
Conclusion: This survey shows that majority of the ophthalmology postgraduates (mainly in Karnataka and Kerala) felt that the COVID-19 lockdown adversely affected their curriculum learning, especially the surgical training. Most of them benefited from the webinars and other online teaching programmes. Regulatory bodies should take a note of the issue and appropriate guidelines should be setup to optimise the training loss due to this pandemic.