Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on practical activities and didactic teaching of residents and fellows. This survey aimed to propose long-term changes for ophthalmology training based on the changes experienced by trainees and their perception of new training opportunities. Methods: An online survey was distributed to ophthalmology trainees in multiple countries. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Results: A total of 504 analyzable responses were collected from 32 different countries. The current impact of COVID-19 pandemic was described as “severe” by most trainees (55.2%); however, the future perspective was more optimistic as demonstrated by the greater number of responses reporting a presumed “moderate” (37.3%), “mild” (14.1%) or “slight” (4.2%) long-term impact. The vast majority of trainees reported a decrease ≥50% of clinical activity (76.4%) and >75% of surgical activity (74.6%). Although an initial gap in didactic teaching has been experienced by many (55.4%), regular web-based teaching was reportedly attended by 67.7% of the respondents. A strong agreement was found regarding the worthwhile role of web-based case-presentations in clinical training (91.7%), web-based discussion of edited surgical videos (85.7%) and simulation-based practice (86.9%) in surgical training. Conclusions: This survey, focusing on trainees’ perspective, strongly reinforces the need to promptly include new technology-based training tools, such as web-based teaching, virtual surgical simulators, and telementoring, in long-term reorganisation of ophthalmology training to ensure its continuity and effectiveness, which would remain available even in the face of another unpredictable crisis within the health system.
Field of Science
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database