Impact of a global pandemic on surgical education and training-review, response, and reflection

Sabah Uddin Saqib, Omair Saleem, Amna Riaz, Qamar Riaz, Hasnain Zafar

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association 71(Suppl 1)(1):S49-S55. December 2020.


The catastrophic effects of the coronavirus disease-2019 global pandemic have revolutionised human society. The unprecedented impact on surgical training needs to be analysed in detail to achieve an understanding of how to deal with similar situations arising in the foreseeable future. The challenges faced by the surgical community initiated with the suspension of clinical activities and elective practice, and included the lack of appropriate personal protective equipment, and the self-isolation of trainees and reassignment to coronavirus patient-care regions. Together, all these elements had deleterious effects on the psychological health of the professionals. Surgical training irrespective of specialty is equally affected globally by the pandemic. However, the global crisis inadvertently has led to a few constructive adaptations in healthcare systems, including the development of tele-clinics, virtual academic sessions and conferences, and increased usage of simulation. The current review article was planned to highlight the impact of corona virus disease on surgical training and institutions’ response to the situation in order to continue surgical training, and lessons learnt from the pandemic.