The effect of the measures taken during the coronavirus pandemic on specialty trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology in the United Kingdom: an online questionnaire survey in one region (2022)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Elghobashy M; Stout A; Hatti A; *Smotra G; El-Ghobashy A

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 42(5) (pp 1455-1460), 2022. Date of Publication: 2022.

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has had unprecedented effects on healthcare delivery. A 34-question online survey was sent to obstetrics and gynaecology trainees within the West Midlands to assess the impact of the pandemic on training, working practices and well-being. 101 responses were received from obstetrics and gynaecology trainees. Trainees reported a significant reduction in both elective and emergency surgeries as well as outpatient clinics. Over one third of respondents felt additional training time may be required following reduction of clinical opportunities. 44% of trainees felt their workload increased significantly. 55% of trainees felt the pandemic had a significant negative impact on their physical and mental well-being. Obstetrics and gynaecology trainees in the West Midlands have adapted to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic despite significant impact on their training, working practices and wellbeing. It is important to tailor training to improve trainees' education and combat lost training time during the pandemic. This should be considered for long-term shaping of the obstetrics and gynaecology training pathway. IMPACT STATEMENT What is already known on this subject? Little research is available about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on obstetrics and gynaecology trainees. This is the first study of its kind to assess the effect of the pandemic on obstetrics ang gynaecology trainees in the United Kingdom. What do the results of this study add? The results of this study have shown that obstetrics and gynaecology training has been heavily affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been significant impacts on their training, working patterns and physical and mental wellbeing. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? These findings can be used to mould the obstetrics and gynaecology training pathway based on the feedback given by the trainees during the pandemic. The survey questions can also be utilised as a framework for similar research projects across the United Kingdom Deaneries, among other specialties and around the world.