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Author Notes:

Mary E. Klingensmith, Email: klingensmithm@wustl.edu

Disclosure: None


Research Funding:

The project described was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through grant number UL1 TR001860 for author CMT. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.


  • Social Sciences
  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Education, Scientific Disciplines
  • Surgery
  • Education & Educational Research
  • Surgical Education
  • COVID-19
  • Virtual Learning
  • medical knowledge
  • practice-based learning and improvement
  • systems-based practice

Multi-institutional Collaborative Surgery Education Didactics: Virtual Adaptations During a Global Pandemic

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Journal Title:



Volume 78, Number 4


, Pages 1340-1344

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted graduate medical education, impacting Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-mandated didactics. We aimed to study the utility of 2 methods of virtual learning: the daily National Surgery Resident Lecture Series (NSRLS), and weekly “SCORE School” educational webinars designed around the Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE) curriculum. Design and Setting: NSRLS: The National Surgery Resident Lecture Series was a daily virtual educational session initially led by faculty at an individual surgical residency program. Thirty-eight lectures were assessed for number of live viewings (March 23, 2020-May 15, 2020). SCORE School: Attendance at eleven weekly SCORE educational webinars was characterized into live and asynchronous viewings (May 13, 2020-August 5, 2020). Each 1-hour live webinar was produced by SCORE on a Wednesday evening and featured nationally recognized surgeon educators using an online platform that allowed for audience interaction. Results: NSRLS: There were a mean of 71 live viewers per NSRLS session (range 19-118). Participation began to decline in the final 2 weeks as elective case volumes increased, but sessions remained well-attended. SCORE School: There were a range of 164-3889 live viewers per SCORE School session. Sessions have most commonly been viewed asynchronously (89.8% of viewings). Live viewership decreased as the academic year ended and then rebounded with the start of the new academic year (range 4.9%-27%). Overall, the eight webinars were viewed 11,135 times. Each webinar continues to be viewed a mean of 43 times a day (range 0-102). Overall, the eleven webinars have been viewed a total of 22,722 times. Conclusions: Virtual didactics aimed at surgical residents are feasible, well-attended (both live and recorded), and have high levels of viewer engagement. We have observed that careful coordination of timing and topics is ideal. The ability for asynchronous viewing is particularly important for attendance. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt healthcare systems, training programs must continue to adapt to education via virtual platforms.
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