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BMJ Neurol Open


Objective: To assess perceptions of our neurology residents and faculty regarding training experience and medical education during the early COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We distributed two online, voluntary and anonymous surveys to trainees and teaching faculty of our Neurology Department at Henry Ford Hospital. Surveys inquired about trainees' stress, well-being, clinical experience and satisfaction with medical education and available support resources during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan (mid-March to June 2020).

Results: A total of 17/31 trainees and 25/42 faculty responded to the surveys. Eight (47%) trainees reported high stress levels. Nine (57%) were redeployed to cover COVID-19 units. Compared with non-redeployed trainees, redeployed residents reported augmented medical knowledge (89% vs 38%, p=0.05). There was no difference in the two groups regarding overall satisfaction with residency experience, stress levels and didactics attendance. Twenty-one (84%) faculty felt that the redeployment interfered with trainees education but was appropriate, while 10 (59%) trainees described a positive experience overall. Both trainees and faculty believed the pandemic positively impacted trainees' experience by increasing maturity level, teamwork, empathy, and medical knowledge, while both agreed that increased stress and anxiety levels were negative outcomes of the pandemic. Twelve (70%) trainees and 13 (52%) faculty were interested in pursuing more virtual didactics in the future.

Conclusion: Our findings provide an objective assessment of residents' experience during the COVID-19 pandemic and can guide teaching programmes in their medical education response in the face of future global crises.

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