General surgery chief residents’ perspective on surgical education during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic

Jian Zheng, Mautin Hundeyin, Katherine He, Teviah Sachs, Donald T. Hess, Edward Whang, Gentian Kristo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has negatively affected the training of general surgery chief residents during the last trimester of their residency. Our goal was to evaluate the educational concerns of graduating general surgery chief residents during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Methods: An anonymous web-based survey was distributed between March 31 and April 7, 2020 to all current general surgery chief residents from 6 academic medical centers in Boston, Massachusetts. Interviews were also conducted with attending surgeons from participating institutions. Results: A total of 24 of 39 general surgery chief residents participated in our survey (61.5% response rate). General surgery chief residents were most concerned about the potential delay in the date of board examinations, followed by not feeling adequately prepared for the board examinations and a possible delay in the graduation date. Whereas not having enough cases to feel ready for fellowship or job and not achieving a sufficient number of cases to meet the requirements for graduation were only moderately concerning to chief residents, attending surgeons stressed a greater importance on the loss of the operative experience as nearly all (93.3%) of them suggested a personalized approach for additional general surgery training during fellowship or job onboarding. Conclusion: In addition to the dramatic impact on public health, the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak has also caused unprecedented changes to surgical education. Therefore, creative interventions are needed to help general surgery chief residents successfully transition into the next phase of their surgical career.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-225
Number of pages4
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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