Urology Residency Training During the Pandemic: A Review of the Current Literature
Background: Since COVID–19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, health care systems worldwide have
been under significant strain. Although urology is not on the frontline of care for patients with COVID-19, every
practicing urologist has been affected by the global outbreak. The objective of this review is to evaluate the impact of COVID–19 pandemic on urology residency training programs.
Methods: We reviewed the current evidence on urology residency training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Relevant databases (MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane Library) were searched for articles published to June 2021 that
included residents’ or directors’ opinions on their residency training programs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Results: The literature search identified 72 articles. Fifteen studies including more than 2500 residents were eligible for inclusion in the analysis. During the pandemic, learning activities carried out by urology residents have been extensively affected. Worldwide, operation volume has decreased, especially for procedures in which residents were directly involved. Similarly, there has been a decline in most academic activities, and many studies have reported the negative impact on residents’ mental well-being and lifestyle. On the other hand, the lockdown provided an opportunity to review the current training system and to increase the implementation of tools such as telemedicine and smart-learning surgical skill training programs.
Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant changes in urology residency programs
worldwide, which have had a negative impact on surgical training and academic activities. Residents’ well-being
and mental health have also been put at risk. However, this unprecedented situation has also generated new online learning modalities and technological innovations in the field of training in urology.
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