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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 80-81

Experience of surgeon in training in COVID Era

Department of General and Laparoscopic Surgery, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission20-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance03-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication22-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ravi Bhushan Jha Rajeev
A63/b Mohan Garden Gurudwara Road, Nazafgarh Road, New Delhi - 110 059
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCS.IJCS_7_20

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How to cite this article:
Rajeev RB, Kinra M. Experience of surgeon in training in COVID Era. Indian J Colo-Rectal Surg 2019;2:80-1

How to cite this URL:
Rajeev RB, Kinra M. Experience of surgeon in training in COVID Era. Indian J Colo-Rectal Surg [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Dec 2];2:80-1. Available from: https://www.ijcrsonweb.org/text.asp?2019/2/3/80/295858

I was privileged enough to be in a surgical residency program in an advanced tertiary care hospital under best mentor one can wish for. Early morning ward rounds, daily progress notes, case presentations, and weekend academic seminars were the usual daily routines. Assisting in operation theater, watching seniors doing meticulous surgery, and learning the tips and tricks were my favorite parts of daily routine. There is a saying that “surgeon is a physician who can operate,” but we usually ignored this aspect of surgery. My mentor emphasized the importance of medical and physiological basis of surgery almost on a daily basis.[1] It never felt so important until today.

The global coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic thwacked nearly every aspect of personal and professional life since the first case was reported in New Delhi on March 2, 2020. In a matter of few days, things changed drastically. Cases were rapidly increasing despite the countrywide lockdown. Being a chirurgien, we were neither trained nor prepared for this unprecedented time. However, emphasis on medical aspects of teaching in surgical patients suddenly became necessary lessons in these times as we were always involved in COVID care directly or indirectly.

Inpatient volume reduced as hospitals prepared for the surge of COVID-19 cases and potential reallocation of residents into COVID ward and fever clinic duty. As the number of elective cases dropped, surgical resident duty rosters were modified in a manner to mitigate resident exposure and risk, while also allowing for backup options in case any resident falls ill or comes under quarantine. Surgical cases were restricted to a single resident to preserve personal protection equipment (PPE). Ward rounds include only the necessary personnel in person, and communication is largely moving to electronic forms and daily progress notes are being sent to senior consultants for whetting.

Surgical training is a combination of didactic conferences and experiences, as well as hands-on surgical education. When in-person didactics are canceled and surgical volume is significantly reduced, how does a surgical trainee is supposed to fill the deficit?

Fortunately, The Association of Colorectal Surgeon of India swiftly and appropriately responded in these unprecedented times by conducting more frequent webinars, video-based education, and virtual simulation for surgical residents. Initially, we were not accustomed to it, but soon, we realized it as an opportunity to embrace technological advances in internet learning and simulation. It does not only help to overcome the deficit in surgical training, but it also helps to fill the gap in academic institutional differences.

Despite taking all precautions, I along with one of my resident colleagues came COVID-19 positive in the 3rd week of May 2020. From working as a resident to be admitted as a patient, it was a journey to the other side. My symptoms were mild and resolved soon.

Down the road, situations such as COVID-19 will evoke us to reanalyze routines and traditions. What are the new practices that are being innovated during the COVID-19 pandemic can be adopted more broadly to enhance academic and clinical experiences. How new technology and other innovations will serve as a tool for medical care and clinical learning in the future? Likewise, promoting noncontact digital payment methods are now helping us to reduce spread of infection.[2]

Surgical education is based upon the strong tradition of passing the beacon of knowledge from one generation to the next. Despite experiencing considerable loss of routines and traditions, educational and hands-on opportunities, loss of social structure, and many witnessing the frequent loss of life, we will continue with unyielding belief on core medical principles, professionalism, altruism, and quality with safety.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Agarwal BB, Agarwal N, Dhamija N, Chintamani. Mentoring in Surgery-Mentor, Parshuram, Dronacharya, Krishan. Indian J Surg 2018;80:81-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
Agarwal N, Chintamani. Cashless, tech-savvy future surgeon. Indian J Surg 2016;78:171-2.  Back to cited text no. 2


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