Virtual orthopaedic teaching during COVID-19: Zooming around Scotland

David R. W. MacDonald, David W. Neilly, T. E. McMillan, Iain M. Stevenson, ,

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    Introduction: The restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown have resulted in a switch from face-to-face formal teaching for Scottish orthopaedic trainees to virtual teaching. The aim of this study was to determine the availability and acceptability of this online teaching as reported by trainees themselves.

    Methods: A 20-question web-based survey was distributed to orthopaedic trainees in all four training regions in Scotland. A total of 71 respondents completed the survey.

    Results: The average amount of formal teaching available to trainees increased during the COVID-19 lockdown, with significantly more respondents stating that they received ≥4 hours of teaching per week (p=0.012). The average amount of consultant-led teaching also increased since lockdown, with significantly more trainees saying they received 2–3 hours (p=0.017) or ≥4 hours (p<0.0001) of teaching per week. There was no significant difference in the proportion of teaching opportunities that respondents were able to attend before and during lockdown but the barriers to attending teaching changed. Online teaching was highly acceptable to trainees, with 94% of those surveyed rating teaching quality and relevance as 8, 9 or 10 out of 10. The vast majority (96%) of respondents felt that virtual teaching should continue to be a part of formal trainee teaching in their region.

    Conclusions: The switch from face-to-face to online formal teaching since the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased availability of formal teaching to Scottish orthopaedic trainees. The virtual teaching received has been highly acceptable to trainees.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-49
    Number of pages6
    JournalThe Bulletin of Royal College of Surgeons
    Issue number1
    Early online date31 Dec 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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