Virtual orthopaedic teaching during COVID-19: Zooming around Scotland

David R W MacDonald, D W Nelly, T E McMillan, Scottish Orthopaedic Research collaborative (SCORE)

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IntroductionThe 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.MethodsA 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.ResultsThe 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.ConclusionsThe 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
JournalBulletin of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number1
Early online date31 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to acknowledge the following SCORE collaborators: Peter SE Davies, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee; Matthew Howell, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow; Stuart Goudie, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary; Sarah L Gill, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow; Arpit Jariwala, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee and George P Ashcroft, University of Aberdeen.


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