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Effect of COVID-19 on training and mental health of oral medicine residents in North America.

Abstract

Objective

The objective of this study was to assess resident and faculty perception of the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on the training experience, education, and psychological well-being of oral medicine (OM) residents.

Study design

An anonymous 16-item online questionnaire was e-mailed to faculty and residents of all Commission on Dental Accreditation-accredited OM residency programs in North America. Survey questions asked about the pandemic's effect on resident educational, clinical, and research activities and the well-being of the residents. Survey data were collected using Qualtrics XM.

Results

Forty participants (52.5% residents and 47.5% faculty members) responded to the survey. Regarding the effect on clinical activities, 67.5% reported 50% or less reduction in patient volume seen by residents at its worst during the pandemic. With respect to educational activities, most reported a complete switch of didactic training (85.3%), academic examinations (60%), and off-site resident rotations (45%) to a virtual platform. Research activities were affected the most; 55% reported complete cessation for some time. Thirty-three percent perceived a negative effect, 18% perceived no effect, 11% perceived a positive effect, and 38% were unsure regarding the effect of coronavirus disease 2019 on resident morale. Despite the interruptions in the clinical, research, and educational activities, 62.5% expected on-time resident graduation.

Conclusion

Despite constraints due to the pandemic, OM residency programs successfully continued clinical activities, didactic training, and research productivity through virtual means and a hybrid delivery care model while supporting their residents' morale.

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