No long-term effect of COVID-19 on surgery c

August 23, 2022After the start of the COVID-19 pandemicurology training programs have seen a dramatic drop in opportunities for residents to gain hands-on surgical experience, reports a study conducted in Urology practice®an official journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

However, the volume of surgeries rebounded the following year, suggesting no lasting setback for the current class of urologists-in-training, according to the report by Michael Callegari, MD, of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and his associates. colleagues.

Upward trend in resident case volumes resumes after COVID-related decline

Researchers analyzed publicly available data on urology resident case registries from July 2015 to June 2021. Resident procedure data is compiled annually by the Accreditation Council for Higher Medical Education (ACGME ), which is responsible for accrediting all medical education programs in the United States. doctors.

In 2020-2021, there were 145 accredited urology training programs in the United States, including a total of 1,768 trainees. To complete their training, urology residents must perform a specified minimum number of procedures in various categories including general urology, endourology/stone disease, reconstructive surgery, oncology (cancer), pediatric procedures major and minor procedures and laparoscopic (minimally invasive) procedures.

From 2015 to 2019, the average number of cases increased by approximately 26 cases per year for urology residents, all categories of procedures combined. But as in virtually all surgical specialties, the number of procedures fell sharply with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

During the first year of the pandemic, the annual average fell by about 67 cases. “However, in 2021, case volume increased significantly at the same rate as expected if there had been no disruption in 2020,” Dr. Callegari and colleagues write. Thus, the disruptions related to COVID-19 appeared to be specific to 2019-20.

Changes in caseload varied across the different intervention categories. Laparoscopic surgery – which includes robot-assisted procedures – showed the biggest decrease in 2020, followed by the biggest increase in 2021.

Practical surgical experience is an irreplaceable part of the training of physicians preparing to specialize in urology. Ensuring the continued progress of current residents is essential in a time of anticipated shortages of urologists in the years to come.

Based on the rapid recovery in case volumes after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, “[U]Urology residents did not experience prolonged harm in terms of case volume or surgical training, underscoring the essential nature and high demand for urology care across the country,” conclude Dr. Callegari and colleagues. They note that further studies will be needed to confirm that the increased opportunities for residents are “really a return to pre-pandemic case volume rates or a transient increase due to the shift in procedures from 2020 to 2021.”

Click here to read “Impact and Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Urology Education”

DOI: 10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000317


About Urology practice

An official journal of the American Urological Association (AUA), Urology practice focuses on clinical trends, challenges and practical applications in the four areas of business, health policy, specialty and patient care. Information that can be used in daily practice will be provided to the urological community via peer-reviewed clinical practice articles (including best practices, reviews, clinical guidelines, selected clinical trials, editorials and white papers ), “research letters” (short original studies with an important clinical message), the affairs of urology practice, health policy issues in urology, education and training in urology, and the content for members of the urology care team.

About the American Urological Association

Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is one of the leading advocates for the specialty of urology and has more than 23,000 members worldwide. The AAU is a leading urological association, providing invaluable support to the urological community in pursuit of its mission to promote the highest standards of urological care through education, research and formulation of health care policy. health. To learn more about the AAU, visit:

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Christine E. Phillips