[The COVID-pandemic and specialist training in Head and Neck oncology: A Survey among Physicians].

Laryngo- rhino- otologie(2024)

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Abstract
OBJECTIVE:The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the healthcare system and medical education. In this publication, the influence of the pandemic on the education of physicians active in Head and Neck oncology was examined using a survey. METHODS:A survey comprising 53 questions was conducted to gather data on work settings, daily activities, team events, and educational aspects during the pandemic. A total of 497 oncologists participated, including 131 individuals working in the field of Head and Neck oncology. This subgroup consisted of 99 (75.6%) radiation oncologists, 10 (7.6%) maxillofacial specialists, and 22 (16.8%) otolaryngologists. RESULTS:Nearly half of the participants reported experiencing increased clinical burden, which resulted in reduced engagement in scientific activities. Digital platforms became the predominant mode of continuing education, albeit with reduced accessibility. The pandemic significantly impacted clinical training that involved direct patient interaction. On the other hand, positive effects were observed in terms of cost and availability for external educational events such as conferences. CONCLUSION:The findings highlight the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on various aspects of medical education. While digitalization has accelerated in response, many physicians expressed a lack of professional interaction. Developing alternative digital learning platforms can provide a means to better cope with similar situations in the future. However, the importance of personal contact with colleagues and supervisors should not be overlooked when considering the quality of teaching.
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