Back to Journals » Clinical Ophthalmology » Volume 14

Residents’ Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Saudi Ophthalmology Training Programs-A Survey

Authors Alahmadi AS, Alhatlan HM, Bin Helayel H, Khandekar R, Al Habash A, Al-Shahwan S

Received 21 September 2020

Accepted for publication 15 October 2020

Published 3 November 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 3755—3761

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S283073

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Adel Salah Alahmadi,1,2 Hatlan M Alhatlan,3 Halah Bin Helayel,4 Rajiv Khandekar,4 Ahmed Al Habash,5 Sami Al-Shahwan6,7

1Vitreoretinal Division, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Ophthalmology, MOH, Madinah, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Ophthalmology, King Fahad Hospital, MOH, Hofuf, Saudi Arabia; 4Research Department, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; 6Glaucoma Division, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 7Residency and Fellowship Office, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Ahmed Al Habash
Department of Ophthalmology, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, King Fahd Hospital of the University, King Faisal Road, Dammam 31952, Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 138966666 Ext 1323
Fax +966 138966770
Email [email protected]

Purpose: To evaluate the impact of the current pandemic on ophthalmology residency training in Saudi Arabia, focusing on its effects on clinical education, training, and the mental well-being of the trainees.
Methods: An online self-administered questionnaire was distributed among residents in the Saudi ophthalmology training programs between July 7 and 14, 2020. In this study, we explored residents’ opinions regarding training disruption and virtual education. The patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to assess the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their mental health. We used descriptive statistics for data analysis.
Results: Out of 183 registered ophthalmology residents, 142 participated in this study. Ninety-six participants (35.4%) were rotated at a specialized eye hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 52 (19.2%) had rotations in the ophthalmology department at general hospitals. Those who rotated in both types of hospitals were 123 (45.4%). According to the participants, there was a significant decline in exposure to surgical and office-based procedures compared to emergency eye consultations (Friedman P < 0.001). The COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on mental health was reported by 100 (70.5%) participants. Eighty-five (55.4%) respondents were satisfied with the virtual method of education.
Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted residents’ clinical and surgical training in the Saudi ophthalmology training programs. Additionally, we believe that COVID-19 may have a negative impact on trainees’ mental health. Fortunately, the current pandemic provided an innovative education method that will likely be used even after the pandemic.

Keywords: ophthalmology training, curriculum, outbreak, mental health, Saudi Arabia, Residency training program, COVID-19, medical education

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]