Graduate Medical Education in Pathology/Cytopathology Training Programs During Times of Social Distancing: Experience of Latin America and Spain

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Conference Proceeding

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Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has made training in pathology/ cytology a global challenge. Programs have had to implement remote training and teaching methods during these times of social distancing without creating gaps in education. We document herein the experience of Latin America and Spain in overcoming the challenge in educating pathology trainees. Materials and Methods: A survey was created (Table 1) using google form to evaluate pathology residency and fellowship training during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was made available to Latin-America and Spain through the respective countries’ pathological societies and social media platforms. Results: 47 responses were obtained from 9 countries (Table 2). 27(57%) responses indicated that the trainees worked remotely while 20 worked in the hospital. The various virtual formats included trainee presentations 11 (37%), unknown case presentation 5 (17%), monthly/weekly evaluation (4 (13%) and feedback evaluation 10 (33%). Telepathology was used in 25 (53%) and digitalized slides in 18 (38%). 35 (74%) of the responders complemented the education with national and international websites. At the present time trainees of 43 (91%) of the surveyed programs have been vaccinated. 32 (68%) have returned to traditional training with reviewing cases at microscope. 26 (56%) of the surveyed considered the training inadequate, 18 (38%) about the same and 3 (6%) improved. 44 (94%) agreed that education could be improved by increased access to virtual courses and/or virtual slide review while 3 (6%) considered that virtual conferences would improve the training. Conclusions: Several countries are not represented and other underrepresented which limits this project. Attempts are to be made to build virtual courses and establish virtual slide review capabilities to maintain the same standard of graduate education in pathology remotely as in person training.





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