Cureus (01/08/2023) Grissom, Thomas; Samet, Ron E.; Hodge, Caleb B.; et al.
Researchers reviewed the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on a U.S. anesthesiology training program in terms of overall case volume, subspecialty exposure, procedural skill experience and airway management. The retrospective study evaluated surgical and anesthesia case data at two facilities during the first eight months of 2019 and 2020. Fifty-two residents were enrolled in the training program in 2019 and 46 in 2020. For 2020, date ranges were classified as Pre-Pandemic (PP), Early Pandemic (EP), Recovery 1 (R1) and Recovery 2 (R2). A total of 15,087 cases were performed between January 1 and August 30, 2020, with 5,598 in the PP phase, 1,570 in the EP phase, 1,451 n the R1 phase and 6,269 in the R2 phase. Patients in the R2 phase were significantly younger than those in the PP phase, and there were slightly more male patients in the EP phase before this abated in R2. Case volume declined substantially in the 2020 EP phase compared with the corresponding 2019 period. Additionally, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-mandated minimum cases decreased during the EP phase versus 2019 data for pediatric cases and cardiopulmonary bypass cases. Surgical subspecialty case volumes excluding transplant surgery also declined, while all subspecialty volumes other than plastic surgery and surgical endoscopy had recovered by R2. The researchers observe that the ability to resume training operations has normalized with improved procedures and resource availability.