Capturing the Perspective of Prospective Urology Applicants: Impacts of COVID-19 on Medical Education. Urology Hanson, K. A., Borofsky, M. S., Lindsay, A. H., Breyer, B. N., Kern, N. G., Conti, S. L., Kielb, S. J., Sorensen, M. D. 2020


OBJECTIVE: To capture the perspective of prospective urology applicants experiencing unique challenges in the context of COVID-19.METHODS: A voluntary, anonymous survey was distributed online, assessing the impact of COVID-19 on a large sample of US medical students planning to apply to urology residencies. Themes of (1) specialty discernment, (2) alterations to medical education, and (3) the residency application process were explored.RESULTS: A total of 238 medical students, 87% third- and fourth- years, responded to the survey. While 85% indicated that the pandemic had not deterred their specialty choice, they noted substantial impacts on education, including 82% reporting decreased exposure to urology. Nearly half of students reported changes to required rotations and 35% reported changes to urology-specific rotations at their home institutions. Students shared concerns about suspending in-person experiences, including the impact on letters of recommendation (68% "very concerned) and program choice (73% "very concerned"). Looking to the possibility of virtual interactions, students identified the importance of small group and one-on-one communication with residents (83% "very important") and opportunities to learn about hospital facilities (72% "very important").CONCLUSIONS: Despite the impacts of COVID-19 on medical education, prospective urology applicants appear to remain confident in their specialty choice. Students' biggest concerns involve disruption of away rotations, including impacts on obtaining letters of recommendation and choosing a residency program.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.urology.2020.09.027

View details for PubMedID 33007312