Videos, webinars and lots of feedback: Medical training’s shift amid COVID-19

Because hands-on learning and in-person simulations have been so altered during the coronavirus pandemic, there is now high demand for updated training videos, not just for early-career doctors, called interns and residents, but for seasoned doctors now encountering a totally new disease in COVID-19. 

Film still of an intubation training video of a medical dummy and medical students in a hospital room

There’s an adage in medical residency training for learning how to do procedures: “See one, do one, teach one.” In the COVID-19 era, “see one” is increasingly looking like this: training videos. Additionally, there are also online conferences to impart best practices on how to operate in a substantially different medical environment that discourages some of the typical hands-on learning in order to prioritize the safety of doctors in training.

It’s important to make sure everyone who doesn’t need to be in a room is cleared out, and that everyone involved has talked through and prepared with the necessary personal protective equipment, notes Dane Scantling, a trauma/critical care fellow at Penn Medicine who was on a COVID unit in April.

As a result, only the most experienced residents perform intubations of COVID-positive patients. Keeping staff trained and informed during the pandemic has posed an ongoing challenge.

“We have daily meetings with our chief, running through a list of topics on COVID-19,” Scantling says. “It’s been a lot of coordinating and battle planning. It’s a new and different experience from what was planned for my fellowship.”

This story is by Frank Otto. Read more at Penn Medicine News.