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The impact coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the healthcare profession is undeniable. The abrupt halt in elective procedures and shift in attention and resources has left many practitioners frustrated but eager to help their patients. Added concerns regarding limited PPE, shortage of staff and increasing pressure on an already pressured system are only some of the trepidations facing practitioners.
Amid the many uncertainties practitioners have, trainees also have an additional worry regarding their training and how this will impact them in the future. The bearing COVID-19 has had on clinical activity means that many patients being treated and prepared for cases will be delayed, target case numbers and important clinical exposure will reduce, negatively impacting trainee’s progression. Additionally, redeployment into other area of the trust to aid with the response to COVID-19 may divert trainees’ attention from their own speciality. With royal colleges already cancelling and postponing courses and exams, this adds the stress on trainees approaching the end of the pathway across all specialities.
There is no doubt that all resources should and will be directed into ensuring facilities and measures to protect the safety and well-being of patients. However, a structure needs to be developed to account for the disruption in training COVID-19 has caused and facilitate the progression of the trainees without compromising the quality and integrity of the respected specialities.