Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education of plastic surgery trainees in the United States

Alireza Hamidian Jahromi, Alisa Arnautovic, Petros Konofaos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The current COVID-19 pandemic has vastly impacted the health care system in the United States, and it is continuing to dictate its unprecedented influence on the education systems, especially the residency and fellowship training programs. The impact of COVID-19 on these training programs has not been uniform across the board, with plastic surgery residency and fellowship programs among the hardest hit specialties. Implementation of social distancing regulations has affected departmental educational activities, including preoperative, morbidity and mortality conferences and journal clubs; operating room educational activities; as well as the overall education of plastic surgery trainees in the United States. Almost all elective and semielective surgeries across the United States were suspended for a few months during the COVID-19 pandemic; this constitutes a significant portion of plastic surgery cases. Considering the current staged reopening policies, it may be a long time, if ever, before restrictions are completely lifted. In this paper, we review the multidimensional impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the training programs of plastic surgery residents and fellows in the United States and worldwide, along with some potential solutions on how to address existing challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22045
JournalJMIR Medical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Education
  • Impact
  • Plastic surgery fellowship
  • Plastic surgery residency
  • Surgery residency
  • Trainee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Medicine


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