How Covid Has Affected Residency Programs
Many organizations have faced challenges during the last two years due to covid. The pandemic has brought on mass unemployment, disruptions and setbacks in small business growth, and issues in supply chain, to name a few. The world-wide crisis has shown no discrimination to the public health sector either. Covid has not only brought on major economic turmoil, but it has also shifted the needs and goals among hospitals everywhere. Additionally, educational and residency programs have had to pivot too. Residents have had to learn how to focus on both their education and their service in the hospital, during a season of monumental illness.
Medical students, interns, and residents have the difficult task of balancing their education with new risks presented by covid. With cases at an all-time high, many residency programs have reduced bedside time and triaged into a more virtual learning experience. With medicine being so hands-on, this may create an obstacle to finding true success in the field. With this, you may ask, “Are residents getting the best educational experience now verses a few years ago?” That remains to be seen, as it is still early to determine. It is worth discussing though, whether residency programs today are facing a setback or not because of recent changes. One thing to remember is that residents are still learning and are under training. This means they are not hospitalists or generalists yet and need to be under supervision when on the job. With a more virtual-based curriculum and limited exposure due to critically ill covid patients, adjusting can be laborious.
Another challenge residents are facing is their lack of community. With social distancing and various other measures in place, medical students can feel a bit disconnected. In a normal setting, residents are able to build powerful relationships in the workplace. With the shift in concern for covid, those relationships are harder to form and keep up with. As residency programs during covid continue to evolve, many residents are hopeful to safety return to a more normal routine sooner than later, which includes participation in the classroom, clinical rotations, leadership training, and small group activities.
One other area that is proving to be tricky during this unique season is recruitment. Due to a lower number of in-person interviews being conducted and expectations being shared upfront of a virtual workplace, applicants can easily become overwhelmed and decide to hold off for the time being, or transition into another area of practice other than hospital medicine. On the other hand, one positive that has come from being more virtual is the fact that residents generally spend less on lodging, food, or other significant travel expenses when interviewing for multiple positions. Since the expectations are still foggy with no real clear outlook on the horizon, recruitment is one of those things that will have to be monitored as covid continues to unfold.
As we carry on and navigate the changes that covid will bring, residency and educational programs in the medical field will expectedly go through revisionary periods. As a result, these programs will either get stronger, or will need to make necessary adjustments to meet the needs of students, practitioners, and patients alike. We are hopeful that the future remains bright for our residents, the team of professionals behind them, and the patients they are all here to treat and serve. If we can take away anything from this experience, it is that our medical force is adaptable, strong, and resilient.
Learn More About Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH)
ACH is a Lakeland-based hospitalist group providing comprehensive patient care in community hospitals across Central Florida. Our providers are highly skilled, board-certified internal medicine specialists who are available around-the-clock to meet the care needs of patients from hospital admission through discharge. Post-discharge from the hospital, we continue overseeing patient care for 30 days.
We’ve found that continued care coordination ensures more accurate medication reconciliation, improved compliance with discharge plans, better scheduling of follow-up visits, and fewer hospital readmissions. Our providers do everything in their power to make sure our patients receive the compassionate and comprehensive care they need to promote healing and prevent a second hospital admission.
For more information about our services and our practice, please contact Advanced Care Hospitalists at 863-816-5884 or fill out a contact form online.