Allergy/Immunology Trainee Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic: AAAAI Work Group Report of the Fellows-in-Training Committee

Basil M. Kahwash, Deepti R. Deshpande, Canting Guo, Christine M. Panganiban, Hannah Wangberg, Timothy J. Craig

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15 Scopus citations


As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic, medical trainees have faced unique challenges and uncertainties. To capture the experiences of allergy and immunology fellows throughout the United States and Canada during this time, a 17-item electronic questionnaire was distributed to 380 fellow-in-training (FIT) members of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology enrolled in US and Canadian allergy/immunology fellowship programs. Voluntary and anonymous responses were collected from April 15 to May 15, 2020. In addition to summary statistics, categorical data were compared using χ2 tests (Fisher's exact). Responses were obtained from FITs across all years of training and primary specialties (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Medicine-Pediatrics) with a response rate of 32.6% (124 of 380). Reassignment to COVID-19 clinical responsibilities was reported by 12% (15 of 124) of FITs, with the largest proportion in the US northeast region. A majority of FITs used telehealth (95%) and virtual learning (82%) during the pandemic. Overall, 21% (25 of 120) of FITs expressed concern about potentially lacking clinical experience for independently practicing allergy and immunology. However, FITs using telehealth reported lower concern compared with those who did not (18.4% [21 of 114] vs 66.7% [4 of 6]; P = .01). The survey shows that allergy and immunology trainee experiences have varied considerably since the COVID-19 outbreak. Notably, the adoption of telehealth and virtual learning was commonly reported, and optimization of these virtual experiences will be helpful. Even outside of pandemics, training on the use of telemedicine may be a sound strategy in preparation for future health care delivery and unexpected events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6.e1
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy


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