The impact of the global SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic on neuroanesthesiology fellowship programs worldwide and the potential future role for ICPNT accreditation

Shobana Rajan, John Bebawy, Rafi Avitsian, Chanhung Z. Lee, Girija Rath, Astri Luoma, Federico Bilotta, John T. Pierce, William A. Kofke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background:The COVID-19 pandemic is an international crisis placing tremendous strain on medical systems around the world. Like other specialties, neuroanesthesiology has been adversely affected and training programs have had to quickly adapt to the constantly changing environment.Methods:An email-based survey was used to evaluate the effects of the pandemic on clinical workflow, clinical training, education, and trainee well-being. The impact of the International Council on Perioperative Neuroscience Training (ICPNT) accreditation was also assessed.Results:Responses were received from 14 program directors (88% response rate) in 10 countries and from 36 fellows in these programs. Clinical training was adversely affected because of the cancellation of elective neurosurgery and other changes in case workflow, the introduction of modified airway and other protocols, and redeployment of trainees to other sites. To address educational demands, most programs utilized online platforms to organize clinical discussions, journal clubs, and provide safety training modules. Several initiatives were introduced to support trainee well-being during the pandemic. Feelings of isolation and despair among trainees varied from 2 to 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10). Fellows all reported concerns that their clinical training had been adversely affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic because of decreased exposure to elective subspecialty cases and limited opportunities to complete workplace-based assessments and training portfolio requirements. Cancellation of examination preparation courses and delayed examinations were cited as common sources of stress. Programs accredited by the ICPNT reported that international networking and collaboration was beneficial to reduce feelings of isolation during the pandemic.Conclusion:Neuroanesthesia fellowship training program directors introduced innovative ways to maintain clinical training, educational activity and trainee well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-86
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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