E5391. Long-Lasting Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Radiology Residency Education: A 5-Year Experience to Combat Educational Disruption
  1. David Casper; Creighton University College of Medicine Phoenix
  2. Faryal Shareef; Creighton University College of Medicine Phoenix
  3. Olga Kalinkin; Creighton University College of Medicine Phoenix
  4. Andrew Liguori; Creighton University College of Medicine Phoenix
  5. Courtney Mitchell; Creighton University College of Medicine Phoenix
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered the dynamic of in-person education, both inside and outside of the reading room. Social distancing and transition to remote reading stations hindered traditional teaching for radiology residents, including in-person read outs, case-based discussion, lectures, and hands-on procedural learning. This necessitated the integration of online and virtual educational tools to combat gaps in the pre-COVID model of education. Although many studies have qualitatively evaluated integration of a hybrid model, this study seeks to quantitatively assess the impact of hybrid tools measured by national standardized testing.

Materials and Methods:
This prospective study compared the effectiveness of hybrid and traditional learning models in maintaining radiology resident performance on the gastrointestinal (GI) section of standardized testing: annual in-service (ITE) and the American Board of Radiology Qualifying Exam (CORE). The hybrid model was defined by prerecorded material from the Society of Abdominal Radiology followed by virtual faculty-guided conferences and case discussion introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditional model was defined by in-person faculty lead conferences used before the pandemic. Thirty-six residents from a single academic institution were included; 16 residents in the hybrid model were evaluated from 2019–2023; 20 residents from 2013–2015 classes were utilized as the control group. Residents from 2016–2018 classes were excluded due to partial integration in both models. The CORE GI scores and the annual ITE GI raw scores and percentiles were compared using a two tailed T test, with calculation of t-values, p- values, and significance defined as p < 0.05.

The hybrid model demonstrated an annual increase in raw ITE score but an annual decrease in percentile: 54, 61, 74, and 61%, 44%, 42% respectively. The traditional model demonstrated an annual increase in raw ITE score, but an annual decrease in percentile: 51, 62, 70 and 60%, 54%, 51%, respectively. Between the two cohorts, p values were calculated for raw and percentile scores of ITE exams as follows. Year 1: 0.49, 0.81; Year 2: 0.87, 0.23; and Year 3: 0.43, 0.29, respectively. The average GI CORE score of hybrid and traditional residents was 400 and 465, respectively, with a statistically significant p value of 0.03.

The COVID-19 pandemic had long lasting effects on education with a statistically significant decline in CORE GI performance, declining efforts to restructure the GI education curriculum. Although this did not prevent a decline in CORE scores, it appears to have at least limited the decline in ITE scores within an acceptable standard, suggesting some educational utility. In the postpandemic era, future endeavors seek to evaluate which changes are beneficial to keep and supplement the established traditional model, to create a stronger curriculum for future residents.