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Challenges in septorhinoplasty training before and after the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey
  • Babatunde Oremule,
  • sadie khwaja,
  • hesham saleh
Babatunde Oremule
Health Education England North West

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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sadie khwaja
manchester royal infirmary
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hesham saleh
Charing Cross Hospital
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Objectives Otorhinolaryngology trainees in the United Kingdom are required to perform ten septorhinoplasty procedures as the main operating surgeon in order to achieve a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly reduced operative opportunities for surgical trainees around the world. Our aim was to assess UK otorhinolaryngology trainees’ perceptions of their septorhinoplasty training in the pre-COVID-19 era and frame this within the current training environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Design Cross-sectional survey. Setting United Kingdom. Participants UK otorhinolaryngology trainees. Main outcome measures Information on trainees’ previous operative experience, courses attended, learning materials used and challenges faced gaining septorhinoplasty training was collected. Results 64 trainees responded. All Deaneries and Local Education and Training Boards were represented. 63/64 (98.4%) trainees had operative exposure septorhinoplasty. 60/64 (93.8%) trainees were currently at a trust where septorhinoplasty was performed. A variety of challenges regarding septorhinoplasty training were highlighted, the most common problem being the low number of cases being performed. Nearly one-third (8/25) of ST7-8 trainees in this sample had still not yet performed a septorhinoplasty on at least one occasion even though they were into the final third of their training. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic is a new and additional threat to septorhinoplasty training for otorhinolaryngology trainees, particularly those in the final third of the programme. In the short term, clarification is required on what level of operative proficiency is required for a CCT. Longer-term, threats to training can be mitigated by providing cadaveric courses, embracing simulation and considering private sector placements in areas of low NHS volume.