Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: The COVID‑19 disease has resulted in an almost complete shutdown of all services
worldwide. Hospitals continued to provide emergency services and treatment for COVID‑19 disease.
Teaching hospitals like ours had another responsibility at hand; training of our surgical residents.
Not allowing this pandemic to take away months of training, we resorted to online virtual training
programs, for continuing academic activities. After having conducted thirty such sessions, we took
feedback from the participating students and faculty members to evaluate the usefulness of this new
initiative and identify the lacunae that needed to be addressed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The initial twenty classes were held on the GoTo Meeting ® online
platform, whereas the last ten were conducted using the Google Meet application. A 20‑item
questionnaire covering four broad domains of general perception, feasibility, knowledge gained, and
drawbacks was circulated, and 19 responses were registered anonymously. Strength, weakness,
opportunity, and threat analysis was done based on the responses received.
RESULTS: About 89.5% of the participants believed that online classes were the ideal platform for
continuing education and 84.2% of the participants were overall satisfied with the whole exercise. The
Achilles’ heel was the availability of a good Internet connection, and the major lacunae were the poor
quality of video and audio transmission. Seventy‑four percent of the participants wanted to continue
online training in the future too, whereas 26% wanted to revert to the traditional face‑to‑face teaching.
CONCLUSION: Online virtual training classes are an effective and feasible alternative to traditional
teaching in times such as these, which demanded strict social distancing. It naturally lacked the
warmth and personal touch of the traditional teaching classes, but it allowed us to continue teaching
our residents and also prepare them to face the biggest menace of all times.


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