The impact of COVID-19 on rheumatology training-results from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance trainee survey

Kristen Young, Su Ann Yeoh, Michael Putman, Sebastian Sattui, Richard Conway, Elizabeth Graef, Adam Kilian, Maximilian Konig, Jeffrey Sparks, Manuel Ugarte-Gil, Laura Upton, Francis Berenbaum, Suleman Bhana, Wendy Costello, Jonathan Hausmann, Pedro Machado, Philip Robinson, Emily Sirotich, Paul Sufka, Jinoos YazdanyJean Liew, Rebecca Grainger, Zachary Wallace, Arundathi Jayatilleke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim was to evaluate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the clinical experiences, research opportunities and well-being of rheumatology trainees. Methods: A voluntary, anonymous, Web-based survey was administered in English, Spanish or French from 19 August 2020 to 5 October 2020. Adult and paediatric rheumatology trainees were invited to participate via social media and email. Using multiple-choice questions and Likert scales, the perceptions of trainees regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient care and redeployment, learning and supervision, research and well-being were assessed. Results: There were 302 respondents from 33 countries, with 83% in adult rheumatology training. An increase in non-rheumatology clinical work was reported by 45%, with 68% of these having been redeployed to COVID-19. Overall, trainees reported a negative impact on their learning opportunities during rheumatology training, including outpatient clinics (79%), inpatient consultations (59%), didactic teaching (55%), procedures (53%), teaching opportunities (52%) and ultrasonography (36%). Impacts on research experiences were reported by 46% of respondents, with 39% of these reporting that COVID-19 negatively affected their ability to continue their pre-pandemic research. Burnout and increases in stress were reported by 50% and 68%, respectively. Physical health was negatively impacted by training programme changes in 25% of respondents. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on rheumatology training and trainee well-being. Our study highlights the extent of this impact on research opportunities and clinical care, which are highly relevant to future curriculum planning and the clinical learning environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberrkac001
JournalRheumatology Advances in Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology.


  • COVID-19
  • Medical Education
  • Rheumatology Fellowship


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