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Objective: The aim of this study is to describe the perceptions of surgeons in training during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Material and methods: A 51-question survey was conducted among physicians in training from a department of surgery in an Argentine hospital. Five domains were explored: institutional, healthcare, academic, domestic and emotional.
Results: The survey was completed by 55 physicians (91.7%): 35 residents and 20 fellows. Among the respondents, 98.1% considered the information provided by the hospital and the department about the measures implemented in the COVID-19 stetting was sufficient. 98.1% considered that the instructions about personal protective equipment were satisfactory, but 38% reported difficulties to use them. 92.5% of the residents agreed with the system implemented for on-call shifts, 94.5% increased the time dedicated to academic activities, 75% considered the virtual class schedule implemented as very useful and 72.72% perceived that they had spaces to express their concerns. The supervision was considered adequate by 60%; 81.81% were worried to lose manual dexterity; 53% felt frustrated and 54% were afraid of infecting their family/partner.
Conclusion: Understanding the perceptions of surgeons in training in the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic made it possible to detect opportunities for improvement and incorporate modifications to address the following phases, ensuring learning and prioritizing their physical and psychosocial well-being.