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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 698--702

Feasibility of Conducting a Virtual Exit Exam in Neurosurgery During the SARS-COV19 Pandemic

1 Department of Neurosurgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, CMC Vellore, Tamilnadu, India
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Guwahati Medical College, Guwahati, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sushanta Kumar Sahoo
Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery, Room No -27, 5th Floor, F Block, Nehru Hospital, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Assam 160012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.319207

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Background: Skills assessment forms an integral part of the exit examination in neurosurgical training programs. The established method of evaluating trainees for their clinical knowledge and surgical proficiency in the operating room is not feasible in the current time of SARS-COV19 pandemic. Objective: The feasibility of conducting such an assessment using case modules on an online meeting platform is discussed. Methods: Six candidates were evaluated on two consecutive days with two internal examiners located at the examination site and two external examiners situated at their own institutions elsewhere in the country. Clinical details, including images and videos of patients managed at our institute were recorded and provided to the candidates as case modules. Four sessions were conducted in the form of long and short cases, operative neurosurgery, neuroradiology, and neuropathology and a general viva-voce using “Zoom” (Zoom-Video-Communications, Inc. USA) platform. Feedback from the examinee and the examiners were obtained for any modification in the current format. Result: The online platform worked well without any interruption except for slight lag in the audio-visual system and occasional difficulty in using microphone and screen simultaneously. Trainees were able to interpret the clinical details and rated this format close to actual clinical evaluation. The examiners uniformly agreed that the online format for assessment was satisfactory and made some suggestions for improvement. Conclusion: Clinical and surgical skill evaluation is feasible using case modules and online meeting platforms. Use of original patient's data, images, videos demonstrating clinical signs, and operative procedures makes this assessment more objective.


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