Implementation of a virtual learning and simulation curriculum for orthopaedic resident training during COVID and beyond

Benjamin W. Hoyt, Desraj M. Clark, William B. Roach, Daniel L. Rodkey, Tobin T. Eckel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The recent coronavirus disease of 2019 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented limitations in person-to-person contact, elective surgeries, and even traumatic injuries, leaving potential gaps in training and skill development. Surgical programs have had to adapt with the rapid implementation of surgical simulation curricula, collaborative lecture series, and greater focus on online learning. Using models, simulation, and virtual learning, we have accommodated for restrictions and operative volume from coronavirus disease of 2019. The goal was to establish a durable system of extra-clinical training that would increase patient safety and collaborative knowledge sharing. From our simulated interventions, we noted maintenance of skills despite low operative volumes, low temporal or monetary commitment especially when compared with operating room time, and engagement from both learners (medical students and junior residents) and teachers (senior residents and staff physicians). Our experience with transition to a virtual curriculum with involvement of multiple institutions has also resulted in greater diversity of lectures, increased frequency of academics, and high levels of participation. In this article, we discuss our department's experience with these alterations and the path for surgical training moving forward. We have seen multiple benefits to advancement of nonclinical specialty-specific simulation and virtual didactics. While some of these efforts may require some early expenditure, both monetary and temporal, to establish the program infrastructure, they are easy to apply, confer substantial added value, and appear durable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-403
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Orthopaedic Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • collaboration
  • simulation
  • surgical training


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