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By Dr. Helen Meyer

A short survey was sent out in the April issue of the Paper Point newsletter asking residents how their training was impacted. We collected nearly 33 responses from 21 residencies across the country. Summarized below are survey results showing the status during the early stages of the pandemic:

  • All residents reported their residencies temporarily suspended in-person didactic training.
  • All residents reported their clinical training to have been impacted. A third reported their clinics had completely closed; the other two-thirds reported their clinics are operating on limited schedules. All residents reported not knowing when regular clinic operations would resume.
  • Of the ⅔ of responses that reported limited clinic operations, all reported providing only limited, emergency treatment. 
  • Two responses reported their clinics now use Level 3 masks, while the rest reported their clinics acquired N95 masks.
  • Residents reported their clinics adopted enhanced protocols, including screening patients over the phone, taking staff and patient temperatures, implementing chlorhexidine or peroxide rinses, double-bagging x-ray sensors, adopting stricter donning and doffing gown protocols, wearing face-shields, and limiting number of x-rays taken.
  • Residents had varied responses regarding their comfort level treating patients with their clinic’s PPE and protocols. About half the respondents feel comfortable, and the other half reported feeling uncomfortable.
  • Residents did not feel their didactic training was negatively affected by the pandemic.
  • Conversely, all but two residents agreed or strongly agreed that COVD-19 had a negative impact on their clinical training.
  • All but three residents agreed or strongly agreed that endodontists should be available to treat dental emergencies during the pandemic.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute to the survey!

Helen Meyer, D.M.D., is a member of AAE’s Resident and New Practitioner Committee and is a practicing endodontist in Colorado.