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Background: Even prior to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Children’s Mercy Kansas City’s large neurology division struggled to engage learners in educational conferences. With 113 division members across 5 locations, attending conferences was challenging. While some conferences were live-streamed, we offered no recorded lectures, and most conferences were attended solely by trainees and 3-4 select faculty. COVID-19 eliminated in-person group learning opportunities.

Objective: We aimed to rapidly develop and implement a comprehensive and inclusive virtual child neurology curriculum and assess its impact.

Design/Methods: We created a neurology education “team” using Microsoft® Teams. Within 1 week of beginning social distancing, we offered an average of 4 live virtual lectures per week, increased from 2 weekly lectures prior to COVID-19. Lectures covered diverse topics (e.g. quality improvement, empathy, leadership) in addition to clinical neurology. We recorded and stored all lectures and supplementary materials in Microsoft® Teams. We distributed a survey after the third and fourth weeks of virtual education, and again after 3 months.

Results: Survey response rate was 92% (104/113) for week 3, 84% (95/113) for week 4, and 55% (62/113) at 3 months. Percentage of learners attending at least 1 lecture per week increased from 28% (pre-COVID-19) to 74% (week 3), and this gain was sustained at 3 months (88%) (Figure 1). Attendance was well-distributed amongst all types of learners (Figure 2), averaging 22 participants per lecture (SD 9.2). Mean learner satisfaction increased from 5.7 out of 10 (pre-COVID-19, SD 2.3) to 8.5 out of 10 (3 months, SD 1.25, 2-tailed paired t-test p<0.001) (Figure 3). Learners appreciated easy access to educational materials, including viewing recorded lectures. At 3 months, 88% of respondents wished to continue virtual education, and 60% of clinical staff planned to change their work practice based on information they learned. Sixty-seven percent of trainees “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the virtual curriculum improved how prepared they felt for upcoming examinations. Rapport across the division increased, with 85% of respondents feeling more connected to colleagues.

Conclusion(s): COVID-19 was a disruptive innovation, catalyzing the rapid formation of a virtual neurology curriculum. Our curriculum increased learner satisfaction, engagement, and rapport. Nine months into the pandemic, we continue to offer several virtual neurology lectures each week.

Presented at the 2021 PAS Virtual Conference


Medical Education | Neurology | Pediatrics

Virtual Child Neurology Education During COVID-19 and Beyond