Ian Y.M. Chan
Chief Radiology Resident, Western University
Chair, ARRS Resident Advisory Subcommittee
Published July 15, 2020
Like many facets of life, radiology residency has not been immune to a new reality wrought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. As one of the first cities in Canada to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus was certainly top of mind among our residents and faculty at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. As residents, we worked closely with our Program Director to advocate for necessary changes to our program to ensure our safety while continuing our education during this pandemic.
As our government mandated physical distancing and temporary business closures, our department also acted in concert and canceled most outpatient imaging. As a result, we noticed a sudden drop-off in cases for residents to report during the day. While after-hours resident call duties remained, we modified our daily work routine for two months by implementing a schedule of alternating a week of working in hospital and a week of self-studying at home. Importantly, we continued to receive dedicated radiology teaching as our “hot seat” case conferences and academic half-day lectures proceeded as scheduled via video conferencing.
There was also the looming anticipation of our redeployment to other clinical services. This has not yet transpired, largely due to public health policies that have slowed community transmission for the time being. Fortunately, we have had access to appropriate personal protective equipment when caring for patients. Stress management has indeed been especially crucial to our wellness during this trying time. I believe that constant, albeit distanced, social interaction with colleagues and friends has helped emphasize our shared experiences and that “we are all in this together.”
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “change is the only constant in life.” In this harrowing time, this axiom still rings true with our residency training as we adapt to this pandemic.
Stay safe and be well!
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