Publication date: Jul 01, 2023
Many plastic surgery residency programs adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing virtual grand rounds. This study aimed to assess the impact of virtual grand rounds and how attendees perceived virtual grand rounds to inform future programmatic planning. This was a quality improvement initiative involving a cross-sectional survey and retrospective review of administrative records for the 2017-2018 (in-person) and 2021-2022 (virtual) academic years for two academic plastic surgery training programs in Boston, MA. Respondents were residents, fellows, and faculty within the two multisite plastic surgery residency training programs. There were 39 respondents (51% faculty, 41% residents, and 8% fellows). There was no evidence of different preferences for the format of future grand rounds (P = 0. 08), with most preferring hybrid, defined as in person for speakers and others who could attend. Most respondents indicated a more accessible learning environment (86. 8%) and lack of in-person interaction (82. 1%) as reasons for liking and not liking virtual grand rounds, respectively. Excluding outliers, attendance in 2021-2022 was on average 7. 4% points greater than that in 2017-2018 (P < 0. 001), or six to seven more individuals at each session. There were significantly more out-of-state speakers in 2021-2022 (84%) as compared to 2017-2018 (28%) (P = 0. 0008). Virtual grand rounds improved attendance and the geographic diversity of speakers. Attendees preferred a hybrid format for future grand rounds, citing advantages and disadvantages to both in-person and virtual formats.