Journal of Surgical Simulation 2022; 9: 57 - 66

Published: 23 May 2022


Original article

Educating cardiothoracic health care practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from an online survey on a series of webinars

Bhuvaneswari Krishnamoorthy, William R. Critchley, Jeni Palima, Rajesh Shah, Simon Kendall, Narain Moorjani, Carol Tan and Sridhar Rathinam
Corresponding author: Bhuvaneswari Krishnamoorthy, Edgehill University, Manchester Foundation Trust, Manchester, M23 9PL, UK. Email:


Background: The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has disrupted and distorted the methodology of cardiothoracic teaching for health care practitioners in Great Britain and Ireland. The Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Association of Cardiothoracic Surgical Care Practitioners host a variety of continuous professional development courses on a quarterly basis. However, COVID-19 has significantly affected face-to-face teaching. We evaluated the impact of the cardiothoracic webinar series that we introduced as a means to continue the education programme for cardiothoracic health care practitioners.

Methods: A series of 16 online educational webinars was designed and aligned with the current curriculum. The webinars took place from April 2020 to April 2021 and online feedback questionnaires were sent to and collected from all participants. Teaching was provided by national faculty from different parts of Great Britain and Ireland. The evaluation assessed the content, delivery, meeting expectations, as well as the platform.

Results: Most of the online webinars were well attended when organized at the weekend (median, 76 attendees). The webinar scheduled on a weekday evening was less well attended (17 participants). The follow-up feedback from each webinar suggests that most attendees were positive about the sessions for all the parameters assessed. All webinars were well received but there was some variation in the responses given between subjects (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Online webinars provide a means of continuous professional development for health care staff in challenging circumstances when regular teaching has been disrupted. Although they are unlikely to provide the same experience as face-to-face courses, they are a useful tool for delivering education.


webinar; cardiothoracic teaching; COVID-19 pandemic; surgical education; CT health care practitioner