For a study, researchers sought to evaluate how the COVID-19 epidemic affected urology trainees in the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) regarding their experiences and general well-being.

September 2020 saw the distribution of a 72-item, anonymous online survey to urology residents in the US, Italy, France, and Portugal. Along with 38 items related explicitly to COVID, the poll measured burnout, professional fulfillment, loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

The poll received 223 responses from urology residents. For 81% of US people and 48% of EU citizens, surgical exposure was their top educational worry. Residents of the US and the EU used e-learning, with 100% of US citizens and 57% of EU citizens thinking it to be at least as beneficial as traditional didactics. Burnout, professional fulfillment, sadness, anxiety, or loneliness were not significantly different between US and EU residents; 73% of US citizens and 71% of EU citizens reported high to the outstanding quality of life throughout the epidemic. During the pandemic, US and EU residents spent much less time working in hospitals, clinics, and operating rooms (P<.001) and more time working from home on research projects, attending lectures, engaging in non-medical hobbies, and reading. Most people said they benefited from more flexible schedules, better work-life balance, and more time for their families, hobbies, education, and research.

The educational experience of inhabitants worldwide has been significantly restructured due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Within and beyond the epidemic, efforts should be made to maintain positive improvements like fewer working hours and online education.