Research Notebook is a series highlighting research activities at LSU Health Shreveport. This notebook focuses on articles written by faculty members of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the start of the pandemic that have been published in national academic journals, which has helped provide best practices for the specialty throughout. the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many aspects of the world around us, including the workplace. Many would say that hospitals and healthcare workers are the most affected by COVID-19 due to the unprecedented scenarios it presents. At the start of the pandemic, orders were issued across the country regarding the postponement or advancement of medical and surgical procedures based on the pressure and threat of COVID-19 on healthcare systems and patients. Orthopedic surgeries were among the many types of procedures that needed to be adjusted accordingly. LSU Health Shreveport Faculty Members – Dr. Patrick Massey, Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery; Dr. Andrew Zhang, Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery; Dr. Kaylan McClary, former orthopedic surgery resident; and Dr. Shane Barton, Thomas Norris MD Endowed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at LSU Health Shreveport, in collaboration with Dr. Buddy Savoie of Tulane University, published an article in the Journal of the AAOS of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. , which is being used by institutions across the country for guidelines on elective and urgent surgical selection for orthopedics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The article, “Orthopedic Surgical Selection and Hospitalization Paradigms During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic”, predicted in 2020 when first published that the pandemic would move in and out of different phases and create a framework for which surgeries were urgent, emergent and elective.
The article outlines how orthopedic departments can change the determination of surgeries to be performed based on urgent vs. elective, inpatient vs. outpatient procedure, and what resources are needed, and sort orthopedic surgeries into categories based on the priority. Factors such as physical distancing, workforce changes, use of online materials, and physician wellbeing as it relates to COVID-19 were addressed in the post. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) has adopted many article guidelines for widespread use, and it has reached 100 citations by other publications. For reference, publications receiving 100 or more citations are considered to be among the top 1.8% most cited in the world.
Faculty members at LSU Health Shreveport not only provide patient care but also train the next generation of physicians, which has added another element in the management of COVID-19. Currently, LSU Health Shreveport has nearly 600 residents and fellows who receive their postgraduate training in one of more than 50 residency and fellowship programs supported by LSUHS’ Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME).
These programs, which physicians must complete after graduating from medical school to practice or specialize, have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as each specialty has a set number of procedures that must be completed to complete their training. Another article published by Dr. Massey, Dr. Zhang, Dr. Barton, and orthopedic surgery residents Dr. Mitchell Myers, Dr. Clarence J. Kee, and Dr. Kaylan McClary in the journal Arthroscopy, Sports Medicine, and Rehabilitation provides a guide for programs residency in orthopedic surgery at academic medical centers across the country.
The guide provides a roadmap for adapting during the pandemic, keeping patients and residents safe while maintaining important resident education. This article, “Adaptation of Orthopedic Surgery Training Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Future Directions,” was also forward-thinking in detailing sustainable measures that can be adopted during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
It should be noted that documented and sustainable measures can be adapted for future pandemics, including workforce and work modifications, personal protective equipment, telemedicine, online didactic training, well -being residents, the return to elective surgery, and factors affecting medical students and fellows. The Department of Orthopedics at LSU Health Shreveport has focused and continues to focus on being a national leader among academic centers in addressing multiple aspects of the pandemic.