Publication date: Sep 21, 2023
Health professions education programs were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at clinical and didactic training levels. The purpose for this American Society for Clinical Pathology-Board of Certification (BOC) study was to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the graduates who sat for BOC certification in their respective professional disciplines from the perspective of program directors (PDs). A separate article will be published on the graduates’ perspective. A survey was sent to all PDs from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science, Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, and Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, accredited programs whose graduates are certified by the BOC, to determine the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare graduates and education programs during the pandemic. A total of 201 PDs responded. All programs consistently reported that the pandemic had a negative impact on their students’ BOC pass rate and scores. When asked what educational formats were used, all groups used virtual live lectures and recorded lectures. University programs were found to use more online student laboratories and simulation laboratory sessions than the hospital programs, affecting the psychomotor skills of their students. The results indicated that the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic were related to the inherent differences between hospital and university programs. This study revealed that the pandemic affected university programs more than hospital programs.