, Volume 19, Issue 11, pp 1498-1502
Date: 30 Sep 2005

Gynecological laparoscopy in residency training program: Dutch perspectives

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Abstract

Background

Implementation of laparoscopy into residency training is difficult. This study was conducted to assess the current state of implementation of laparoscopic surgery into gynecological residency program, to identify factors influencing laparoscopic skills training, and to find solutions toward better training and implementation.

Methods

In 2003 a questionnaire was sent to all 68 postgraduate year 5 and year 6 residents in obstetrics and gynecology in The Netherlands. The questionnaire addressed demographics, performance of laparoscopy, self-perceived competence, simulator training, and factors influencing laparoscopic training in residency.

Results

Of the 68 residents, 60 (88%) responded; 46 (37%) were men and 78 (63%) women. Men showed significant higher mean self-perceived competence in some laparoscopic procedures than women. Of the respondents, 20% had no advanced laparoscopic gynecologist present in their teaching hospital. Residents felt that simulator training is important in relation to their performance in the operating room. Of all gynecological teaching hospitals in the Netherlands, 55% did not have the opportunity of simulator training. Of the respondents who had the possibility of simulator training, 33% did not use the simulator voluntarily. Residents who trained on a simulator felt training was significantly more important (p = 0.02) than residents who never practiced on a simulator. Respondents’ laparoscopic skills were subjectively evaluated in the operating room (92%) or were evaluated based on the number of laparoscopic procedures performed as primary surgeon (49%). Of the respondents, 47% were satisfied with their current laparoscopic skills and 27% also felt prepared for the more advanced procedures. Not having been primary surgeon in nonacademic teaching hospitals and even more so in academic teaching hospitals (p < 0.05) was a limiting factor in acquiring laparoscopic skills.

Conclusions

Incorporation of basic laparoscopic procedures into residency training has been successful; however, advanced procedures are not. Simulator training is still in its infancy in The Netherlands, is not frequently used voluntarily, and should be mandatory during residency. Acquired laparoscopic skills on a simulator and in the operating room should be objectively assessed, and above all, training of trainers is imperative.