What do residents need to be competent laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeons?

Aimee K. Gardner, Ross E. Willis, Brian J. Dunkin, Kent R. Van Sickle, Kimberly M. Brown, Michael S. Truitt, John M. Uecker, Lonnie Gentry, Daniel J. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Despite numerous efforts to ensure that surgery residents are adequately trained in the areas of laparoscopy and flexible endoscopy, there remain significant concerns that graduates are not comfortable performing many of these procedures. Methods: Online surveys were sent to surgery residents (98 items, PGY1-5 Categorical) and faculty (78 items, general surgery, and gastrointestinal specialties) at seven institutions. De-identified data were analyzed under an IRB-approved protocol. Results: Ninety-five faculty and 121 residents responded, with response rates of 65 and 52 %, respectively. Seventy-three percent of faculty indicated that competency of their graduating residents were dramatically or slightly worse than previous graduates. Only 29 % of graduating residents felt very comfortable performing advanced laparoscopic (AL) cases and 5 % performing therapeutic endoscopy (TE) cases immediately after graduation. Over half of interns expressed a need for fellowship to feel comfortable performing AL and TE procedures, and this need did not decrease as residents neared graduation. For these procedures, residents receive only “little to some” autonomy, as reported by both faculty and PGY5s. Residents reported that current curricula for laparoscopy and endoscopy consist primarily of clinical experience. Both residents and faculty, though, reported considerable value in other training modalities, including simulations, live animal laboratories, cadavers, and additional didactics. Conclusions: These data indicate that both residents and faculty perceive significant competency gaps for both laparoscopy and flexible endoscopy, with the most notable shortcomings for advanced and therapeutic cases, respectively. Improvement in resident training methods in these areas is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3050-3059
Number of pages10
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Competency
  • Education
  • Endoscopy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Residents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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