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Trends in Surgical Exposure and Experience in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Programs

Andiman, Sarah E., MD; Fantl, John A., MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: February 28, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000709
Original Article: PDF Only

Objectives This study aimed to characterize variations in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) fellows’ surgical experiences, concurrence with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) proposed procedural volume guidelines, and to explore how these factors affect self-assessed preparedness to practice independently upon graduation.

Methods An electronic survey was sent to 166 fellows enrolled in ACGME-approved FPMRS fellowship programs during the 2017–2018 academic year. The survey included questions on demographics, program specifics, desires for future practice, case volume, and self-assessed ability to independently perform selected procedures.

Results A total of 99 fellows responded, yielding a 59.6% (99/166) response rate. Procedures assessed as “core” urogynecologic surgeries were midurethral sling, sacral nerve stimulator placement, abdominal sacrocolpopexy, laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy, extraperitoneal colpopexy, intraperitoneal colpopexy, anterior colporrhaphy, posterior colporrhaphy, colpocleisis, rectovaginal fistula repair, vesicovaginal fistula repair, and urethral diverticulectomy. The percentage of third-year respondents meeting proposed ACGME guidelines varied from 56.3% (18/32; sling procedures) to 96.9% (31/32; intraperitoneal colpopexy and rectovaginal fistula repair). Although 67.7% (67/99) of all respondents reported that they did not expect to feel qualified to perform at least one of these procedures independently upon graduation from fellowship, 99.0% (98/99) predicted that they would be adequately trained overall to practice independently upon graduation.

Conclusions Surgical experience varied among FMPRS surgical fellows. Case volume was somewhat but not completely associated with self-perceived ability to practice a procedure independently.

From the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Correspondence: Sarah E. Andiman, MD, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1176 Fifth Ave, Box 1170, New York, NY 10029. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

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