Ongoing deficits in resident training for minimally invasive surgery

Adrian Park, Donald Witzke, Michael Donnelly, G. Branum, L. W. Way, M. T. Dayton, C. Pellegrini, L. Rikkers, B. D. Schirmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Patient preference has driven the adoption of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques and altered surgical practice. MIS training in surgical residency programs must teach new skill sets with steep learning curves to enable residents to master key procedures. Because no nationally recognized MIS curriculum exists, this study asked experts in MIS which laparoscopic procedures should be taught and how many cases are required for competency. Expert recommendations were compared to the number of cases actually performed by residents (Residency Review Committee [RRC] data). A detailed survey was sent nationwide to all surgical residency programs (academic and private) known to offer training in MIS and/or have a leader in the field. The response rate was approximately 52%. RRC data were obtained from the resident statistics summary report for 1998-1999. Experts identified core procedures for MIS training and consistently voiced the opinion that to become competent, residents need to perform these procedures many more times than the RRC data indicate they currently do. At present, American surgical residency programs do not meet the suggested MIS case range or volume required for competency. Residency programs need to be restructured to incorporate sufficient exposure to core MIS procedures. More expert faculty must be recruited to train residents to meet the increasing demand for laparoscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Graduate medical education
  • Internship and medical residency
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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