Variable learning curve of basic rigid bronchoscopy in trainees

Kamran Mahmood, Momen M. Wahidi, Ray Wes Shepherd, A. Christine Argento, Lonny B. Yarmus, Hans Lee, Samira Shojaee, David M. Berkowitz, Keriann Van Nostrand, Carla R. Lamb, Scott L. Shofer, Junheng Gao, Mohsen Davoudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite increased use of rigid bronchoscopy (RB) for therapeutic indications and recommendations from professional societies to use performance-based competency, an assessment tool has not been utilized to measure the competency of trainees to perform RB in clinical settings. Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate a previously developed assessment tool - Rigid Bronchoscopy Tool for Assessment of Skills and Competence (RIGID-TASC) - for determining the RB learning curve of interventional pulmonary (IP) trainees in the clinical setting and explore the variability of learning curve of trainees. Methods: IP fellows at 4 institutions were enrolled. After preclinical simulation training, all RBs performed in patients were scored by faculty using RIGID-TASC until competency threshold was achieved. Competency threshold was defined as unassisted RB intubation and navigation through the central airways on 3 consecutive patients at the first attempt with a minimum score of 89. A regression-based model was devised to construct and compare the learning curves. Results: Twelve IP fellows performed 178 RBs. Trainees reached the competency threshold between 5 and 24 RBs, with a median of 15 RBs (95% CI, 6-21). There were differences among trainees in learning curve parameters including starting point, slope, and inflection point, as demonstrated by the curve-fitting model. Subtasks that required the highest number of procedures (median = 10) to gain competency included ability to intubate at the first attempt and intubation time of <60 s. Conclusions: Trainees acquire RB skills at a variable pace, and RIGID-TASC can be used to assess learning curve of IP trainees in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-537
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Competency
  • Learning
  • Learning curve
  • Rigid bronchoscopy
  • Trainees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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