Modular emergency general surgery training: A pilot study of a novel programme

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Pan-speciality consensus guidance advocates mandatory emergency general surgery (EGS) training modules for specialist registrars (StRs). This pilot study evaluated the impact of EGS modules aimed at StRs over 1 year.


Eleven StRs were allocated a focused 4-week EGS module, in addition to the standard 1:12 on-call duty rota, in a tertiary surgical centre. Primary outcome measures included the number of indicative emergency operations and validated Procedure Based Assessments (PBAs) performed, both during the EGS module and over the training year.


StRs performed a median of 11 (range 5-15) laparotomies during the EGS module versus 31 (range 9-49) over the whole training year. StRs attended 43.7% of available laparotomies during the module (range 24.1-63.7%). EGS modules provided more than one-third of the total emergency laparotomy experience, and a quarter of the emergency colectomy, appendicectomy and Hartmann’s procedure experience. There were no differences in EGS module-related outcomes between junior and senior StRs. Significantly more PBAs related to laparotomy and segmental colectomy were completed during EGS modules than the on-call duty rota, at 32% versus 14% (p<0.001) and 48% versus 22% (p=0.019), respectively. Performance levels were maintained following module completion.


These findings provide an important baseline when considering future modular EGS training.

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