Reported Cystoscopic Experience Correlates Poorly With Objective Assessment of Cystoscopic Skills

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Although gynecologists perform a large number of surgeries in close proximity to the ureters and the urinary bladder, traditionally, Obstetrics and Gynecology resident physicians are not formally taught to perform cystoscopy. The primary objective was to document resident physicians’ performance in diagnostic cystoscopic instrumentation and technique. The secondary objective was to examine if reported prior cystoscopic experience was associated with superior performance.


Fifty-one postgraduate year 4 residents with reported experience with cystoscopy were evaluated using an operation-specific checklist and a global ratings scale based on the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill model. Before evaluation, they attended a formal training session in cystoscopy, which included practice on a bench model of a simulated bladder.


Forty-three of the 51 residents were able to successfully perform a thorough diagnostic examination immediately after the course. Six of the 8 failures were re-evaluated 2 weeks later and successfully performed a complete examination at that time. Before the course, the residents had performed a mean of 12.2 cystoscopic examinations as the primary surgeon (median, 12; range, 2–33). The number of reported cystoscopic examinations performed before the course did not correlate with the ability to perform a thorough cystoscopic examination (r = −0.109; P = 0.496).


For this group of residents, there was poor correlation between the number of reported cystoscopic examinations and the ability to perform diagnostic cystoscopy. Trainees may not be able to determine when they have received enough instruction in hands-on training with models before acquisition of technical skills.

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