Identifying Gaps and Inconsistencies in Urogynecologic Surgical Training of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents

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Abstract

Objective

This study aims to determine the expectations of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ObGyn) residency and Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) fellowship program directors (FPDs) for the independent performance of urogynecologic procedures during residency and to compare these expectations with the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) educational objectives.

Materials and Methods

Two parallel, anonymous surveys were distributed simultaneously to all directors of accredited ObGyn residency and FPMRS fellowship programs in the United States. Respondents provided their own professional and program demographic information and indicated whether they expected their residents to independently perform 27 selected urogynecologic procedures.

Results

Among residency program directors (RPDs) and FPDs, the online survey response rate was 24.8% (n = 59) and 51.9% (n = 27), respectively. More RPDs expected residents to perform prolapse procedures with mesh, including laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy, all apical suspensions, mesh excisions, and cystotomy repairs, than FPDs. In addition, RPDs expected mastery of most urogynecologic procedures by the Post Graduate Year 3 level, whereas most FPDs did not expect independent performance of these procedures during residency at all. There were notable differences between RPDs' expectations and CREOG objectives regarding several surgical procedures. Whereas CREOG recommends independent performance of anterior and posterior repair, vaginal suspension, vaginal hysterectomy, and transobturator slings, a significant number of RPDs did not report expecting mastery of these procedures during residency. Approximately 30% of RPDs expected residents to perform open sacrocolpopexy and vesicovaginal fistula repair, whereas CREOG recommends only the understanding of these, without procedural mastery.

Conclusions

Although community needs vary by region and setting, CREOG objectives serve as the standard for resident surgical education. This study highlights the discordance between these objectives and ObGyn RDPs' reported expectations for resident performance as well as those held by FPMRS FPDs, the outcome of which reflects a misalignment in graduate medical education between RPDs and FPDs, thus hindering a clear standard for resident surgical competencies.

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