Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery in Canada: A Survey of Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Urologists

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to assess the current status of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) in Canada, including level of training, practice patterns, barriers to practice and opinions among obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and urologists.

Methods

Electronic surveys were distributed to 737 OB/GYNs through the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and to 489 urologists through the Canadian Urological Association.

Results

Complete responses were collected from 301 (41%) OB/GYNs and 39 (8%) urologists. Of the OB/GYN respondents, 57% were generalists (GEN), and 22% completed FPMRS fellowship training (FPMRS-GYN). OB/GYN GENs were less likely than FPMRS-GYNs to report comfort with pelvic organ prolapse quantification assessment, urodynamic testing, cystoscopy, treatment of mesh complications, and management of overactive bladder. Urologists were less likely than FPMRS-GYNs to report comfort completing a pelvic organ prolapse quantification assessment, fitting pessaries, and treating mesh complications but more likely to report comfort managing overactive bladder. FPMRS-GYNs were more likely than other providers to report high volumes (>20 cases in the past year) of vaginal hysterectomy, as well as incontinence and prolapse procedures. OB/GYN GENs and urologists frequently cited lack of formal training in residency as a barrier to performing FPMRS procedures, whereas FPMRS-GYNs reported a lack of operating room facilities and support personnel. Overall, 76% of the respondents were of the opinion that FPMRS should be a credentialed Canadian subspecialty (92% FPMRS-GYN, 69% OB/GYN GEN, 59% urologists).

Conclusions

OB/GYN GENs reported low case volumes and cited inadequate training in residency as a barrier to surgically managing pelvic floor disorders. Most respondents felt that FPMRS should be a credentialed subspecialty.

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