National Operative Case Log Growth Charts in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Training

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To report national standard case log growth curves for operative procedures in otolaryngology and to describe a method by which program directors can chart surgical case numbers over resident training to longitudinally assess sufficiency of cases and parity between residents.

Study Design

Data visualization and analysis.


American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) national case log data for otolaryngology residency.


National data set; no individual subjects.


National statistical case log reports for otolaryngology were obtained from the ACGME for each postgraduate year (PGY) level in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Estimated means and standard deviations were calculated. The mean and increments of standard deviation were graphed against time to create case log growth charts, similar to pediatric growth charts.


Case log growth charts were made for each ACGME Otolaryngology Residency Review Committee key indicator procedure. Progress of an individual resident or of a cohort of residents may be graphed against this growth chart background over their training time.


National operative case log growth charts allow residents and program directors to graphically assess progress in obtaining a sufficient variety and number of operative procedures over time throughout training. This can provide early identification when residents begin to fall below the growth curve during training.

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