Training future anesthesiologists in obstetric care

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Abstract

Purpose of review

In order for the obstetric anesthesiologist to become a true perioperative / peripartum physician, a change in formative programs and certification process in anesthesia are needed.

Recent findings

Anesthesia training programs are migrating to competency based medical education (CBME) worldwide. The traditional model of attending lectures, grand rounds, reading textbooks and journal papers should be complemented by virtual modalities such as massive open online courses or online teaching tools. The gold standard for assessment of procedural skills in anesthesia consists of a combination of global rating scales and previously validated checklists. Behaviors in the perioperative environment not directly related to the use of drugs, equipment or medical expertise are known as anesthesiologist nontechnical skills and trainees must learn and practice these skills; nontechnical skills can determine 50–80% of adverse events in high-risk professions, including medicine. Regular certification programs are also an important component of the new approach in medical education, in some high-income countries, the specialist anesthesiologist is undertaking regular certification but the impact of these programs on overall outcomes is still unknown.

Summary

The obstetric population is becoming a higher risk population, requiring an obstetric anesthesiologist taking on the role of a perioperative / peripartum physician. It is essential that anesthesia training programs migrate to CBME through simulation-based curriculum that allow the achievement of nontechnical skills and team work competencies. It is also essential that regular certification for specialist anesthesiologists occur throughout their entire career.

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