Case-Logging Practices in Otolaryngology Residency Training: National Survey of Residents and Program Directors

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Abstract

Objective

(1) Evaluate the consistency and manner in which otolaryngology residents log surgical cases. (2) Assess the extent of instruction and guidance provided by program directors on case-logging practices.

Study Design

Cross-sectional national survey.

Setting

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education otolaryngology residency programs in the United States.

Subjects and Methods

US otolaryngology residents, postgraduate year 2 through graduating chiefs as of July 2016, were recruited to respond to an anonymous questionnaire designed to characterize surgical case-logging practices. Program directors of US otolaryngology residency programs were recruited to respond to an anonymous questionnaire to elucidate how residents are instructed to log cases.

Results

A total of 272 residents and 53 program directors completed the survey, yielding response rates of 40.6% and 49.5%, respectively. Perceived accuracy of case logs is low among residents and program directors. Nearly 40% of residents purposely choose not to log certain cases, and 65.1% of residents underreport cases performed. More than 80% of program directors advise residents to log procedures performed outside the operating room, yet only 16% of residents consistently log such cases.

Conclusion

Variability in surgical case-logging behaviors and differences in provided instruction highlight the need for methods to improve consistency of logging practices. It is imperative to standardize practices across otolaryngology residency programs for case logs to serve as an accurate measure of surgical competency. This study provides a foundation for reform efforts within residency programs and for the Resident Case Log System.

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