Declining Otolaryngology Resident Training Experience in Tracheostomies: Case Log Trends from 2005 to 2015

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate recent tracheostomy surgical experience among otolaryngology residents and general surgery residents.

Study Design

Retrospective database review.

Setting

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education otolaryngology and general surgery programs.

Subjects and Methods

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case log data from 2005 to 2015 for resident graduates in otolaryngology and general surgery were used to obtain mean graduate tracheostomy numbers, mean graduate composite case numbers, and number of graduating residents. Market share for each specialty was estimated through the derived metric of nationwide total tracheostomy graduate experience, calculated by multiplying the number of graduating residents by the mean number of graduate tracheostomies. Linear regression analysis was used to calculate trends. Multiple linear regression analysis was used for pairwise comparison of trends.

Results

From 2005 to 2015, mean graduate tracheostomy numbers for otolaryngology residents declined 2.3% per year, while those for general surgery residents increased 1.8% per year. Accounting for changes in number of resident graduates, market share of tracheostomy decreased 1.0% per year for otolaryngology and increased 3.0% per year for general surgery. Mean graduate composite case numbers increased significantly by 1.8% and 1.0% per year for otolaryngology and general surgery residents, respectively.

Conclusion

Tracheostomy case volume in otolaryngology residency has decreased steadily in comparison with general surgery residency. However, current otolaryngology graduates have more experience in tracheostomy when compared with general surgery graduates. While otolaryngology residents have excellent exposure to tracheostomy, otolaryngology programs should be made aware of this declining trend as well as changing procedural trends, which may affect training needs.

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