The aim of this study was to assess the perception of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) program directors (PDs) and obstetrics and gynecology (OG) FMPRS fellows regarding the adequacy of OG residency as preparation for FPMRS fellowship.Methods
Electronic invitations to complete a modified version of a validated survey were extended to FPMRS PDs and their second- and third-year OG FPMRS fellows who had just completed their first or second year of FPMRS fellowship, respectively. The survey consisted of 5 domains; qualitative questions and recommendations for improvement were elicited.Results
Program directors (33%, 16/48) and second-year (64%, 29/45) and third-year (53%, 26/49) fellows completed the surveys. While incoming fellows were deemed professional, serious surgical skill competency issues were identified: (1) PDs felt they could not leave their incoming fellow to operate independently on a major case for 30 minutes while in the next room compared with fellow responses (PDs: 33.3% vs second-year fellows: 67.9%; P = 0.03); (2) no PDs felt their fellows could suture laparoscopically; and (3) there was group consensus that incoming fellows were not proficient at cystoscopy (PDs: 40.0%, second-year fellows: 39.3%, third-year fellows: 32.0%; P = 0.82). Mostly, fellows could clinically evaluate and manage patients. Program directors thought their fellows had better understanding of statistics than fellows believed of themselves (P = 0.05). Increasing FPMRS exposure during residency was favored as the method to better prepare OG residents for fellowship.Conclusions
Quantitative and emerging qualitative outcomes highlight that fellows are professional and are largely able to evaluate and care for patients but that achieving independence, surgical skills, and scholarship requires further training.