Background and aims Endoscopy performance is dependent on the technical ability and experience of the operator. There is anxiety among surgical trainees that certification to perform independent endoscopy to agreed national standards by the date of award of certificate of completion of training is not achievable. The aim of this study was to evaluate the delivery of endoscopy training to UK-based general surgery trainees.
Materials and methods An electronic survey of general surgery trainees holding a national training number or in a locum appointment to training post between July and September 2010 was undertaken.
Results Two hundred and thirty-three trainees responded from all UK training regions. Stated subspeciality interests included coloproctology (47%), oesophagogastric/bariatric (22%) and hepatobiliary/pancreatic (10%) general surgery. 92% of trainees were training or planned to train in endoscopy, 62% of whom had registered with the Joint Advisory Group (JAG). Thirteen trainees had JAG certification in diagnostic upper GI endoscopy and eight in colonoscopy. There were high rates of dissatisfaction with endoscopy training nationally. Two thirds of trainees had no scheduled training lists. Conflicting elective/emergency commitments, competition and absence of training lists were the most common reasons for a failure to access endoscopy training.
Conclusions Higher surgical trainees are failing to achieve national standards for endoscopy practice. There is an urgent need to address the deficiencies in endoscopy training to ensure a competent cohort of surgical endoscopists.
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