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The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) developed its own test -- the Medical Oncology In-Training Examination (MedOnc ITE) -- as a tool to assess trainees' knowledge of the clinical oncology subspecialty, establish consistency in educational standards across training programs, identify areas of strength and weakness in individual programs, and stimulate intraprogrammatic reading and discussion. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Outcome Project provided additional incentive for ASCO to develop an ITE. The examination was developed in 4 years. The concept of the examination and the budget were approved by the ASCO governing board. The National Board of Medical Examiners was selected to work with ASCO. Fellowship programs were contacted to determine if they had the information technology support to hold the examination. A blueprint for the examination was developed. The test format, including the number of questions and the selection of case-based single best answers, was determined. Physician volunteers to write the questions were solicited from among program directors, various ASCO committees, and disease experts. A workshop was held to teach volunteers how to write proper case-based questions. From this pool, a smaller group of physicians was selected to develop the test and review all test questions. The final examination was developed and administered in February 2008, with scores provided to fellows and program directors in April 2008. Feedback received after the examination will be helpful for developing future MedOnc ITEs. The process ASCO went through to develop the MedOnc ITE serves as a model for other subspecialties interested in developing their own ITEs.
PURPOSE - Hypospadias repair is a complex and seminal procedure that has defined the subspecialty of pediatric urology. We sought to determine the degree of training and opinions regarding the need for fellowship training to achieve necessary competence in hypospadias repair.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - An electronic survey was sent to 518 urology residents and recent graduates, and to 168 practicing pediatric urologists. Nonresponders were resent the survey 2 additional times. The survey consisted of basic questions on level of training or years in practice. Residents and practicing pediatric urologists were asked about the level of resident participation for each step of the hypospadias procedure, and opinions on the necessity of fellowship training. Data were analyzed for statistical differences with Wilcoxon rank sum and multiple and logistic regression tests.
RESULTS - Surveys were completed by 89 pediatric urologists and 208 urology residents or recent graduates (response rate 53% and 40%, respectively). Approximately 70% of residents and attending physicians report that less than 50% of the overall hypospadias procedure is performed by the resident. There appears to be agreement between residents and attending physicians regarding the perceived amount of resident participation for all steps of the procedure except glanular mobilization. Additionally, 71% of residents and 86% of attending physicians believe that a pediatric fellowship is necessary to perform hypospadias surgery.
CONCLUSIONS - The majority of residents and attending physicians report limited resident participation in hypospadias surgery. Residents and attending physicians have significant agreement on perceived participation. Our data do not corroborate the program data regarding the role of urology residents in hypospadias repair. The majority of residents and pediatric urologists believe specialized training is required to perform hypospadias surgery.
All female members and a randomly selected group of male members of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (n = 488) were surveyed by questionnaire as part of a broader study of gender issues in anaesthesia. This paper reports on reasons for career choice and the importance of role models. Responses were received from 199 women and 98 men (60.9% of those surveyed), representing all States and one Territory. Most males (95.9%) and a majority of females (55.7%) worked full-time. Reasons for career choice varied with gender, with a significantly greater proportion of women (39.7%) than men (8.7%) choosing anaesthesia because of controllable hours, particularly the ability to work part-time. Experiences in anaesthesia during internship and residency were important for 19.1% of women and 14.1% of men, although very few mentioned undergraduate exposure. Other important factors in career choice were the application of physiology and pharmacology in patient care, practical and procedural aspects of practice, and chance. A majority of women (56%) and men (55%) named specific role models who were influential and encouraging in their choice. These results are similar to those of other studies.
BACKGROUND - Procedure instruction for physicians-in-training is usually nonstandardized. The authors observed that during insertion of central venous catheters (CVCs), few physicians used full-size sterile drapes (an intervention proven to reduce the risk for CVC-related infection).
OBJECTIVE - To improve standardization of infection control practices and techniques during invasive procedures.
DESIGN - Nonrandomized pre-post observational trial.
SETTING - Six intensive care units and one step-down unit at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
PARTICIPANTS - Third-year medical students and physicians completing their first postgraduate year.
INTERVENTION - A 1-day course on infection control practices and procedures given in June 1996 and June 1997.
MEASUREMENTS - Surveys assessing physician attitudes toward use of sterile techniques during insertion of CVCs were administered during the baseline year and just before, immediately after, and 6 months after the first course. Preintervention and postintervention use of full-size sterile drapes was measured, and surveillance for vascular catheter-related infection was performed.
RESULTS - The perceived need for full-size sterile drapes was 22% in the year before the course and 73% 6 months after the course (P < 0.001). The perceived need for small sterile towels at the insertion site decreased reciprocally (P < 0.001). Documented use of full-size sterile drapes increased from 44% to 65% (P < 0.001). The rate of catheter-related infection decreased from 4.51 infections per 1000 patient-days before the first course to 2.92 infections per 1000 patient-days 18 months after the first course (average decrease, 3.23 infections per 1000 patient-days; P < 0.01). The estimated cost savings of this 28% decrease was at least $63000 and may have exceeded $800000.
CONCLUSIONS - Standardization of infection control practices through a course is a cost-effective way to decrease related adverse outcomes. If these findings can be reproduced, this approach may serve as a model for physicians-in-training.