A colonoscopy is an invaluable procedure for detecting problems in the colon and rectum. Doctors can often diagnose gastrointestinal issues and even catch the warning signs of colorectal cancer. Perfecting the skills required for this delicate procedure takes practice. But just how much practice makes perfect?
That was the question Robert E. Sedlack, M.D., and his Mayo Clinic research team set out to answer in their recently completed study of colorectal procedures. Their findings suggest much more practice is needed than gastroenterological professional societies currently recommend.
In this video, Dr. Sedlack discusses the study findings. “Current recommendations are that 140 procedures should be done before attempting to assess competency, but with no set recommendations on how to assess it,” he says. “Our findings suggest that it takes an average of 275 procedures for a gastroenterology fellow to reach minimal cognitive and motor competency.”
The study assessed the performance of 41 Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology fellows who performed more than 6,600 colonoscopies in Rochester, Minn., from July 2007 through June 2010. The research team used a validated testing method called the Mayo Colonoscopy Skills Assessment Tool (MCSAT).