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J Urol. 2009 Feb;181(2):778-82. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.10.018. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

Long-term impact of a robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy mini fellowship training program on postgraduate urological practice patterns.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of California, Irvine, Orange, California 92868, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy has stimulated a great deal of interest among urologists. We evaluated whether a mini fellowship for robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy would enable postgraduate urologists to incorporate this new procedure into clinical practice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

From July 2003 to July 2006, 47 urologists participated in the robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy mini fellowship program. The 5-day course had a 1:2 faculty-to-attendee ratio. The curriculum included lectures, tutorials, surgical case observation, and inanimate, animate and cadaveric robotic skill training. Questionnaires assessing practice patterns 1, 2 and 3 years after the mini fellowship program were analyzed.

RESULTS:

One, 2 and 3 years after the program the response rate to the questionnaires was 89% (42 of 47 participants), 91% (32 of 35) and 88% (21 of 24), respectively. The percent of participants performing robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy in years 1 to 3 after the mini fellowship was 78% (33 of 42), 78% (25 of 32) and 86% (18 of 21), respectively. Among the surgeons performing the procedure there was a progressive increase in the number of cases each year with increasing time since the mini fellowship training. In the 3 attendees not performing the procedure 3 years after the mini fellowship training the reasons were lack of a robot, other partners performing it and a feeling of insufficient training to incorporate the procedure into clinical practice in 1 each. One, 2 and 3 years following the mini fellowship training program 83%, 84% and 90% of partnered attendees were performing robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, while only 67%, 56% and 78% of solo attendees, respectively, were performing it at the same followup years.

CONCLUSIONS:

An intensive, dedicated 5-day educational course focused on learning robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy enabled most participants to successfully incorporate and maintain this procedure in clinical practice in the short term and long term.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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