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J Am Coll Surg. 2006 Nov;203(5):692-8. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Short-term impact of a laparoscopic "mini-residency" experience on postgraduate urologists' practice patterns.

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Department of Urology, University of California, Irvine, Orange, CA 92868, USA.



To assist practicing urologists incorporate laparoscopic urology into their practice, a 5-day mini-residency (M-R) program with a mentor, preceptor, and proctor experience was established at the University of California, Irvine, and we report the initial results.


Thirty-two urologists underwent laparoscopic ablative (n=17) or laparoscopic reconstructive (n=15) training, including inanimate model skills training, animal laboratory, and operating room observation. A questionnaire was mailed 1 to 15 months (mean, 8 months) after their M-R program, and responses were reviewed.


A 100% response rate was achieved. The mean M-R participant age was 49 years (range 31 to 70 years). The majority of the participants (72%) had laparoscopic experience during residency training and had performed between 5 and 15 laparoscopic cases before attending the M-R program. Within 8 months after M-R, 26 participants (81%) were practicing laparoscopic surgery. Participants were performing laparoscopic radical nephrectomy (p=0.008), nephroureterectomy (p<0.0005), and pyeloplasty (p=0.008) at substantially higher rates after training. At the same time, fewer of the M-R participants were performing hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery after training (p=0.008) compared with before the M-R. Ninety-two percent of the participants indicated that they would recommend this training program to a colleague.


A 5-day intensive laparoscopic ablative and reconstructive surgery course seems to encourage postgraduate urologists, already familiar with laparoscopy, to successfully expand the scope of their procedures to include more complex laparoscopic techniques such as nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, and pyeloplasty into their clinical practice.

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