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J Grad Med Educ. 2016 May;8(2):173-9. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-15-00318.1.

Resident Exposure to Peripheral Nerve Surgical Procedures During Residency Training.

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Background Variability in case exposures has been identified for orthopaedic surgery residents. It is not known if this variability exists for peripheral nerve procedures. Objective The objective of this study was to assess ACGME case log data for graduating orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery, and neurological surgery residents for peripheral nerve surgical procedures and to evaluate intraspecialty and interspecialty variability in case volume. Methods Surgical case logs from 2009 to 2014 for the 4 specialties were compared for peripheral nerve surgery experience. Peripheral nerve case volume between specialties was performed utilizing a paired t test, 95% confidence intervals were calculated, and linear regression was calculated to assess the trends. Results The average number of peripheral nerve procedures performed per graduating resident was 54.2 for orthopaedic surgery residents, 62.8 for independent plastic surgery residents, 84.6 for integrated plastic surgery residents, 22.4 for neurological surgery residents, and 0.4 for surgery residents. Intraspecialty comparison of the 10th and 90th percentile peripheral nerve case volume in 2012 revealed remarkable variability in training. There was a 3.9-fold difference within orthopaedic surgery, a 5.0-fold difference within independent plastic surgery residents, an 8.8-fold difference for residents from integrated plastic surgery programs, and a 7.0-fold difference within the neurological surgery group. Conclusions There is interspecialty and intraspecialty variability in peripheral nerve surgery volume for orthopaedic, plastic, neurological, and general surgery residents. Caseload is not the sole determinant of training quality as mentorship, didactics, case breadth, and complexity play an important role in training.

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