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ANZ J Surg. 2019 Sep 3. doi: 10.1111/ans.15388. [Epub ahead of print]

Acute surgical experience of Australian general surgical trainees.

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Department of General Surgery, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Department of General Surgery, Blacktown Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Department of Colorectal Surgery, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.



A principle of Australian general surgical training is exposure to a variety of operative and clinical experiences. These are potentially being impacted upon by expanding post-fellowship training positions, mandatory reduced working hours, and advances in non-operative care. This study aims to report the recent acute surgical experience of Australian general surgical trainees.


A de-identified summary of general surgical trainee logbook data was obtained from General Surgeons Australia, over a 6-year period (2009-2014). Case volumes in operative and non-operative acute surgical cases were analysed, encompassing 5307 individual logbooks from 12 consecutive training terms.


There was a mean of 112.2 ± 6.8 total major operative cases per trainee per term. There was an increase in case volumes reported from terms 1-8 (from 102.1 to 122.9), with the most recent reported volume being 117.8 cases per trainee in term 12. The total major operative primary operator rate increased from 35.5% in term 1 to 40.6% in term 8, with the most recent reported rate being 41.8% in term 12. Open and laparoscopic colorectal case volumes have remained stable. Operative trauma case volumes have increased.


The acute surgical operative case experience of general surgical trainees has not declined. However, it should continue to be monitored in view of the changing scope of surgical practice.


colorectal surgery; education; general surgery; surgical training; trauma surgery


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