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Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2003 Apr;13(2):73-80.

Training in pediatric surgery--a comparison of 24 countries in Europe and other countries around the world.

Erratum in

  • Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2003 Dec;13(6):434.


What is the training in pediatric surgery like, how is pediatric surgery defined in other countries and what are the possibilities of quality control for training in pediatric surgery? The results of an inquiry together with information about training in pediatric surgery in 24 countries are summarised to show the different possibilities of organising training in pediatric surgery inside and outside Europe. The number of trainees in pediatric surgery (ranging from 0 to 339 trainees per country), the density of pediatric surgeons (ranging from 424 to 35 714 live births/year per pediatric surgeon) and the number of Centres of Pediatric Surgery (ranging from 4167 to 65,000 live births or 450,000 to 5,300,000 inhabitants per Centre) varies a lot in the different countries. Countries with a higher density of pediatric surgeons often also have a higher number of trainees irrespective of the birth rate and the number of inhabitants within the country, indicating a good infrastructure for pediatric surgery. In 87.5 % of the countries pediatric surgery is recognised as a specialty. The mean duration of training is about 6 years and 3 months, excluding the countries where it is necessary to become a fully accredited general surgeon before doing pediatric surgery. The mean duration of stay in general surgery is 2 years and 10 months. In one third of the countries it is obligatory to spend some time (3 to 12 months) in pediatrics. An elective or a compulsory period of time (1 - 6 months) in other specialties such as orthopedic surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, thoracic surgery and urology exists in 41.7 % of the nations. The most common subspecialties within pediatric surgery practised during the training by the resident are abdominal surgery, thoracic surgery, oncological surgery, head and neck surgery and urology. Possible means of control to guarantee a high quality of training include a defined time of stay in each subspecialty, the number of operations done by the trainee or the number of cases treated by the resident in the respective subspecialty and the distinction of different levels of surgery done by the trainee during his residence. In many cases the type of control is not specified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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