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Status of urologic laparoscopy in 2004: a survey of CUA members
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, St. Michael's Hospital, Univers
Jun  2006 (Vol.  13, Issue  3, Pages( 3147 - 3152)


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    The optimal method of acquiring laparoscopic skills has not been determined. We sought to examine the current status of urologic laparoscopy and how practicing urologists acquired the skills needed to perform laparoscopic procedures. METHODS: A mail questionnaire regarding laparoscopic practices and training was sent to 480 members of the Canadian Urological Association (CUA) using standard Dillman survey methodology.


    Three hundred (62.5%) urologists responded to the questionnaire; 56.5% practiced in the community and 41.1% in an academic setting. There were 59.9% who had completed some form of fellowship training. Recent graduates (who finished residency after 1995) were more likely to perform all types of laparoscopic procedures compared to older graduates (65% versus 29.7%, p < 0.001). Advanced procedures were also performed more frequently by recent graduates (52.5% versus 23.4%, p < 0.001). Of those who do not currently perform laparoscopy, 38.2% plan to learn in the future. The most common method of acquiring laparoscopic skills was with animal laboratory experience (39.4%), but only 20.9% relied solely on this method. A trip to a centre of excellence (28.5%) and training from an urologist at the same institution (25.7 %) was also commonly reported as methods of acquiring skills. There were 48.8% who reported beginning laparoscopic procedures without a mentor.


    A substantial portion of the Canadian urological community employs laparoscopy, although recent graduates are more likely to do so. Training methods in laparoscopy are variable, but a substantial portion of urologists begin practicing laparoscopic procedures without formal mentoring.