August 29, 2019

Is it safe to let residents independently perform appendectomies?

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

Senior surgical residents can safely supervise junior residents performing appendectomies, and training programs should encourage faculty to let senior residents manage operative appendicitis as independently as possible as well as supervise junior residents intraoperatively, this study finds.

In this review of 928 appendectomies performed at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, Madison, 597 were one-resident cases and 331 were two-resident (ie, teaching resident) cases.

There were no significant differences in postoperative surgical site infections, conversion to open procedures, postoperative CT scanning, or readmissions within 30 days. Teaching resident operative times were more likely to be prolonged.

In an era of competency-based education and concern about graduating resident readiness for practice, resident autonomy and the ability to teach junior residents is becoming increasingly important, the researchers say.

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