Objectives: To determine current pulmonary fellows' perspectives about their bronchoscopy training.
Design: Survey of 59 pulmonary fellows selected by training program directors to represent their institutions.
Setting: "Hands-on" symposium at the CHEST 1998 annual meeting, Toronto, Canada.
Results: Fellows reported a mean (+/- SD) of 2.4+/- 0.7 years of training, estimated they had performed 77.7+/-34 bronchoscopies per year, and had generally high estimates of their bronchoscopy proficiency and training. Proficiency estimates correlated with number of procedures cited (r = 0.43, p = 0.001) or level of fellowship training (r = 0.40, p = 0.002). Proficiency ratings (r = 0.63, p = 0.0001) and procedure numbers (r = 0.45, p-0. 0004) correlated with program quality ratings. Approaches to bronchoscopy instruction varied, and most often consisted of one-to-one instruction by faculty (92.5%), lecture-based instruction (74.6%), and case discussions (72.9%). Use of bronchoscopy lectures (p = 0.008) or videos (p = 0.057) were associated with higher self-estimates of proficiency, whereas use of lectures (p = 0.002), a bronchoscopy text (p = 0.009), and one-on-one instruction (p = 0.05) were associated with more highly ranked programs. Major components of training varied among programs. Although most fellows had received instruction encompassed in basic bronchoscopy, fewer had experience with bronchoscopic intubation (71.2%), transbronchial needle aspiration (72.9%), quantitative bacterial culture (64.4%), stent placement (27.1%), laser photocoagulation (25.4%), or cryotherapy (6.8%). Components of bronchoscopy experiences correlated with fellows' estimates of bronchoscopy proficiency and program quality.
Conclusions: Approaches to bronchoscopy instruction and the components of bronchoscopy experiences vary considerably among institutions and are associated with pulmonary fellows' perceptions of bronchoscopy proficiency and training program quality. Definition of an optimum bronchoscopy curriculum remains necessary.