Residency training in neonatal circumcision: a pilot study and needs assessment

J Urol. 2010 Oct;184(4 Suppl):1754-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.03.077. Epub 2010 Aug 21.


Purpose: Routine neonatal circumcision is one of the most commonly performed procedures in a neonate. Residents are expected to acquire the skills to properly evaluate the neonate and gain proficiency in performing circumcision despite significant variability in training. We performed a needs assessment to evaluate obstetric-gynecology residency training in neonatal circumcision.

Materials and methods: We performed an online self-assessment survey of obstetric-gynecology residents at Prentice Hospital, Chicago, from November 2008 to February 2009. Using images of uncircumcised penises residents were asked to identify which patients were candidates for routine neonatal circumcision.

Results: Of 36 obstetric-gynecology residents 27 responded to the survey. Most respondents planned to perform neonatal circumcision when in practice, 44% had no formal training in circumcision and most were comfortable performing routine neonatal circumcision. Overall respondents were less comfortable evaluating whether the a newborn penis could undergo circumcision safely. When presented with 10 pictures of penises and asked to determine whether the neonate should undergo circumcision, 0% of respondents correctly identified all contraindications to neonatal circumcision with an average of 42% of contraindications identified correctly. Of the respondents 77% listed practical experience as the first choice to learn a procedure with an online module preferred by 55% as the second choice.

Conclusions: Although most residents feel competent to technically perform the procedure, they are not confident in their ability to judge the appropriate contraindications to neonatal circumcision. This needs assessment highlights the necessity for further curriculum development and formalized training in this domain.

MeSH terms

  • Circumcision, Male / education*
  • Gynecology / education*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires