Skill based mentored laparoscopy course participation leads to laparoscopic practice expansion and assists in transition to robotic surgery

J Urol. 2011 Nov;186(5):1997-2000. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.07.007. Epub 2011 Sep 23.


Purpose: Prior studies suggest poor long-term incorporation of laparoscopy into urology practice after a postgraduate course. We evaluated the influence of the American Urological Association Mentored Laparoscopy Course on urologist clinical practice.

Materials and methods: The 2-day Mentored Laparoscopy Course includes lectures, standardized dry laboratory training with videotape analysis and a porcine laboratory with consistent mentors. Surveys to assess the impact of the course were sent in April 2010 to the 153 urologists who had taken the course from 2004 through 2009.

Results: Of the 153 surveys 91 (60%) were returned a mean of 34.5 months after completing the course. Of the respondents 82% were in a group private practice, followed by solo private practice (15%) and full-time academic practice (3%). Of the respondents 92% reported that they had sutured laparoscopically, 52% had sutured a bleeding vessel and 51% had performed reconstructive laparoscopy since taking the course. Of the respondents 77% reported that their laparoscopic practice had expanded since taking the course (mean 2.9 cases monthly). Of the 41 respondents (45%) who now performed robotic surgery (mean 3.8 cases monthly) 39 (95%) thought that the course experience had helped with the transition into robotic surgery. Overall survey respondents were pleased with the experience during the course with 89 of 91 (98%) stating that they would recommend the course to a colleague.

Conclusions: Long-term results reveal that the American Urological Association Mentored Laparoscopy Course attendees reported expansion in their laparoscopic practice since taking the course. They described the course as benefiting the transition to robotic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / education*
  • Robotics
  • Urology / education*