It is essential for young physicians in municipal hospitals to be familiar with the technique of upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. Endoscopy is an exciting subspecialty in primary care medicine. Endoscopic procedures are primarily performed by general physicians in Japan. However, a standardized strategy for teaching diagnostic GI endoscopy is still lacking, and there is not sufficient time for young physicians to effectively learn the upper GI endoscopy technique. To elucidate how young physicians can be trained in the skills of GI endoscopy in a short time period, we initiated a 12-week training course. Two young physicians performed upper GI endoscopies for outpatients and inpatients 2 or 3 days a week from April 2010 to March 2012. The total number of cases undergoing GI endoscopy during the training course in each year was 117 and 111, respectively. The young physicians were trained in this technique by the attending physician. The short-term training course included four phases. During these phases, the young physicians learned how to insert the endoscope through the nasal cavity or oral cavity into the esophageal inlet, how to pass the endoscope from the esophageal inlet into the duodenum, how to take pictures with the endoscope, and how to stain the gastric and duodenal mucosa and take mucosal biopsy samples. The young physicians experienced 20-30 cases in each phase. In week five, they performed endoscope insertion into the duodenum along the folds of the greater curvature of the stomach. They viewed the entire stomach and took pictures until week ten of the course. The pictures taken in week ten were of a better quality for examining the disease lesions than those taken in week six. In the last 2 weeks of the training course, the young physicians stained the gastric and duodenal mucosa and took mucosal biopsy samples. The short-term training course of 100-120 cases in 12 weeks was effective for teaching young physicians how to perform GI endoscopies independently.
Keywords: endoscopy; gastroenterology; general medicine; medical education; young physicians.