Curriculum Change Needed: A Decline in Antireflux Surgery in the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship

J Surg Res. 2020 Jun 11;255:9-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2020.05.020. Online ahead of print.


Background: Case number requirements by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) have recently changed in general surgery residency and pediatric surgery fellowship. Overall, pediatric surgery fellowship case volumes remain high, but there may be limited exposure to many index cases. We hypothesize that pediatric antireflux surgery is decreasing nationally, and this trend is independent of the fluctuating number of pediatric surgery fellows.

Materials and methods: A review of publicly available ACGME case reports from 2003 to 2018 was performed. Both open and laparoscopic antireflux surgery cases were evaluated. Analyzed data included average case number per fellow, minimum and maximum case numbers, and number of fellows each year. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were performed.

Results: We identified a significant relationship (P < 0.001) between the total number of antireflux procedures and the years of operation. The slope coefficient was -1.45, meaning the number of operations decreased by an average of 1.45 per year from 2003 to 2018 . The number of fellows fluctuated during this time period (range: 24-45). With multiple linear regression analysis, we found that the number of fellows did not affect the decline of antireflux surgery seen over the years (P = 0.91).

Conclusions: Case numbers continue to be an important topic in ACGME discussions for surgical residency and subspecialty fellowships. Our review has shown a national decline in the number of pediatric antireflux surgeries performed in pediatric surgery fellowship. Identifying additional trends in surgical management of diseases may aid in the evolution of the pediatric surgery curriculum.

Keywords: Case volume; Curriculum; Fellowship; Pediatric surgery.