Evaluating learning curves and competence in colorectal EMR among advanced endoscopy fellows: a pilot multicenter prospective trial using cumulative sum analysis

Gastrointest Endosc. 2021 Mar;93(3):682-690.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2020.09.023. Epub 2020 Sep 19.


Background and aims: Data on colorectal EMR (C-EMR) training are lacking. We aimed to evaluate C-EMR training among advanced endoscopy fellows (AEFs) by using a standardized assessment tool (STAT).

Methods: This multicenter prospective study used a STAT to grade AEF training in C-EMR during their 12-month fellowship. Cumulative sum analysis was used to establish learning curves and competence for cognitive and technical components of C-EMR and overall performance. Sensitivity analysis was performed by varying failure rates. AEFs completed a self-assessment questionnaire to assess their comfort level with performing C-EMR at the completion of their fellowship.

Results: Six AEFs (189 C-EMRs; mean per AEF, 31.5 ± 18.5) were included. Mean polyp size was 24.3 ± 12.6 mm, and mean procedure time was 22.6 ± 16.1 minutes. Learning curve analyses revealed that less than 50% of AEFs achieved competence for key cognitive and technical C-EMR endpoints. All 6 AEFs reported feeling comfortable performing C-EMR independently at the end of their training, although only 2 of them achieved competence in their overall performance. The minimum threshold to achieve competence in these 2 AEFs was 25 C-EMRs.

Conclusions: A relatively low proportion of AEFs achieved competence on key cognitive and technical aspects of C-EMR during their 12-month fellowship. The relatively low number of C-EMRs performed by AEFs may be insufficient to achieve competence, in spite of their self-reported readiness for independent practice. These pilot data serve as an initial framework for competence threshold, and suggest the need for validated tools for formal C-EMR training assessment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Gastroenterology* / education
  • Humans
  • Learning Curve
  • Prospective Studies