Resident operative experience in pediatric neurosurgery across the United States

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  • 1 College of Medicine and
  • 5 Departments of Neurosurgery and
  • 7 Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis;
  • 6 Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis; and
  • 8 Semmes Murphey, Memphis, Tennessee;
  • 2 Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington;
  • 3 Division of Neurosurgery, Connecticut Children’s, Hartford, Connecticut; and
  • 4 Department of Neurosurgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
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OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgical residents receive exposure to the subspecialty of pediatric neurosurgery during training. The authors sought to determine resident operative experience in pediatric neurosurgery across Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)–accredited neurosurgical programs.

METHODS

During 2018–2019, pediatric neurosurgical case logs for recent graduates or current residents who completed their primary pediatric exposure were collected from US continental ACGME training programs. Using individual resident reports and procedure designations, operative volumes and case diversity were analyzed collectively, according to training site characteristics, and also correlated with the recently described Resident Experience Score (RES).

RESULTS

Of the 114 programs, a total of 316 resident case logs (range 1–19 residents per program) were received from 86 (75%) programs. The median cumulative pediatric case volume per resident was 109 (IQR 75–161). Residents at programs with a pediatric fellowship reported a higher median case volume (143, IQR 96–187) than residents at programs without (91, IQR 66–129; p < 0.0001). Residents at programs that outsource their pediatric rotation had a lower median case volume (84, IQR 52–114) compared with those at programs with an in-house experience (117, IQR 79–170; p < 0.0001). The case diversity index among all programs ranged from 0.61 to 0.80, with no statistically significant differences according to the Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowships designation or pediatric experience site (p > 0.05). The RES correlated moderately (r = 0.44) with median operative volumes per program. A program’s annual pediatric operative volume and duration of pediatric experience were identified as significant predictive factors for median resident operative volume.

CONCLUSIONS

Resident experience in pediatric neurosurgery is variable within and between programs. Case volumes are generally higher for residents at programs with in-house exposure and an accredited fellowship, but case diversity is relatively uniform across all programs. RES provides some insight on anticipated case volume, but other unexplained factors remain.

ABBREVIATIONS ACGME = Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; ACPNF = Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowships; RES = Resident Experience Score.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplemental Figures and Tables (PDF 6593 kb)

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Paul Klimo Jr.: Semmes Murphey Clinic, Memphis, TN. pklimo@semmes-murphey.com.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online April 9, 2021; DOI: 10.3171/2020.9.PEDS20518.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

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