Recent guidelines have encouraged gastroenterology and surgical training programs to integrate simulation into their core endoscopic curricula.
However, the role that simulation currently has within training programs is unknown.
This study aims to assess the current status of simulation among gastroenterology fellowship programs.
METHODS: DESIGN:This questionnaire study consisted of 38 fields divided into two sections.
The first section queried program directors' experience on simulation and assessed the current status of simulation at their institution.
The second portion surveyed their opinion on the potential role of simulation on the training curriculum.
SETTING:The study was conducted at the 2013 American Gastroenterological Association Training Directors' Workshop in Phoenix, Arizona.
PARTICIPANTS:The participants were program directors from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited gastroenterology training programs, who attended the workshop. RESULTS:The questionnaire was returned by 69 of 97 program directors (response rate of 71%).
42% of programs had an endoscopic simulator. Computerized simulators (61.5%) were the most common, followed by mechanical (30.8%) and animal tissue (7.7%) simulators, respectively.
Eleven programs (15%) required fellows to use simulation prior to clinical cases.
Only one program has a minimum number of hours fellows have to participate in simulation training.
Current simulators are deemed as easy to use (76%) and good educational tools (65%).
Problems are cost (72%) and accessibility (69%).
The majority of program directors believe that there is a need for endoscopic simulator training, with only 8% disagreeing.
Additionally, a majority believe there is a role for simulation prior to initiation of clinical cases with 15% disagreeing.
CONCLUSION:Gastroenterology fellowship program directors widely recognize the importance of simulation.
Nevertheless, simulation is used by only 42% of programs and only 15% of programs require that trainees use simulation prior to clinical cases.
No programs currently use simulation as part of the evaluation process.