Routine neonatal circumcision: opportunities for improving residency training

Brian Le, Vidit Sharma, Dae Kim, James Dupree, Max Maizels
Journal of Pediatric Urology 2013, 9 (5): 605-8

OBJECTIVES: Primary care physicians are the routine providers of neonatal circumcision, yet urologists commonly manage the complications. We previously identified a need for improved formalized training in neonatal circumcisions among ob-gyn residents. Here we extend the needs assessment to urology residents.

METHODS: From Nov 2008 to Nov 2009, ob-gyn and urology residents at our institution were given an online survey to assess comfort, education, and proficiency in pre-operative evaluation and performance of circumcisions.

RESULTS: 26/35 (74%) ob-gyn and 12/17 (65%) urology residents responded to the survey. 62% of ob-gyn and 33% of urology residents intended to perform neonatal circumcisions in practice. Both groups described having little formal training in neonatal circumcision. Ob-gyn residents felt more comfortable than urology residents in performing neonatal circumcisions [mean 5.9 vs. 4.3, p = 0.001; 1 (very uncomfortable) - 7 (very comfortable)], though urology residents' comfort level increased with resident year. Ob-gyn residents felt less comfortable than urology residents (mean 3.9 vs. 5.1, p = 0.031) evaluating if a newborn penis may undergo circumcision safely. Urology residents performed better than ob-gyn residents at identifying contraindications to routine circumcision from 10 scenarios (mean 63% vs. 42% p < 0.001). Both felt that an online module was a good alternative to practical experience.

CONCLUSIONS: At our institution, ob-gyn and urology residents have little formalized training in neonatal circumcision. While ob-gyn residents are comfortable performing circumcisions, they feel less comfortable evaluating the newborn penis and correctly managed fewer scenarios than did urology residents. This highlights the need for further curriculum development and formalized training.

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