OBJECTIVES: To document the current status of laparoscopic training of paediatric surgical registrars in South Africa.
METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was distributed. Participants were asked to document their involvement in a number of index laparoscopic procedures during the preceding year, as well as additional non-operative training they received and their satisfaction with their training thus far.
RESULTS: All registrars (N=16) completed the questionnaire. Registrars were from the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Pretoria, the Witwatersrand, and Walter Sisulu University. The ratio of consultants proficient in paediatric laparoscopy to registrars was between 0.6 and 1. Junior registrars were more likely to assist with, and senior registrars more likely to perform, procedures. Registrar satisfaction varied greatly across institutions, with 44% of registrars satisfied with their training.
CONCLUSIONS: The consultant-to-registrar ratio is favourable, and high patient load provides opportunity for laparoscopic education. However, there are a number of obstacles to adequate training. These include the feasibility of after-hours laparoscopic surgery and the availability and use of training aids. The introduction of a structured training programme across all institutions will improve laparoscopic proficiency and satisfaction among paediatric surgical registrars in South Africa.