Cassandra Craig, MD1, S. Craig Owen, MD2, Priyanka Acharya, MPH, MSc3, Prashant Kedia, MD1
1Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Dallas, TX; 2San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX; 3Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute, Dallas, TX
Introduction: Gastroenterologists practicing in the United States perform on average 12 endoscopies and 22 colonoscopies per week and spend 43% of their time performing endoscopy. 39-89% of endoscopists report pain and/or injuries related to performing procedures. Recently, there has been an emphasis on optimizing physician trainee mental health, while education and training on managing the physical strain associated with endoscopy is lacking. We hypothesized that gastroenterology fellows are receiving insufficient training in the ergonomics of endoscopy.
Methods: A survey consisting of nine questions was distributed to all gastroenterology fellowship coordinators and program directors to distribute to their fellows. Primary outcome targets were the percentage of fellows having undergone any ergonomics training as well as the number of hours of instruction received. Secondary outcomes included the type of work-related injury and the responder’s opinion on the need for additional training. Demographic data obtained included age, sex, year in training and overall physical fitness level.
Results: Ninety-nine fellows completed the survey. The average age was 32.9 years old, 74.8% male, and first/second/third years were equally represented (28.3% vs 34.3% vs 32.3%) with only 5.1% being advanced fellows (5.1%). 53.5% reported good overall health. Only 45.5% have received any training in ergonomics, 8.1% reported more than 2 hours and 92.9% felt they would benefit from additional training. Procedurally related injuries were reported in 27.3% of fellows. Despite a trend towards more females reporting work related injuries it was not statistically significant (p=0.098). Once again, a trend was seen in second and third years reporting more injuries (p=0.076). There was no significant difference in perceived health of respondents reporting injuries (p=0.864) or amount of training received (p=0.232).
Discussion: Despite a limited sample size clear trends in endoscopic ergonomics training were identified. The majority of fellows have received no or minimal training and an overwhelming amount believe that they would benefit from additional instruction. With more than 25% of fellows reporting an injury as a direct result of endoscopy, if no changes are made in training curriculum we can assume this number will grow as their careers progress. Our survey demonstrated a need and desire for more formal training in the ergonomics of endoscopy.
Citation: Cassandra Craig, MD; S. Craig Owen, MD; Priyanka Acharya, MPH, MSc; Prashant Kedia, MD. P0360 - IS THE FUTURE OF GASTROENTEROLOGY BEING PREPARED TO PREVENT WORK RELATED INJURIES AND ALLOW FOR A LONG HEALTHY CAREER: QUESTION ANSWERED. Program No. P0360. ACG 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. San Antonio, Texas: American College of Gastroenterology.