Aim It is often thought that practice patterns are different in private (PP) vs university hospital (UH) settings. We aimed to describe the impact of practice environment on the type of laparoscopic colectomy procedures performed by graduating colorectal surgeons. Method A review was carried out of prospectively gathered self-reported questionnaire data. Graduates of American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons' (ASCRS)-approved colorectal residencies from 2004 to 2008 underwent an on-line survey, developed by the ASCRS Young Surgeons' Committee. Results About 177 (52%) of 342 graduates surveyed responded. Practice setting data were available for 157 (89%) surgeons. Gender, geographical location and age were similar in both cohorts. PP surgeons utilized a laparoscopic approach more often for rectal cancer (37%vs 19%; P=0.003). There was no significant difference in the rate of laparoscopic surgery in colon cancer, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Clostridium difficile or emergency surgery. PP surgeons operated more often with a partner (43%vs 8%) or surgical assistant (13%vs 4%; both P<0.001), while UH surgeons had a colorectal resident (10%vs 21%) or general surgery resident (15%vs 55%; both P<0.001). Impediments to performing laparoscopic surgery for PP surgeons included a perceived lack of hospital equipment (33%vs 20%) and support (29%vs 17%; both P<0.05). Perception of personal experience, access to trained assistants, financial reimbursement, length of surgery and patient availability were equivalent in both groups. Conclusion While differences such as type of assistant and impediments to laparoscopic utilization exist between PP- and UH-based practices, early laparoscopic practice patterns remain similar. PP surgeons more frequently perform laparoscopic resection for rectal cancer and with hand-assistance. Despite differences, newly trained colorectal surgeons in both settings utilize and require laparoscopic skills.
- Private practice
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