Laparoscopic urology training in South Africa
Background and Purpose: Laparoscopic urologic surgery is not widely practiced in South Africa. After presenting a laparoscopic training course, we evaluated how effectively this training translated into clinical practice. Subjects and Methods: Invitations to the course were sent to all South African urologists. Ten applicants attended the course, which consisted of dry and in-vivo animal surgery. Two questionnaires were sent out after the course. Questionnaire 1 (at course completion) aimed at identifying the precourse laparoscopic experience and expectations of the trainee. Questionnaire 2 (6 months postcourse) assessed how much laparoscopic surgery the participant had performed since the course. Results: Seventeen percent of all South African urologists responded to the invitation. Prior to the course, 40% of trainees had performed a 10 laparoscopic cases, 30% had performed <10 cases, and 30% had never performed laparoscopy, whereas 60% expected to be doing one or two cases a month after completing the course. Six months after the course, 60% had performed no laparoscopic cases. Of the three trainees who had never before done laparoscopic procedures, none had started to perform procedures since the course. The commonest procedures performed were varicocelectomy and diagnostic laparoscopy for nonpalpable testis. Conclusions: A hands-on laparoscopic training course to introduce laparoscopic urology into South African private urology practice has not translated into a satisfactory number of clinical cases being performed. The causes are likely multifactorial but are greatly influenced by social and economic forces. One possible solution may be to offer a mentor-based training program. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.