Background: In 2011, the European Basic Laparoscopic Urological Skills (E-BLUS) examination was introduced as a pilot for the examination of final-year urologic residents. Objective: In this study, we aimed to answer the following research questions: What level of laparoscopic skills do final-year residents in urology have in Europe, and do the participants of the E-BLUS pass the examination according to the validated criteria? Design, setting, and participants: Participants of the examination were final-year urology residents from different European countries taking part in the European Urology Residents Education Program in 2011 and 2012. Surgical procedure: The E-BLUS exam consists of five tasks validated for the training of basic urologic laparoscopic skills. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Performances of the tasks were recorded on DVD and analysed by an objective rater. Time and number of errors made in tasks 1-4 were noted. Furthermore, all expert laparoscopic urologists were asked to score participants on a global rating scale (1-5) based on three items: depth perception, bimanual dexterity, and efficiency. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire on prior training and laparoscopic experience. Results and limitations: Seventy DVD recordings were analysed. Most participants did not pass the time criteria on task 4 (90%), task 2 (85.7%), task 1 (74.3%), and task 5 (71.4%). Task 3 was passed by 84.3%. The overall quality score was passed by 64%. When combining time and quality, only three participants (4.2%) passed the examination according to the validated criteria. According to the questionnaire, 61% did not have the opportunity to train in laparoscopic skills. Conclusions: The results of the E-BLUS examination show that the level of basic laparoscopic skills among European residents is low. Although quality of performance is good, most residents do not pass the validated time criteria. Regular laparoscopic training or a dedicated fellowship should improve the laparoscopic level of residents in urology.
- Minimal invasive urology