Deficits in urological knowledge and skills among family medicine residents in Canada
Introduction: The last 10–15 years has seen a decline in formal undergraduate urological education throughout Canada. Given the large volume of urological presentations in family practice, trainees need to acquire the requisite urological knowledge and skills to serve their patients. The objective of this study is to determine the perceived level of urological knowledge and skills among Canadian family medicine residents.
Methods: A 15-item, anonymous, online survey was distributed via email to all Canadian family medicine program directors from September to December 2018 and distributed to their residents. The survey obtained data on demographics, training, undergraduate urology experience, self-reported proficiency in interpreting urological investigations, performing common urological procedures, and managing common urological conditions. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data.
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 142 family medicine residents with representation from Western Canada (27.5%), Ontario (32.4%), and Quebec (40.1%); 39.4% of respondents had completed a urology rotation during medical school and only 29.1% felt that their medical training prepared them for the urological aspects of family medicine. Although the majority of respondents felt proficient in performing a digital rectal examination (58.5%) or managing urinary tract infections (97.9%), only a minority felt competent in performing male genitourinary examination (40.1%), uncomplicated male (34.5%), female (45.8%) or difficult (9.2%) urethral catheterization. Likewise, the minority of respondents felt comfortable managing erectile dysfunction (41.5%), scrotal swelling (34.7%), and scrotal pain (25.7%).
Conclusions: There are significant deficiencies in urological knowledge and skills among family medicine residents in Canada, possibly because of insufficient educational experiences during medical training.
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