Today at the 24th Annual SMSNA Fall Scientific Meeting, Dr. Hossein Sadeghi-Nejad addressed the decline in resident autonomy in urology and sexual medicine. Residents in urology appear to be graduating with diminished confidence, and are less likely to be assigned to independently handle major surgical cases. The trend of decreasing resident autonomy has been consistent from 2004 to 2019, with the percentage of resident-only surgical cases dropping from 31.3% to 18.6%.
Dr. Sadeghi-Nejad highlighted the growing unease among residents who may feel unprepared to work without supervision in significant surgical procedures. Despite the decline in autonomy, the study revealed that the postoperative outcomes of resident-only cases are remarkably similar to those completed with both a resident and an attending clinician. This challenges the notion that decreasing resident autonomy necessarily leads to improved surgical outcomes.
The findings suggest that the traditional approach of limiting resident autonomy may not be as beneficial as previously thought. The data presented raises important considerations for medical education and training in urology, emphasizing the need to strike a balance between providing adequate supervision and allowing residents the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence required for independent practice. As the medical community navigates these challenges, it becomes crucial to reassess training methodologies to ensure that residents are well-equipped for the demands of their future roles in urology and sexual medicine.