The ACGME Case Log System allows residents to document the breadth of their surgical experience during residency and to enable the ACGME's surgical Review Committees to monitor programs to ensure that residents have an adequate volume and variety of experiences.
ACGME resident case logs from residents graduating between 2013 and 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. These reports were analyzed to determine trends in resident operative experience in pediatric procedures. The number of cases performed by residents was compared to the required minimums set by the ACGME within each pediatric surgical category. A linear regression analysis and t tests were utilized to analyze the change in cases performed over the study period.
A mean of 98.8 procedures were performed for each of the 877 residents graduating between 2013 and 2017. The total number of pediatric procedures declined at a rate of 1.7 cases/year (r2 = 0.77, p = 0.05). Spine and cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedures showed decreasing trends at rates of 1.9 (r2 = 0.70, p = 0.08) and 1.2 (r2 = 0.70, p = 0.08) cases/year, respectively. The number of trauma and brain tumor cases were shown to have increasing rates at 1.0 (r2 = 0.86, p = 0.02) and 0.3 (r2 = 0.69, p = 0.08) cases/year, respectively, with trauma cases showing significant increases. There was also a trend of increasing cases logged as the lead resident surgeon by 12.9 cases/year (r2 = 0.99, p < 0.001). The number of cases performed by the average graduating resident was also significantly higher than the minimums required by the ACGME; residents, on average, performed 3 times the required minimum number of pediatric cases.
Neurosurgical residents graduating from 2013 to 2017 reported significantly higher volumes of pediatric neurosurgery cases than the standards set for by the ACGME. During this time, there was also a significant trend of increasing cases logged as the lead resident surgeon, suggesting more involvement in the critical portions of pediatric cases. There was also a significant, but not clinically impactful, decrease in pediatric case volumes during this time. However, the overall data indicate that residents are continuing to gain valuable pediatric experience during residency training 1).