Perceptions of gastroenterology fellows regarding ERCP competency and training

Thomas Kowalski, Thirumaleshwar Kanchana, Surakit Pungpapong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background: The adequacy of ERCP training in the United States may be suboptimal because many training programs do not provide fellows with the exposure to the procedures necessary to achieve competence. Methods: A short survey questionnaire, which assesses the training program, the personal ERCP experience, the perceptions regarding training adequacy, and the post-training practice plans, was sent to all fellows graduating from gastroenterology training programs. Results: Graduating fellows performed a median of 140 ERCPs and 35 sphincterotomies during training, with an associated median comfort level for independently performing sphincterotomy of 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. The median estimated success rate for independent free cannulation was 75%. Based on nonparametric correlation and regression analysis, 180 ERCPs would be necessary to achieve a free cannulation rate of 80% and 69 sphincterotomies to achieve a comfort level of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Thirty-six percent of fellows achieved the number of procedures and cannulation success determined by this study to indicate procedural competence. Sixty-four percent of fellows did not achieve procedural competence and 33% reported inadequate ERCP training. Nevertheless, 91% of fellows expected to perform unsupervised ERCP after training. Conclusion: The results of this study are consistent with those of previously published studies demonstrating that 160 to 200 ERCP procedures are necessary to achieve competence to perform ERCP. The majority of graduating fellows do not achieve an acceptable success rate during training, yet still intend to perform ERCP after training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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