The authors aimed to identify strength and gaps in ENT training in Belgium through a national survey amongst ENT Belgian trainees. They attempted to contact 94 trainees, with a response rate of 59.5%. Of the respondents, 35.7% rated their level of overall surgical competence at 3/5 compared to ideal mastery. Another 26% evaluated their level at 2/5, 19% put it at 1/5, and 17% at 4/5. Communication skills were more favourably rated with 62.5% rating themselves at 4/5 for communication with patients. Surprisingly, 55% did not know their training objectives, and 73% did not know the basic surgical procedures that a qualified ENT surgeon should be able to perform. The main mode of learning (73%) was the observation of a senior and repetition under supervision, whilst in 14.3% of cases it was trial-and-error learning. In 23% of cases, there was no feedback available for trainees. More than half (54.5%) of trainees did not think that the distribution of surgical activities was adapted to their level of ability throughout their training period. The majority of respondents (91%) advocated cadaveric training and 50% advocated simulation training. The results do suggest that there are areas where ENT training can be improved upon, and it appears that there is an appetite amongst ENT trainees in Belgium for this to happen.

ENT surgical training in 2018: national cross-sectional study.
Rogister F, Camby S, Ansari E, et al.
B-ENT
2019;15:77-84.
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Sunil Sharma

Great Ormond Street Hospital, UK.

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