Background: In Australia, the Integrated Training Program (ITP) of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) offers training in obstetrics and gynaecology. There is anecdotal concern among trainees and Fellows that the surgical component of training is inadequate, with new specialists lacking the confidence and competence to perform many ‘standard’ surgical procedures. These concerns have not previously been quantified in Australia and New Zealand.
Aim: To determine trainees’ subjective competence and confidence with surgical procedures and trainees’ satisfaction with their surgical training.
Methods: All 430 active RANZCOG trainees and 108 Fellows elevated within the previous two years were invited to complete a self‐administered questionnaire (65% response rate), which assessed details of procedures performed and confidence to perform them; satisfaction with the surgical training; and perceived teaching ability of the supervising consultants.
Results: Those in ITP year 6 rated their confidence high (≥ 4 of 5) for procedures performed very frequently, but lower for other procedures. No procedure regarding the management of complications reached a confidence score of ≥ 4. Teaching abilities were rated best for obstetric procedures, with 54% rating their consultants’ teaching ability as ‘excellent’; but for laparoscopic procedures and procedures dealing with complications, 21.2% and 23.4% of respondents rated their consultants’ teaching ability as ‘poor’, respectively.
Conclusions: Advanced trainees lacked confidence in a range of surgical procedures; and possible weaker areas were identified in the teaching experience of trainers. These limitations must be addressed by medical educators and training program coordinators.