Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? Measuring the impact of the ABS flexible endoscopy curriculum

Joshua J. Weis, Jordan Grubbs, Daniel J. Scott, Kareem R. Abdelfattah, Abier A. Abdelnaby, Deborah Farr, Sara A. Hennessy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: In 2014, the ABS introduced the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (FEC). The FEC did not alter the minimum defined category case volumes for endoscopy; however, it did introduce specific cognitive and technical milestones for endoscopy training. It also mandated that residents pass the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Skills (FES) exam to qualify for board certification. Although significant research has been published regarding residents’ success on the FES exam, very little is known regarding how the FEC has changed the way general surgery programs train their residents in surgical endoscopy. The aim of this study was to quantify changes in flexible endoscopy education at a large academic program in the 4 years since the FEC was published. Methods: We classified the impact of FEC into four categories: (a) case volume or distribution, (b) clinical rotations, (c) required didactics or simulation exercises, and (d) FES pass rates. For category (a), we reviewed current and historical case logs for all categorical residents from 2013 to 2018. Mann–Whitney U tests were used to compare endoscopy volumes for each PGY level in 2013–2014 to the respective PGY level in 2017–2018 with p < 0.05 considered significant. For categories (b)–(d), we gathered historical records from the residency coordinator and endoscopy rotation director. Results: Complete data were available for 57 residents in the 2013–2014 academic year and 56 residents in the 2017–2018 academic year. Median total endoscopies performed by PGY2, PGY3, and PGY5 residents all significantly increased during the FEC rollout. Our program’s focus on endoscopy also expanded with absolute increases in endoscopy rotations, didactics, and simulation exercises. These changes translated into significantly increased pass rates on the FES exam from 40 to 100%. Conclusions: Implementation of the FEC at a large academic program led to measurable improvements in clinical experience, program structure, educational programing, and performance on high-stakes assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4110-4114
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Flexible endoscopy
  • Simulation
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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