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Current status of pain medicine training in anesthesiology and pain medicine residency programs in university hospitals of Korea: a survey of residents’ opinions

Abstract

Background In Korea, anesthesiologists are expected to be mainstream pain medicine (PM) practitioners. However, anesthesiology and pain medicine (APM) residency programs mostly emphasize anesthesia learning, leading to insufficient PM learning. Therefore, this study evaluated the current status of PM training in APM residency programs in 10 Korean university hospitals.

Methods Overall, 156 residents undergoing APM training participated anonymously in our survey, focusing on PM training. We assessed the aim, satisfaction status, duration, opinion on duration, desired duration, weaknesses of the training programs and plans of residents after graduating. We divided the residents into junior (first and second year) and senior (third and fourth year). Survey data were compared between groups.

Results Senior showed significantly different level of satisfaction grade than did junior (p=0.026). Fifty-seven (81.4%) residents in junior and forty (46.5%) residents in senior underwent PM training for ≤2 months. Most (108; 69.2%) residents felt that the training period was too short for PM learning and 95 (60.9%) residents desired a training period of ≥6 months. The most commonly expressed weakness of the training was low interventional opportunity (29.7%), followed by short duration (26.6%). After residency, 80 (49.1%) residents planned to pursue a fellowship.

Conclusions Dissatisfaction with PM training was probably due to a structural tendency of the current program towards anesthesia training and insufficient clinical experience, which needs to be rectified, with a change in PM curriculum.

  • resident education
  • pain medicine
  • clinical pain
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