The learning curve cumulative summation test (LC CUSUM test) allows to define an individualized learning curve and determine the moment when clinical proficiency is attained. After acquisition of the skills, the cumulative summation test (CUSUM test) allows to monitor the maintenance of the required level over time. The LC CUSUM test has been frequently used in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) for several procedures, but only once for OR.
We performed a retrospective study at Angers university hospital between May 2017 and September 2018. Seven Ob/Gyn residents and 5 senior physicians were included, and all OR performed during that time (n = 690) were analyzed. The performance index assessed was the oocyte retrieval rate (ORR), defined as the ratio of oocytes retrieved to follicles aspirated. We used the LC CUSUM test to analyze the learning curves of residents, and the CUSUM test to monitor the performance of senior physicians. An ORR ≥50% in 60% of retrievals was defined as the threshold for clinical proficiency.
Six hundred seventy-four oocyte retrieval (OR) were included: 315 were performed by residents, 220 by senior physicians, and 139 by both residents and physicians (mixed retrievals). Four residents (57%) reached the threshold after aspirating 82, 67, 53 and 46 ovaries, respectively. The mean number of ovaries aspirated in order to reach clinical proficiency was 62, and the mean number of weeks needed was 21. The duration of the learning period varied between 26 and 80 days. Two senior physicians (40%) remained proficient across the duration of the study, while two physicians (40%) had one statistically “suboptimal” OR, and one physician (20%) had two suboptimal retrievals.
There is a large variability in the duration of the learning period and the number of procedures needed for a resident to master OR. Senior physicians maintain an adequate performance.