This report describes a survey undertaken with the aim of assessing the current status of available fellowships in hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) surgery in order to identify steps to be taken to ensure the provision of successful training in this specialty.
An online survey was conducted among members of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (IHPBA) targeting registered and non-registered HPB surgery fellowships. A total of 71 programmes are registered on the IHPBA website and 40 fellowship directors completed the survey. Only 18 completed surveys referred to programmes previously listed on the website.
Responses showed great diversity among centres regarding their requirements for application, the duration of training and exposure to HPB cases during the fellowship. Factors associated with higher levels of training included the country of fellowship, a third year of training and the presence of a well-structured HPB curriculum. Over 90% of responders seek official accreditation from their regional association (i.e. the European, American and Asian-Pacific HPB Associations). Most programmes would welcome official IHPBA or regional association monitoring of their fellowship.
This survey discloses important information which will allow the IHPBA Education and Training Committee to move forward. The next steps should include close monitoring of the performance of fellows by creating a fellows' registry, as well as a blog or forum which can be used to further enhance communication among fellows. The availability of registration to both programme directors and fellows may eventually lead to an official fellowship accreditation process.
© 2011 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.