5 years ago

Teaching peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) to surgeons in practice: an “into the fire” pre/post-test curriculum

Matthew Gitelis, Brittany Lapin, Lava Patel, Brandon Jonson, Chi Wang, Maria A. Cassera, Lee L. Swanström, Matthew Zapf, Michael B. Ujiki, Tomokazu Kishiki



With the increasing adoption of peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) as a first-line therapy for achalasia as well as a growing list of other indications, it is apparent that there is a need for effective training methods for both endoscopists in training and those already in practice. We present a hands-on-focused with pre- and post-testing methodology to teach these skills.


Six POEM courses were taught by 11 experienced POEM endoscopists at two independent simulation laboratories. The training curriculum included a pre-training test, lectures and discussion, mentored hands-on instruction using live porcine and ex-plant models, and a post-training test. The scoring sheet for the pre- and post-tests assessed the POEM performance with a Likert-like scale measuring equipment setup, mucosotomy creation, endoscope navigation, visualization, myotomy, and closure. Participants were stratified by their experience with upper-GI endoscopy (Novices <100 cases vs. Experts ≥100 cases), and their data were analyzed and compared.


Sixty-five participants with varying degrees of experience in upper-GI endoscopy and laparoscopic achalasia cases completed the training curriculum. Participants improved knowledge scores from 69.7 ± 17.1 (pre-test) to 87.7 ± 10.8 (post-test) (p < 0.01). POEM performance increased from 15.1 ± 5.1 to 25.0 ± 5.5 (out of 30) (p < 0.01) with the greatest gains in mucosotomy [1.7–4.4 (out of 5), p < 0.01] and equipment (3.4–4.7, p < 0.01). Novices had significantly lower pre-test scores compared with Experts in upper-GI endoscopy (overall pre-score: 11.9 ± 5.6 vs. 16.3 ± 4.6, p < 0.01). Both groups improved significantly after the course, and there were no differences in post-test scores (overall post-score: 23.9 ± 6.6 vs. 25.4 ± 5.1, p = 0.34) between Novices and Experts.


A multimodal curriculum with procedural practice was an effective curricular design for teaching POEM to practitioners. The curriculum was specifically helpful for training surgeons with less upper-GI endoscopy experience.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00464-017-5823-3

DOI: 10.1007/s00464-017-5823-3

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