A Train-the-Trainers Course Designed for Teachers and Leaders of Endoscopic Training Programs


By Shivakumar Vignesh, M.D., AGAF, FASGE, Associate Professor, Medicine, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fellowship Program Director, Gastroenterology SUNY Health Sciences Center, Brooklyn, New York

It is increasingly recognized that endoscopy training should be provided by individuals who have the skills and behaviors needed to teach effectively and efficiently. High quality evidence from Europe showed that trainers who have attended a “Train the Colonoscopy Trainer” course significantly improved their own adenoma and lesion detection rates, and the overall performance for their center improved. Globally there is substantial variability in the quality of endoscopic training, leading to wide disparities in the skill levels of trainees completing gastroenterology fellowship training. Having done it for many years, I am passionate about teaching endoscopy and about teaching methods that underpin high quality endoscopic training. I believe it is critically important to ensure that endoscopy trainers have the skills to teach trainees effectively.

In the United States, most faculty who teach endoscopy have not had any formal education in evidence-based teaching methods or attendance at courses to improve their endoscopy teaching skills. As the director of a large GI fellowship, I feel it is very important for our fellows receive the best possible endoscopy training; to achieve this goal, our endoscopy trainers must have opportunities to attend courses such as the Program for Endoscopy Teachers.

I myself attended a program for endoscopy teachers organized by the World Endoscopy Organization (WEO) and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) in 2013. That course made me realize that being a good endoscopist is not the same as being a good endoscopic trainer. It was also clear to me that had I been exposed to such courses when I was a junior faculty, I would have been a more effective teacher, and this motivated me to teach and organize PET courses for other teaching faculty. I appreciated that in many parts of the world, including the United States, there is a lack of courses designed to improve the teaching skills of endoscopy trainers and that organizing such courses would help fill this important gap.

Since then, I have participated in the Programs for Endoscopic Teachers organized by WEO, and recently co-directed a “Train the Endoscopic Trainer” course at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2019. This was the first time such a program had been organized at DDW and it was promptly sold out! These courses are well received by faculty who appreciate learning about evidence-based teaching methods and feedback techniques, and also the small-group workshops.

Teaching faculty have been exposed to a variety of trainers and pass on many different styles to their trainees. There is a need to standardize training methods to achieve uniformity among endoscopic training programs and to ensure that all our trainees get the most out of endoscopic training during their fellowship. We will have an interactive presentation on the principles of teaching endoscopy that incorporates role-playing exercises and activities to reinforce those principles.

One of our main objectives is to teach endoscopists to be aware of all the components of the endoscopic skills that they are applying, and to understand why a specific maneuver is helpful, so that they can convey information to trainees in a comprehensible fashion. The PET course will offer interactive, hands-on learning in small-group settings and simulation-based training on how to give performance-enhancing feedback and how to use appropriate terminology when teaching.

We are very pleased to be organizing a Program for Endoscopic Teachers with the support of the New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (NYSGE) and WEO at the Columbia University in New York City on June 7-8 2019 – only the second time that this unique program for endoscopy trainers has been available in North America.

My co-directors, Dr Jonathan Cohen, of the New York University School of Medicine and Dr Amrita Sethi, of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell are committed endoscopy teachers who share my vision and have made this course possible.

The course faculty include accomplished endoscopy teachers from the U.S. and Canada who have taught at the Canadian Skills Enhancement program, Train the Trainers, or the PET programs organized by WEO.

We hope you will take advantage of this course and provide us with constructive feedback to improve the content for future courses.

Important to know:

  • Individual WEO members may request complimentary tuition by contacting the NYSGE office at info@nysge.org. Please note that verification of WEO membership is required.
  • NYSGE membership is required for nominees selected for complimentary PET course registration. Nominees who are not NYSGE members must apply for membership prior to registering.

2019 marks the sixth year of this program and WEO is proud of the development over that time of four formats for the PET course: PET Classic, Mini PET, Micro PET, and PET 2.0.

Should you wish to host, sponsor or teach a PET course, please contact the WEO Secretariat (secretariat@worldendo.org).