Does the trainee's level of experience impact on patient safety and clinical outcomes in coronary artery bypass surgery?

L. Ray Guo, Michael W.A. Chu, Michael Z.Y. Tong, Stephanie Fox, M. Lee Myers, Bob Kiaii, MacKenzie Quantz, F. Neil McKenzie, Richard J. Novick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: There is a relative dearth of information on how the resident's level of training affects patient outcomes in cardiac surgery. We designed this study to determine if there were any significant differences in patient demographics and clinical outcomes of coronary artery bypass procedures (CABG) performed by residents of PGY 4/lower, residents of PGY 5/6, fellows, or consultants. Methods: Standardized preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative variables were prospectively collected and analyzed on 2906 isolated CABG procedures, performed between July 1999 and March 2006 with the primary surgeon prospectively classified as PGY4/lower, PGY5/6, fellow, and consultant. Results: The number of cases performed by residents of PGY4/lower, PGY5/6, fellows and consultants were 179, 263, 301, and 2163, respectively. Preoperative demographics and comorbidities were similar except PGY4/lower group had more diabetics and consultant group had more patients requiring IABP. More non-LIMA arterial conduits were used in the consultant and fellow groups. However, there were neither significant differences in the mean number of grafts nor in the composite postoperative morbidity, median ICU, and hospital lengths of stay. Observed in-hospital mortality was 2.2%, 1.5%, 1.7%, and 2.7% (p = 0.49), respectively. Conclusions: Preoperative patient demographics and operative data were similar in all groups except that patients requiring IABP preoperatively were more likely operated on by consultants and arterial revascularization was performed more commonly by consultants and fellows. Postoperative mortality and morbidity rates were similar among all groups, thus demonstrating that with appropriate supervision, trainees of all levels can safely be taught CABG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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