The role of colonoscopy in the prevention of colorectal cancer has been accepted, not only by the medical community but by the federal government as well.
Dr David Margolin and colleagues from Louisiana documented the current role of colonoscopy in the practices of colorectal surgeons.
The researchers mailed a survey to 1800 members of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons detailing the scope of colonoscopy in their practices.
The research team received responses from 43%.
The mean age of the respondents was 48 years, and the mean number of years in practice was 14 years.
|Colonoscopy accounts for 25% of clinical time and total charges|
|Diseases of the Colon & Rectum|
The majority of respondents were male.
The team received responses from 47 US states and 30 foreign countries.
About 10% of respondents reported not performing colonoscopy.
The most common reason for not performing colonoscopy was ‘referring physicians' preference'.
The researchers observed that 91% reported performing colonoscopy as part of their clinical practice.
The team noted that respondents reported an average of 41 colonoscopies in the last month, and 457 in the last year.
Colonoscopy accounted for 23% of responding physicians' clinical time, and 27% of total charges.
Nearly all respondents anticipated maintaining or increasing their volume of colonoscopy in the coming year.
The researchers found that 84% of respondents reported receiving some or all of their training in colonoscopy during a colon and rectal surgery fellowship.
More than half of respondents believed there should be more emphasis on colonoscopy in the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery board examination.
About 80% believed that the annual meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons should include lectures and courses covering colonoscopy.
Dr Margolin's team concludes, “Colonoscopy plays a major role in the practices of colorectal surgeons across the world, accounting for approximately 25% of clinical time and total charges.”
“Based on the expectation that this trend will continue, The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons needs to aggressively support its members not only in the technical aspects of colonoscopy but also in the practice management issues.”