The characteristics of Greek training and experience in pulmonary endoscopic techniques: Is it time for changes?
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1st Department of Pneumonology Medicine, Medical University of Athens, Athens Hospital of Thoracic Disease “Sotiria”
Department of Pneumonology Medicine, General Hospital of Pyrgos
9th Department of Pneumonology Medicine, Athens Hospital of Thoracic Disease “Sotiria”
1st Department of Intensive Care, Medical University of Athens, Hospital “Evangelismos”
Corresponding author
Grigoris Stratakos   

Pneumonology Medicine, University of Athens Head of Interventional Thoracic Endoscopy Unit 1st Department of Pneumonology Medicine, University of Athens Athens Hospital of Thoracic Disease “Sotiria” Mesogeion Ave. 152, Athens
Pneumon 2011;24(1):48-55
This study aimed to report the characteristics of the training in pulmonary endoscopy provided in Greece and to evaluate quantitive and qualitive parameters of interventional endoscopy performance among Greek pneumonologists.

A specially designed questionnaire was completed by 171 specialists and fellows in pulmonology and the responses were analyzed.

An age difference in endoscopic skills was observed; 97% of the respondents aged <50 years had been trained in flexible bronchoscopy, compared with 86% of those aged >50 years (p=0.016). In spite of a high rate of training, 65% of respondents reported performing less than 50 bronchoscopies per year. In addition, 21% were familiar with the technique of transbronchial needle aspiration (ΤΒΝΑ), but only 19% of them performed over 30 procedures per year. Other advanced diagnostic techniques including endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), auto-fluorescence and medical thoracoscopy are performed by a small minority of pulmonologists while therapeutic techniques (i.e. rigid bronchoscopy, electrocautery, cryotherapy and laser therapy) by very few (5-12%). The majority of respondents would welcome additional training, not only in advanced interventional techniques but also in standard bronchoscopy; 94% agreed that they would benefit from the publication of practice guidelines on endoscopic techniques, and 71% supported the instruction in endoscopy of all pulmonologists during their fellowship.

The endoscopic training provided to Greek pneumonologists could be improved considerably and initiatives should be taken in order to upgrade and unify both the teaching of endoscopic techniques and the services provided.

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