DETROIT Patients who undergo radical surgery for prostate cancer may expect better results, on average, if they're treated in accredited teaching hospitals with residency programs, and better still if the hospitals also have medical fellowships, according to a new study by Henry Ford Hospital.
The study, which evaluated postoperative complications in 47,100 radical prostatectomy (RP) patients throughout the U.S., also found that those with fewer complications after the surgery were more likely to have private insurance.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest that better post-operative outcomes may be expected at fellowship training than residency training institutions," says Quoc-Dien Trinh, M.D., a Fellow at Henry Ford Hospital's Vattikuti Urology Institute and lead author of the study.
The findings will be presented this week at the American Urological Association's Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
In residency, students who have earned their medical degree begin to practice in a specific type of medicine under the supervision of physicians licensed in that specialty. A fellowship provides training in a sub-specialty after the residency is finished.
Dr. Trinh says that while the researchers found better outcomes, on average, in teaching hospitals with one or both programs, they can't say exactly why.
"If you actually have a fellowship program for a particular sub-specialty, in this case urologic oncology, you could expect that the level of sub-specialized care might be better than in a typical all-purpose teaching hospital," Dr. Trinh says. "All this remains hypothetical, because the study of these mechanisms can't be done in large population-based datasets."
Of the study's 47,100 RP cases which were drawn from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample between 2003 and 2007 19,193 were performed at non-teaching institutions, 24,006 at residency teaching hospitals and 3,901 at fellowship teaching
|Contact: Krista Hopson|
Henry Ford Health System