Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2021; 34(03): 186-193
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1722765
Review Article

Proctorship in Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery

Assad Zahid
1   St Mark's Hospital, London, United Kingdom
2   University of Sydney, Australia
Danilo Miskovic
1   St Mark's Hospital, London, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations


Teaching an established surgeon in a novel technique by a colleague who has acquired a level of expertise is often referred to as “proctoring” or “precepting.” Surgical preceptorships can be defined as supervised teaching programs, whereby individual or groups of surgeons (proctors) experienced in a certain technique support a colleague who wants to adopt this technique (sometimes referred to as “delegates” or “preceptees”). Preceptorship programs really focus on a specific technique, technology, or skill which is required to broaden, complement, or transform an established surgeon's practice.

Within colorectal surgery, in the past 30 years, there is been an evolution of interventional options including open, laparoscopic, robotic, and endoscopic procedures. With each new emerging technology and technique, safe and effective uptake by established surgeons is best been attained by a period of proctorship by an experienced colleague. Formalizing this has been facilitated largely through industry support. There, however, remains a considerable chasm when it comes to standardization, quality control, and jurisprudence.

This article aims to describe the requirements for a contemporary proctorship program, to examine instruments of quality control, and how to improve effectiveness.

Publication History

Article published online:
29 March 2021

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