Musculoskeletal pain and injuries (MSKPI) are common among gastroenterologists (GI) and GI fellows. Common areas of pain include the back, neck, hands/fingers, shoulders, and elbows. Although the prevalence of career-related pain and injuries among GIs is high, few endoscopists receive training in how to prevent MSKPI. We developed an ergonomics curriculum for our GI fellows that consisted of two modules that were led by physical therapists. Twelve out of 15 GI fellows, and one out of two hepatology fellows, participated in Module 1. Prior to the first module, 77% of participants reported pain in one or more body parts. Of those who reported pain, 100% of the fellows stated that this pain occurred during procedures, and 50% indicated this pain was performance-limiting. After completing Module 1, 100% of fellows reported that this was a valuable topic and 100% of the participants felt that this information would both help them feel and perform better. All fellows stated they had an immediate decrease in physical discomfort after engaging in the exercises that were included in Module 1. Eight fellows participated in Module 2. At the end of this module, 100% of fellows reported that this ergonomics training would likely help them to “physically perform better during procedures” and 100% of fellows indicated a reduction of physical discomfort (pain, aching) immediately after completing these exercises. Preliminary data indicated that this novel curriculum was perceived as valuable by GI fellows and that practicing these exercises reduced pain, particularly in the neck and the lower back.
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