Following rash of fatalities, doctors to undergo endoscopic certification

Following a series of fatal accidents, the Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery will this month begin testing and certifying doctors who carry out endoscopic operations in a bid to regain public trust, doctors said Saturday.

The society will announce details of the certification system in its journal to be published Tuesday, the doctors said, adding a system to screen doctors’ endoscopic skills is rare.

Examination panels consisting of experienced doctors will assess other doctors who have applied for certification, mainly by checking their videotaped surgical skills, the doctors said.

“Due to strict criteria, I think not many certifications will be issued, at least for a while,” said Tatsuo Yamakawa, a professor emeritus at Teikyo University who is heading the society’s panel to establish the new system.

“But it is preferable that doctors who have been certificated take part in (endoscopic) operations from now on,” Yamakawa said. “There is no excuse for surgical mistakes by inexperienced doctors.”