The Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP) is a dynamic organization, which champions the cause of pediatric medical student education.¹ COMSEP was established in 1992 and functions under the auspices of the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC). There is an annual COMSEP meeting and a joint meeting with AMSPDC every third year. Members of COMSEP are invited participants in nearly all national pediatric educational initiatives. Working in a variety of task forces, COMSEP members are involved with multiple projects that have had a significant impact on pediatric medical student education. These task forces have developed innovative curricula, new teaching methods, meaningful research, insightful evaluation methods, and a host of faculty development programs for both COMSEP and non-COMSEP pediatric educators.
COMSEP originated from the Ambulatory Pediatric Association's (APA) Special Interest Group (SIG) for Pediatric Clerkship Directors, which later became the APA's SIG for Medical Student Education. Once COMSEP was established, pediatric clerkship directors were easily identified, their support systems, professional development, and academic credentials were documented, and their needs were more accurately assessed. Perhaps the most significant ongoing contribution of COMSEP has been to provide a forum for medical educators with administrative responsibilities in pediatrics to exchange ideas and work collaboratively. An extensive mentoring system for new and more seasoned clerkship directors serves as a vital resource within the organization. Collegiality and a willingness to share materials and expertise are hallmarks of COMSEP.
COMSEP has also been instrumental in fostering the personal development of Pediatric Clerkship Directors. As a result of the development of the COMSEP community, mentoring and collaborative research efforts, pediatricians with a devotion to medical student education have been better able to gain academic promotions and career satisfaction. We are proud of our achievements over the first decade of COMSEP's existence. We look forward to continuing our mission of fostering excellence in pediatric medical student education.
1. Sarkin, RT. Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics. Journal of Pediatrics 2001;139:1-2.