Meg G. Keeley, MD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Background: Pediatric residency programs are required to provide community and child advocacy experiences that provide “planned didactic and experiential opportunities for learning” with a curriculum that includes “community-oriented care with focus on the health needs of all children within a community. Providing such knowledge within the context of a busy, largely hospital-based training program can be challenging. Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a community resource fair as a tool for increasing residents’ knowledge of community-oriented care resources. Methods: We organized a community resource fair for pediatric and family medicine residents. Exhibitors (31) represented a wide range of pediatric resources. Residents were required to have exhibitors sign their resource fair “passport” after finding out what services they offered and how to make a referral. An anonymous pre- and post-assessment was administered. Lunch and door prizes were provided. Results: 32 trainees participated in the fair, including 18/39 (46%) pediatric residents, 3/7 (42%) fellows, 8/12 (67%) family medicine residents, and 3 medical students. On the pre-assessment, 62% (8/13) of the pediatric residents reported that they had little or no knowledge about community resources, while 38% (5/13) were neutral and none felt somewhat or very knowledgeable. After the fair, 91% (10/11) of residents felt somewhat knowledgeable and 9% (1/11) felt very knowledgeable. When asked in the pre-assessment to provide the full name of 5 commonly used pediatric resource acronyms (e.g. WIC, CPS), 41% (5/12) could correctly answer only 0-2 while half (6/12) could provide 3 correct acronyms, and only 8% (1/12) could provide 4 correct responses. After the event, 23% (3/13) could provide only 0-2 correct acronyms, while 15% (2/13) could provide 3 correct answers, and 62% (8/13) could provide 4 correct responses. Of the resident participants, 92% (12/13) found this to be a “worthwhile experience.” Conclusions: The resource fair provides an interactive format that brings residents and community organizations face-to-face to discuss what services are offered and how they can work together to coordinate patient care. The fair now is held annually with focus on specific resources such as public benefits, home health care and school based programs.