Lisa E. Leggio, MD, Leila E. Stallworth, MD, Valera L. Hudson, MD, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
Background: Discussion about transition to residency at the 2008 COMSEP/APPD meeting resulted in the recent Substitute Internship Curriculum. Some schools offer capstone courses to prepare students for residency. Pediatric education leaders at the Medical College of Georgia collaboratively developed an innovative Advanced Pediatrics (AP) elective to prepare students for a career in pediatrics beginning early in senior year. Program Objectives: The goal of AP is to improve knowledge, skills, and attitudes in personal and professional development, which will enhance preparedness for a career in pediatrics. Objectives are for students to take ownership of learning, develop strong clinical reasoning skills, demonstrate understanding of improvement process and capacity for self-improvement, and work collaboratively and effectively as a team member. Innovation/Program: AP is offered twice, in July and August, with longitudinal components. The block phase is two discontinuous weeks of facilitated small group interactive sessions and clinical skills practice. Sessions cover clinical reasoning (using common pediatric problems), communication (oral presentations, written notes, handovers, discharge summaries, feedback, teaching), clinical skills (resuscitation, lumbar puncture, intra-osseous line placement), goal setting, performance improvement, and evidence-based medicine. Students complete an individual learning plan, personal improvement project, and journal clubs. During the longitudinal phase students practice skills, review learning plans with a mentor, and meet as a group to review key concepts. Evaluation: Students complete session evaluations and a summative 5-point Likert scale survey tool after the block phase. Sessions on antibiotic choices, clinical skills, fluids and electrolytes, and oral presentations were rated most important (5/5). Performance improvement (4.17/5) and teaching (4.08/5) were rated least important. Students would like more resuscitation and clinical skills. All agree (and 83.3% strongly agree) they are better prepared for internship and will perform better on their substitute-internship. All would recommend the elective to others. We will survey students at the end of their senior year and during residency to determine long-term curriculum effects on personal and professional development. Discussion: AP was faculty and time-intensive, but highly rated and appreciated by students. Long-term follow-up of students entering pediatrics will determine whether AP improves confidence and skills during residency.