David A. Keegan, MD. Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario Susan L. Bannister, MD. Children's Hospital of Western Ontario
Objective: To identify key guiding objectives for a new formal Canadian family medicine child health residency. The goal of this new residency is to improve quality and accessibility of the health care that children receive, particularly in rural regions, through a unique one-year clinical training experience for family physicians in child health.
Methods: Family physicians, family medicine residents, patients and their parents/guardians, and consultant physicians who care for children are participating in semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Discussions are centered on desired knowledge and competencies for physicians completing this new program. Findings from the interviews and focus groups will be analyzed according to standard qualitative methodology. This research will be completed in March 2005.
Results: Early analysis has already identified two key themes: graduates must be competent in the care of critically ill children, and graduates must be cognizant of the importance of a variety of "red flag" clinical presentations. Additionally, it is clear that a variety of clinical opportunities exist today for family physicians with advanced training and competency in the care of children.
Conclusion: The need for a formal residency in family medicine child health has been strongly affirmed by the early findings of this research. Full results and conclusions will be presented at the research meeting.