Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2008 Atlanta Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Pediatric Shadowing Program: An Introduction to Clinical Pediatrics for New Medical Students

M. Schechter, J.R. Avner.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine / Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY

OBJECTIVE: During the preclinical years, medical students begin to contemplate career choices and seek opportunities to observe a specialty medical practice. Our goal was to develop a program to provide these opportunities in the field of Pediatrics to 1st and 2nd year medical students.
METHODS: In cooperation with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine student run Pediatric Special Interest Group, the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore established a one on one “Shadowing Program” for 1st and 2nd year medical students. Students interested in learning about the field of Pediatrics are paired with a practicing faculty member in a subspecialty of their choosing. The student “shadows” the doctor during patient care sessions. They usually spend 1-3 sessions together, depending on the level of student interest and faculty availability. At the conclusion of the program’s first 4-year cycle, we surveyed the senior medical students who had shadowed in their 1st or 2nd year, in order to evaluate the program and assess its impact on future career choice.
RESULTS: Over the past four years, over 60 students have participated in the program. 8 (62%) of 13 senior students completed the evaluation survey. Students spent an average of 2.3 sessions paired with faculty in various specialties and 7 (88%) found the experience very worthwhile. Of the 6 (75%) students who ultimately chose to pursue pediatric residency training, 5(83%) felt the experience had some influence, and 1 (17%) felt the experience had a lot of influence, on their choice of Pediatrics as a career. All would recommend the program to new students.
CONCLUSIONS: A clinical shadowing program set up for students in their preclinical years successfully introduced students to the practice of Pediatrics. Students who participated in the program felt it was very useful to them and had at least some influence on their choice of a career in Pediatrics.