Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Student Call on Pediatric Clerkship

Andrew G Smith, MD - University of Utah; Adam Stevenson, MD - University of Utah

Background: While medical students have traditionally participated in “call” during their pediatric clerkship, no national consensus or standards exist for the goals or structure of student night time responsibilities.  Nor is there any published data describing the breadth of call experiences across clerkships. In addition, recent modifications in ACGME resident duty hours have effectively eliminated traditional night call for interns which is leading many clerkship to reevaluate their student night time curriculum. Our study seeks to address this information gap by surveying pediatric clerkships on their current call structure and changes they are making in light of new resident duty hour guidelines.


Methods: As part of the annual COMSEP membership survey, we asked all members about their current call structure, recent modifications to student call, and whether the new ACGME guidelines impacted their curriculum. We also surveyed the membership on whether their institution has an official student duty hour policy. The survey was pilot tested for ease of navigation and timeliness.


Results: Preliminary data is now available from the COMSEP survey with our analysis based on a response rate of 27%. We will reanalyze the data once final survey results are completed.  When multiple submissions were obtained from the same institution, we preferentially choose the clerkship director’s response for this analysis.  Approximately half of clerkships utilize a stay late method for nighttime learning, 24% assign students nighttime shifts, and 18% have students complete traditional night call.  Only 3% of clerkships have no nighttime experiences. With regards to the new resident duty hours, 44% of clerkships have modified their curriculum in the past year and 57% of institutions now have a student duty hour policy.


Conclusions: While this data remains preliminary, it is clear that COMSEP members use a variety of nighttime learning experiences during the pediatric clerkship and are modifying previous curriculums to better reflect ACGME guidelines. Further research is needed to establish the effect of this variability and the instituted changes. A broad understanding of these changes will allow individual clerkships and COMSEP to address nighttime pediatric student learning in the age of duty hour restrictions.