Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Transition to Pediatric Internship Course: An Innovative Curriculum for Transitioning Senior Medical Students to Internship

Kenya A McNeal-Trice, MD - University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Julie S Byerley, MD MPH - University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Suresh Nagappan, MD MSPH - Moses Cone Pediatric Teaching Program; Kenneth B Roberts, MD - Moses Cone Pediatric Teaching Program


Current literature supports the creation of educational experiences to specifically prepare senior medical students for residency training.  In 2009, the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine developed and implemented an innovative transition curriculum.


Objectives of Innovative Program:

The Transition to Pediatric Internship Course is intended for senior medical students who have matched into Pediatrics or Medicine/Pediatrics residency programs.  The curriculum is designed to cultivate knowledge and skills essential to becoming a successful resident.  The objectives of the curriculum are to master core procedural skills, explore expectations in professionalism and mature communication, become an effectual teacher, conduct efficient and effective physician sign-out, and participate effectively in a multi-disciplinary team. 


Description of Innovative Program:

The Transition to Pediatric Internship Course is a four-week elective that includes didactics, workshops, and clinical experiences.  Workshops are conducted on procedural skills, professionalism, physician sign-out, clinical documentation, and teaching.  Students also complete certification for Pediatric Advanced Life Support and the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, in addition to participating in simulation experiences and standardized patient encounters.



Program Evaluation:

Forty-four students have completed the Transition to Pediatric Internship Course since its implementation.  Students are evaluated by trained standardized patients during an exercise designed to simulate communication challenges.  Faculty members assess student's clinical skills and teamwork dynamics in simulation experiences. Students also complete a self-assessment of confidence and competency before and after exposure to the curriculum, in addition to a post-course evaluation. 


Impact of the Program:

Student and faculty feedback regarding the course has been universally positive.  The success of the Transition to Pediatric Internship Course has had an impact on the curriculum at UNC School of Medicine, with plans to expand and implement this design within other clinical departments.  This curriculum has also been disseminated to other medical institutions planning to implement transitional curricula.  There is a need for further development of assessment and evaluation tools to determine if medical students exposed to a distinct transition curriculum perform better in early residency training.