Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

Initiative to Introduce Pediatric Medicine to Medical Students in Pre-Clinical Years

Virginia . Barak,Creighton University,Omaha,NE,John . Schmidt,Creighton University,Omaha,NE


In US medical schools, there is little exposure to pediatric medicine until the third year clerkship (1). Pediatrics is a popular specialty choice at matriculation, but interest drops significantly during the non-clinical years (2,3), and fails to regain initial levels even after clerkship participation (2,4).


We propose a new method to introduce pertinent pediatrics topics to M1/M2s to provide exposure to, and maintain interest in, pediatrics through the non-clinical years.


Response rate of 36% (n=113) and 25.8% (n=40) for the initial M1/M2 and M3 surveys respectively, and 27% (n=42) and 33.5% (n=52) M1 and M2 follow-up respectively. Before the publication of WISP, 50% of M3s felt unprepared for pediatric-related Step 1 questions and 90% of M1/M2s believed access to pediatric board-style questions would be helpful. 49% of M1/M2s perceived pediatrics to be more complicated than adult medicine, which increased to 70% M3 year. Initially 74% looked forward to their pediatric clerkship, but only 66.7% of M1s and 57.7% of M2s maintained this interest through the year. Only 14.28% of M1s and 19.24% of M2s read WISP, with 4.76% of M1s and 13.46% of M2s doing the included practice questions.


Our surveys agree with past data that interest in pediatrics wanes during non-clinical years, and showcase the need for earlier exposure to pediatrics. With poor readership, our bimonthly publication was not effective in addressing these problems. Further work must be done to reach a greater percentage of the intended audience. We propose advertising the publication during a mandatory lecture, and distributing paper copies of the first edition as an initial step.