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Be flexible.
Be creative.
Be persistent.

In 2020, these characteristics became the essential elements in pediatric training programs — not just for residents and fellows, but also for program directors and coordinators.

Drs. Mary Smyth, Stacey Chittle Shubeck, Ashima Goyal, Kerry Mychaliska, and Meg SambergSome training programs shortened or canceled rotations because of COVID-19. Parents and other caregivers postponed clinic appointments for healthy children. Often,…

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COVID-19 has made “uncertainty” the common condition in pediatric residency and fellowship programs.

“I am proud of the way my residents have handled this uncertainty,” says Stacey Chittle Shubeck, MD, Director, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program and Section Head of Ambulatory Pediatrics at Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. “They come to work every day wondering if they will get sick and, even worse, wondering if they will bring the virus home to their loved ones.”

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Imagine you are finishing three years of training in a pediatric subspecialty. You have been preparing for months and are ready to take your initial subspecialty certification examination with the goal of becoming certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Then, just days before your testing date, you receive an email saying the exam has been canceled. Testing centers are closing; hospitals are filling up; people are going into quarantine.

The world is facing a pandemic.

On March 13, 2020, the ABP regretted having to notify exam candidates and pediatric program directors across the country that it was canceling all Adolescent Medicine, Child Abuse Pediatrics,…

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In the spring of 2020, pediatricians across the country were facing extreme upheaval to their personal and professional lives due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. They had to learn about COVID-19 transmission, symptoms, and treatments, and many were adapting their office triage processes and switching to telemedicine, seemingly overnight.

To recognize their efforts, the ABP made the unprecedented decision to award Maintenance of Certification (MOC) points to all board-certified pediatricians. No action or documentation was required.

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MOCA-Peds, the ABP’s online, non-proctored assessment platform, continued to evolve in 2020 by including four additional pediatric subspecialties and adapting to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic with even more flexibility.

The pediatric subspecialties added to the MOCA-Peds lineup in 2020 were Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Pediatric Nephrology, and Pediatric Pulmonology. Previously launched in 2019 were General Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology, and Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Then, COVID-19 struck. Recognizing that the daily lives of nearly every pediatrician had been impacted by the virus, the ABP…

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Dr. Greg Gulbransen (left) from Oyster Bay, NY, after performing a swab test to see if his patient had COVID-19Few pediatricians had planned for a worldwide pandemic before the novel coronavirus led to quarantines and social distancing in March 2020. But suddenly, without much warning, the world changed. Parents feared bringing their children to pediatric appointments, yet the need for sick and well-child care continued. And pediatricians responded — with amazing resourcefulness.

On the Road

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Dr. Sapna Kudchadkar with her son Kishen (15), daughter Asha (12), and husband RajSapna Kudchadkar, MD, PhD, has unprecedented insight into what her patients with COVID-19 are going through; she was one of the first 200 people in Maryland to contract the virus. Her symptoms started in March 2020, about a week after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.

Dr.Kudchadkar is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and works in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). At…

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Because of the CoronavirusA pandemic is scary for everyone, but especially for young children who don’t understand why they can’t play with their friends or visit their grandparents. Deborah Rotenstein, MD, a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist, believes that part of a pediatrician’s role is to help patients feel safe and cared for. To that end, she has written a book to explain the coronavirus to preschoolers.

Before the pandemic, Dr. Rotenstein had planned to travel to Israel to visit her granddaughter, then 3½…

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A virtual ECHO Autism classroom

Photo: A virtual ECHO Autism classroom

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused health care chaos in many parts of the United States and world, another less-visible epidemic has been brewing under the surface for decades: the behavioral and mental health crisis among children and adolescents.

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In the spring of 2020, before George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, the U.S. public had already heard that Black people were disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus.1 Pediatricians who have seen health inequities in their patient populations for years — due to the social determinants of health (SDOH) or systemic racism — were not surprised.

Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson“Health disparities are driven by social disparities,” says board-certified pediatrician Elizabeth “…

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