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Characteristics of Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowships and Training Programs

Authors: 
Freed GL, Dunham KM; Research Advisory Committee of the American Board of Pediatrics.
Year: 
2009
Journal: 
Journal of Hospital Medicine
Pub Med #: 
Abstract: 

Objective
To explore the structure, components, and training goals of pediatric hospitalist fellowship programs in North America.

Design
We constructed a 17-item structured questionnaire to be administered by phone. Questionnaire items focused on documenting goals, training, requirements, and clinical duties of pediatric hospitalist training programs. From February through June 2007, research staff contacted directors of the programs. Responses were analyzed to determine program characteristics, including goals, formal training requirements, clinical rotations, and participation in hospital administrative activities.

Results
All 8 training programs completed the survey. There appear to be 2 distinct tracks for pediatric hospitalist training programs: clinical or academic specialization. Currently there are no standards or requirements for fellowship training from an external accrediting body and the curriculum for these programs is likely driven by service requirements and speculation on the needs of a future generation of pediatric hospitalists. The stated goals of the programs were quite similar. Seven reported that the provision of advanced training in the clinical care of hospitalized patients, quality improvement (QI), and hospital administration are central goals of their training program. Six reported training in the education of medical students and residents to be a primary goal, while 5 indicated training in health services research as a primary goal.

Conclusions
Pediatric hospitalist fellowships are in the very early stages of their development. In time, greater structure across institutions will need to be put in place if they are to succeed in becoming a necessary prerequisite to the practice of hospital medicine.