How General Pediatricians Learn Procedures: Implications for Training and Practice

Iyer M, Way D, Schumacher D, Lo C, Leslie L
Medical Education Online

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires General Pediatricians (GPeds) to learn thirteen procedures during training. However, GPeds infrequently perform these procedures in practice. We sought to determine:1) how GPeds learned procedures, 2) if GPeds self-reported achieving competence in the required ACGME procedures during training, and 3) if GPeds maintained these skills into practice. We conducted this mixed methods study from 2019–2020. 51 GPeds from central Ohio and the American Board of Pediatrics General Examination Committee were recruited via email or snowball sampling and participated in semi-structured recorded phone interviews probing procedural performance during training and current practice. Participants represented varied geographic regions and clinical settings. We employed Sawyer’s ‘Learn, See, Practice, Prove, Do, Maintain’ mastery learning pedagogical framework as a lens for thematic analysis. Participants did not demonstrate competence in all ACGME required procedures during training, nor sustain procedural skills in practice. Most participants learned procedures through a ‘see one, do one’ apprenticeship model. GPeds reported never being formally assessed on procedural competence during residency. All GPeds referred out at least one procedure. GPeds also believed that skill maintenance was unwarranted for procedures irrelevant to their current practice. GPeds did not sufficiently demonstrate competence in all ACGME required procedures during training, partially suggesting why they infrequently perform some procedures. Alternatively, these required procedures may not be relevant to their practice. Pediatric residency procedures education might consider using mastery learning for practice-specific procedures and surface-level methods (learning without mastery) for other skills.