Current Practices in Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Trauma Training
OBJECTIVE:The management of injured children is a required element of pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) fellowship training. Given the relatively infrequent exposure of trainees to major trauma, it is important to understand how programs train fellows and assess their competency in pediatric trauma. METHODS:An online survey was sent to 84 PEM fellowship program directors (PDs). Program directors were asked to describe their program's characteristics, the degree of fellow independence, educational techniques used to train fellows in trauma, and their expectation of fellows' competency in 14 core trauma-related skills upon graduation. Program directors were classified as having high expectations if they anticipated that graduating fellows could perform 12 trauma skills or more independently. RESULTS:Fifty-nine programs (70%) responded. Although most programs (55, 93%) identified as pediatric trauma centers, fellows at the majority of programs (41, 69%) spent some or all of their trauma experience at an outside hospital. Only a minority of programs (17, 29%) allowed fellows to lead pediatric trauma resuscitations as independent attendings without precepting. Programs used over a dozen different educational methods to varying degrees. Less than half of programs (28, 47%) used a formal trauma curriculum. Whereas 33 PDs (56%) had high expectations, only 9 (15%) expected fellows to be able to perform all 14 skills. CONCLUSIONS:There is considerable variability in how PEM fellows are trained to care for injured children. Most PDs do not realistically expect fellows to be able to perform all recommended trauma skills after graduation. Our findings highlight the need for further research and efforts to standardize the training of PEM fellows in pediatric trauma.