Background: Statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage pediatricians to address tobacco. However, most fail to do so and little is known about the preparation to intervene on tobacco they receive during residency training.
Methods: The Pediatric Residency Training Director Tobacco Survey was mailed to all pediatric residency training directors in the United States. The survey assessed the nature of training and supervision on tobacco, barriers to training, and factors that influence the inclusion of tobacco in the residency training curriculum.
Results: Seventy percent of the training directors returned the surveys. Relatively few offered training/supervision on tobacco on a formal basis. Training directors were reluctant to treat parents who smoke, were skeptical about third party payer reimbursement, and did not believe that office-based interventions for treating tobacco use among patients were effective. Key barriers to training were competing priorities, lack of training resources, and lack of faculty with expertise on tobacco.
Conclusion: Residency training is an excellent time to train future pediatricians to intervene on tobacco, but too few pediatric training programs have taken up this charge. Much needs to be done to correct this situation and to prepare future pediatricians to meet the tobacco challenge.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science.