The effectiveness of pediatric residency education in preparing graduates to manage neurological and neurobehavioral issues in practice

Acad Med. 2007 Mar;82(3):304-9. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31803080c8.


Purpose: Pediatricians are required to manage a variety of neurodevelopmental conditions. In this study, the authors surveyed self-assessment of competency by recent graduates of the University of British Columbia (UBC) pediatric residency training program in various areas of pediatric neurology, from acute care to behavioral assessments.

Method: Forty-six questionnaires were mailed or e-mailed between October 2002 and September 2004 to UBC pediatrics program graduates of 1998-2004. The 29-item questionnaire consisted of 26 questions on a six-point scale and asked respondents to rate their ability to manage specific neurological and developmental symptoms and conditions. Also, three open-ended questions asked respondents which topics required less emphasis or more emphasis and which were appropriate for continuing medical education (CME). Descriptive statistical analyses were performed.

Results: A total of 39 questionnaires (85% response rate) were completed and returned. The results indicate that 74% of pediatric graduates feel that more of the neurology portion of residency training should be spent on general pediatric behavioral and neurological conditions (e.g., attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or developmental delay) and would choose to attend CME on these areas, and 28% of respondents would prefer to receive less training on complex neurological problems that are managed at a subspecialty level (e.g., chronic refractory seizures).

Conclusions: Pediatric residents need sufficient, specific training to enable them to competently investigate and manage the neurobehavioral complaints and conditions commonly encountered by general pediatricians in both their office and hospital practice.

MeSH terms

  • British Columbia
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires