A web-based assessment of pediatrics resident medical knowledge in childhood hereditary gastrointestinal cancer predisposing syndromes

J Cancer Educ. 2009;24(4):254-6. doi: 10.1080/08858190902972921.


Background: Pediatricians need to competently care for children with hereditary gastrointestinal cancer-predisposing syndromes. Pediatrics resident education on this subject has hithertofore never been studied.

Methods: Forty-five US pediatrics/internal medicine-pediatrics program directors allowed their residents to participate in an anonymous questionnaire. The survey-questionnaire was administered as a hyperlinked interactive Web page through e-mail to all consenting residents.

Results: Thirty-eight sites including 290 of 1327 residents (21.5%) and 33 internal medicine-pediatrics participated in the study. Knowledge on polyposis syndromes varied by syndrome (14% to 84% correct) but not by year of training. Internal medicine-pediatrics residents were more likely to inquire on family history including polyposis, early colorectal cancer, than pediatrics residents.

Conclusions: This study suggests that familiarity with cancer syndromes does not accrue during resident training in pediatrics. The observations suggest that greater emphasis on resident education on these syndromes may improve outcomes in this vulnerable group.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syndrome