Objectives: Numerous national groups recognize that healthcare providers should be trained to care for patients with special healthcare needs who are transitioning from pediatric to adult health care, yet there is little emphasis on this training in most residency programs. The survey discussed here assessed resident preferences for a curriculum that addresses healthcare transitions for young adults.
Methods: Trainees in primary care residency programs at three institutions in South Carolina were surveyed. Residents were asked about their preferences for timing and modality of transition education and desire to see patients older/younger than dictated by training. Residents also ranked topics of transition by level of need/interest. Comparison of responses was analyzed via t tests and the Fisher exact test.
Results: Respondents (n = 84) represented three institutions and eight training programs. Eighty percent of residents prefer that a curriculum be continuous throughout training and include clinical experiences (79%), case discussions (60%), and lectures/didactics (56%). Pediatric residents were more likely than were internal medicine residents to value seeing patients older/younger than their program dictates (84% vs 42%; P < 0.01). Internal medicine residents were more likely than pediatric residents to rank as high need/interest "medical knowledge of pediatric disease persisting into adulthood" (77% vs 47%; P= 0.05) and "caring for adult-aged patients reliant on caregivers" (53% vs 9%; P < 0.01).
Conclusions: Residents prefer a healthcare transition curriculum that is continuous throughout residency and uses combined modalities for topic presentation. Residents training in different disciplines have varied levels of need/interest for transition-related topics and this should direct the development of healthcare transition curricula.