Objectives: To assess how sports medicine is taught within pediatric residency programs and to determine the level of comfort that pediatric graduates have in managing common sports injuries.
Intervention: Investigator-prepared cross-sectional survey.
Method: A survey questionnaire was mailed to 203 pediatric chief residents of pediatric residency programs in the United States.
Measurements/main results: Seventy-three percent of the questionnaires were returned. Most pediatric chief residents (73%) reported that their program provided lectures on pediatric sports medicine topics. Lecture time devoted to sports medicine topics was reported to be less than 6 hours for many residency programs (83%). Instruction on the medical criteria for exclusion from sports was provided to 64% of the chief residents. Of those residents who completed the survey, 55% reported that clinical sports medicine training was available in their programs. Rotations in adolescent medicine (28%), pediatric orthopedics (26%), and ambulatory pediatrics (9%) provided the bulk of clinical training. Clinical exposure to sports medicine was reported to be less than 5 hours in a large number of programs (43%). Most of the chief residents reported that they would refer six of eight pediatric sports injuries for diagnosis and management.
Conclusions: The pediatric chief residents who completed the survey received limited didactic instruction or clinical training in sports medicine. Because pediatricians are primary care physicians for many children and adolescents who participate in sports, pediatric residency directors should consider integrating sports medicine instruction into their programs.