Background: Emergency physicians are an important part of the teams responsible for the management of victims of child abuse and neglect. As the number of fellowship-trained pediatric emergency physicians working in these emergency departments increases, their influence on the field of child abuse will increase. An evaluation of the experiences and possible weakness in the child abuse training of pediatric emergency fellows will assist in improving their fellowship experience.
Methods: A survey was conducted to evaluate the view of pediatric emergency medicine fellows in training and directors of pediatric fellowship training programs regarding their respective program's structure and adequacy of child abuse training.
Results: Thirty-eight percent of all respondents reported that a specific rotation in child abuse management was a part of their training program requirements. A majority (51%) of surveyed fellows reported their training in child abuse was less than adequate, while 23% of fellowship directors believe the experience of their fellows was less than adequate.
Conclusions: Child abuse training is an important part of the fellowship experience of pediatric emergency fellows. Because a majority of pediatric emergency medicine fellows report that their respective programs are providing less than adequate training in child abuse management, further evaluation of fellowship curriculums and training experiences is required. The establishment and utilization of regional or national child abuse training centers is one option for improving this situation.