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J Grad Med Educ. 2011 Sep;3(3):383-6. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-10-00216.1.

A collaborative model for inpatient training in a small pediatric residency program.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The nationwide decline in pediatric admissions to community hospitals threatens the sustainability of small pediatric residency programs. Little is known about the response of small programs to this challenge.

OBJECTIVES:

We report on the design and evaluation of an innovative, collaborative model for pediatric inpatient training between an academic community medical center and a children's hospital.

METHODS:

We describe the operational, academic, and financial features of the model. Outcome measures include patient volume and subspecialty mix, resident and faculty perceptions as reported in an anonymous survey, and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Residency Review Committee (RRC) review.

RESULTS:

In 2003, Albert Einstein Medical Center (Einstein) closed its pediatric inpatient unit and established an independent teaching service at St Christopher's Hospital for Children (St Christopher's) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Under the new model, patient volume and subspecialty mix more than tripled. Einstein residents and faculty identified 5 major strengths: level of responsibility and decision making, caring for medically complex children, quality of teaching, teamwork, and opportunity to participate in academic activities at a children's hospital. St Christopher's leadership reported increased volume, no disruption of their residency program, and no dilution of clinical teaching material. The Einstein program was reaccredited by the RRC in 2006 for 2 years and in 2009 for 4 years.

CONCLUSION:

A collaborative model for inpatient training was successful in maintaining a community hospital-based pediatric residency program. Positive outcomes were documented for the residency program, the parent community hospital, and the collaborating children's hospital.

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