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J Grad Med Educ. 2012 Jun;4(2):246-9. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-11-00173.1.

Field trips as a novel means of experiential learning in ambulatory pediatrics.



Parents and caregivers look to pediatric health care providers for guidance on feeding, safety issues, and child-care products for children, but trainees have infrequent first-hand exposure to child products marketed to parents.


To conduct a pilot study to assess an experiential field trip as a novel method of enhancing medical knowledge in ambulatory pediatric feeding and safety.


Resident physicians and medical students visited a local children's store, where they took part in an interactive store tour, product discussions, and product demonstrations led by a physician educator. Participants also completed a 20-question pretest and a 20-question posttest related to common ambulatory pediatric feeding and safety issues, based on recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statements and practice guidelines.


Sixty-seven medical students and resident physicians participated in the study. Overall, participants' short-term knowledge significantly increased from 9.9 ± 2.6 to 15.4 ± 2.2 questions correct (P  =  .001), with statistically significant gains (P < .001) on both the feeding and safety sections of the test. There were no differences in improvement based on participant's student or resident status, residency program type, program year, sex, or parental status. Ninety-five percent of the participants believed that their knowledge was enhanced by this approach, and participants uniformly agreed that this field trip was valuable to their pediatric training and that such field trip sessions should continue.


The inclusion of experiential learning through an interactive field trip in the curriculum of medical training was acceptable and feasible and showed short-term improvements in knowledge of AAP safety and feeding concepts.

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