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Pediatr Clin North Am. 1995 Feb;42(1):193-207.

Training for family-oriented pediatric care. Issues and options.

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Division of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco.


Pediatrics is by its nature a family-oriented medical specialty, and pediatricians gain a great deal of knowledge regarding the strengths and vulnerabilities of families in the course of traditional training and practice. The biomedical focus of pediatric training has resulted, however, in relatively little directed teaching about the contextual aspects of pediatrics. This lack is most notable with respect to training for effective work with families. Over the past 2 to 3 decades, the family systems model has developed. The perspective and applications gained through this model have provided important potential skills and knowledge for medical and psychological professionals. Pediatricians who wish to enhance their skills with families need to take an active role in designing, selecting, and integrating the training that best fits their practice and their interests. This requires a process of realistically assessing the level of work with families that they wish to implement and finding the training and supervision experiences that will support such goals. This training often brings with it particular challenges to traditional practice methods. The effectiveness of continuing education programs in family-oriented care may be gauged, in part, by their ability to assist pediatricians in meeting these challenges. A variety of training options and resources are described in the appendix of this article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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