Self-Assessment for Competency and Educational Needs of Physician Trainees Regarding Pediatric Palliative Care

Binh Phung, Ahmad Soliman, Abdurrahman Kabani, Lisa Siswanto, Ashraf Mohamed

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Background: There is lack of a standardized residency curriculum for the emerging field of Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC). Available evidence suggests that few resident physicians acquire the requisite knowledge and essential skills needed to develop competency in PPC during their postgraduate education and training[1].

Methods: A pediatric end-of-life resident physician assessment survey was utilized to evaluate self-reported competence and concerns / interests about PPC.

Results: Self-reported competence increased with each year of residency training. With regards to their communication skills, only 40 % of the residents felt competent to perform with minimal supervision or independently as compared to 65 % when it comes to their symptoms management skills. Residents also felt less prepared with the psychosocial aspects of caring for pediatric patients (e.g., when to initiate hospice referral, communicating to the family the shift from curative to comfort care measures, discussing donotresuscitate orders, conducting family conferences for end-of-life decisions, using adjuvant analgesics, and giving bad news to the patient or family members).

Conclusion: The survey results showed differing levels of competence among pediatric interns and residents. The feedback from this study further supports that not only is PPC in postgraduate medical training necessary, it should also address the full experience of the terminally-ill pediatric patient, encompassing both physical and non-physical (psychosocial) aspects.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pediatrics and Palliative Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 May 2019


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