Status of pediatric anesthesiology fellowship research education in the United States: a survey of fellowship program directors

Benzon, H. A.; De Oliveira, G. S., Jr.; Hardy, C. A.; Suresh, S.

Paediatr Anaesth. 2013 Dec 7; 24(3):327-31


BACKGROUND: Currently, very little information is known regarding the research education of pediatric anesthesia fellows. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of the current investigation was to evaluate the status of research training in pediatric anesthesia fellowship programs in the United States. METHODS: Survey responses were solicited from forty-six pediatric anesthesia fellowship directors. Questions evaluated department demographic information, the extent of faculty research activity, research resources and research funding in the department, the characteristics of fellow research education and fellow research productivity, departmental support for fellow research, and perceived barriers to fellow research education. RESULTS: Thirty-six of forty-six fellowship directors responded to the survey, for a response rate of 78%. Eight of fourteen (57%) programs with a structured curriculum had more than 20% of graduating fellows publish a peer-reviewed manuscript compared with only five of twenty-two (23%) programs, which did not have a structured research curriculum (P = 0.03). While the majority of program directors (thirty of thirty-six (83%)) did not think that fellows are adequately trained to pursue research activities, only a minority of program directors (7 of 36 (19%)) thought that an extra year of fellowship dedicated to research should become a requirement. CONCLUSION: Structured research curriculum is associated with increased research productivity during pediatric anesthesia fellowship. Important barriers to fellows' research education include high clinical demands and lack of research time for faculty. Despite acknowledging the poor research education, a small minority of fellowship directors supports the addition of an extra year exclusively dedicated to research.

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