Resident Training in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics: Where Do We Stand?

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Approximately 25% to 30% of all complaints to a general pediatrician are developmental or behavioral in origin. Despite this, residency education in developmental/behavioral pediatrics has consistently been rated poorly. Changes were set forth in 1997 to include a mandatory 1-month block rotation in developmental/behavioral pediatrics. This study was a nationwide, cross-sectional, self-administered, mailed survey of pediatricians who completed residency either before or after these changes went into effect. Overall, pediatricians' comfort level in developmental/behavioral pediatrics was unchanged in the 2 groups. Certain areas (behavior problems, learning disabilities, sleep, and depression/anxiety) of developmental/behavioral pediatrics had lower comfort scores. Our data provide direction for the ongoing refinement of pediatric education that is based on feedback from currently practicing pediatricians.

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