Teaching Telephone Management Skills to Pediatric Residents in a Pilot Program Using a Standardized Patient

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Abstract

Background.

Pediatricians spend a significant amount of time on the telephone but receive little formal training in telephone management skills. We found only two previous reports in the literature using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that documented the effectiveness of a telephone management program for residents.

Methods.

The goals of this pilot study were (1) to provide second year pediatric residents (PL-2s) an experiential telephone management educational program, using a standardized patient (SP); (2) to assess the PL-2s' affective skills and ability to address relevant content on a series of simulated telephone calls; and (3) to determine whether feedback to the experimental group would improve their telephone management skills.

Results.

In this small pilot RCT using an SP intervention, no improvement was found in PL-2s' short-term or long-term telephone management skills.

Conclusion.

Further studies involving larger number of residents and revised study design are needed in planning effective approaches to teaching these important skills to pediatric residents in our training program.

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