Retaining Interest in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Among General Residency Trainees.

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OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to identify factors affecting current general psychiatry residents' interest in child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). Furthermore, it aimed to identify areas for improvement in clinical education to address the shortage of child psychiatrists at the institution at the time of this study.

METHODS: An electronic anonymous pre-implementation survey was sent to all the current general psychiatry residents at LVHN. It assessed the most important factors for trainees in deciding their career paths into CAP, their comfort level with children and families, and overall CAP and related systems-based knowledge. Interventions based on the survey results were implemented in the LVHN psychiatry residency program. The residents then completed a post-intervention survey to assess the impact of these interventions on their perspectives toward CAP.

RESULTS: CAP rotation experience and work with families were strong influencers for general psychiatry residents at LVHN in pursing CAP. Systems-based knowledge was particularly lacking compared to overall CAP knowledge. Educational interventions that were implemented at LVHN led to improvements in residents' sense of competence working with children and families with no net loss of interest in CAP.

CONCLUSIONS: Educational modifications enhanced attitudes toward CAP among LVHN general psychiatry residents. Implementing such modifications at other residency programs may be likewise effective in retaining interest in CAP among their general psychiatry residents.








Department of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry Faculty, Fellows and Residents

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