We conducted a national survey of US pediatric program directors to explore the current status, content, and teaching methods of Resident-as-Teacher (RAT) curricula. The purposes of the survey were to (1) determine the level and method of evaluation of such curricula, and (2) assess the need for a national curricular resource in this area.
A survey was sent to US pediatric program directors that asked questions regarding demographics, support, design, development, content, and evaluation of RAT curricula, as well as existing needs and desires for RAT curricular resources.
Sixty-two percent of pediatric program directors completed our survey. Eighty-seven percent have a formal RAT curriculum, but more than 50% allocate 10 hours or less to it during residency. The primary teaching modalities are lectures and workshops. Content areas include feedback, in-patient teaching, communication skills, case-based teaching, role modeling, evaluation, leadership skills, 1-minute preceptors, teaching/learning styles, professionalism, and small-group teaching. Sixty-three percent of programs report evaluating their curricula, but only 27% perceive their program to be very/extremely effective. Nearly all respondents expressed interest in a national RAT curriculum, preferring web-based modules for dissemination.
Despite an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirement for a RAT curriculum, some pediatrics programs still lack one, and some consider their program only moderately effective. A wealth of curricular material exists across programs, which could be shared nationally. Establishing a national RAT curriculum would offer programs resources to meet educational mandates and the ability to tailor programs to best fit their own program needs.