Today at the AAP NCE I attended the scientific abstract and poster presentations, followed by an afternoon of presentations and discussions about challenges in teaching medical students, residents and fellows.
The scientific presentations (research) were superb and varied in their primary focus areas. We heard presentations on the use of sedation protocols in pediatric critical care, inflammatory markers in the blood of children with acute respiratory failure, ways to measure how well residents have learned certain procedures, among many other important subjects. Presenters of research results were sometimes very experienced pediatric intensivists, but sometimes very junior folks. One of the presentations was made by a first year medical student at Harvard, on work she did evaluating young infants with bronchiolitis to determine their cardiac output. She impressed us all by her level of composure, her confidence and the quality of the work she had done. The list goes on and on. Overall, a very exciting and interesting morning.
The afternoon's sessions were devoted to medical education. We talked about the best ways to teach students and residents given the limitations imposed by rules that govern how many hours trainees can be permitted to work in a given time period. I was again encouraged to learn that many of the approaches we take at Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital are endorsed by national experts.
These techniques include approaches such as case-based learning--the foundation of learning at VTC, simulation--which we use throughout most of the Carilion training programs, and patient centered bedside rounds--which our pediatric hospitalists and intensivists lead every day. Undoubtedly we will discuss all of these educational approaches in this blog as we go on. The final presentation of the day focused on issues of professionalism in medicine and how we teach it. This was presented by a speaker from the west coast. It was an interesting and compelling reminder about the importance of what is termed "the hidden curriculum" and how to help make this more transparent in daily activities in our medical schools as well as in our graduate medical education training programs.
I am looking forward to tomorrow, when we are going to be learning about the soon-to-be-released 2010 American Heart Association guidelines and how they will apply to the resuscitation of children. As new research accumulates, the American Heart Association experts change the recommendations for how we should approach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) so we achieve the best outcomes. The pediatric intensivists will be holding this educational session jointly with the pediatric cardiologists and pediatric emergency medicine physicians. I can't wait!