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An Innovative Tool for Fellow Education and Recruitment

Children’s Mercy Hospital

Abstract Authors: Jane B. Taylor MD MsCR and Dennis C. Stokes, MD MPH 2014

Abstract: http://www.thoracic.org/professionals/career-development/fellows/innovations-in-fellowship-education/2014/ university-of-tennessee-health-and-science-center.php


The goal of The Mississippi River Valley Pediatric Pulmonary Case Conference (MRVPC) is to provide young faculty and pediatric pulmonology fellows an exposure to oral presentations and aspects of peer-review critiques through discussions after their presentations. It is an internet-based case conference that occurs on the second Wednesday of each month from 12 to 1pm CST. The conference uses the WebEx software platform with telephone audio conferencing capability. 10 mid-western pediatric academic centers participate and present on an alternating schedule. Two cases are presented each month with subsequent group discussion from all participating centers after each case. Most of the presenters are pediatric pulmonology fellows and residents about to enter fellowship programs. The cases are recorded and archived on a website indexed by presenter and can be listed on the presenter’s curriculum vitae. The conference discussion helps provide an aspect of peer review for the presentation and exposure to oral presentation skills and formal academic discussion afterwards. INNOVATION Pediatric pulmonology is a relatively new, and thus small, subspecialty. The residents and fellows in each training program do not have exposure to a large variety of subspecialty providers; thus, limiting their exposure to different teaching styles and experiences. There is also a geographic limitation on exposure to different patient populations. To overcome these limitations, the pediatric pulmonology community has had to expand past traditional teaching methods and expand its reach thru technology to allow their trainees to have a more exhaustive educational experience.


Out of 10 participating centers, with 127 participants, 24 responded to a survey request using the Survey Monkey software. Survey participants indicated that 53% presented during their first two years of fellowship, 76% felt the conference helped improve their presentation skills, 76% indicated the conference helped them connect with others in their subspecialty, 89% felt the question/answer portion of the cases helped further their understanding of the topics presented, and 100% recommended this form of experience for other individuals. Of the 24 cases presented by the respondents, only 18% were presented at other regional/national meetings and none were published as case reports. The MRVPC helps create a collaborative learning experience where trainees polish their presentation skills needed to advance their careers, while allowing older participants to view interesting cases with up to date reviews of the literature. This format is particularly useful for small sub-specialties where it is harder for trainees to access a larger group of experienced peers due to distance.