National Survey of Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellows on Debriefing after Medical Resuscitations

Lauren E. Zinns, Karen J. O'Connell, Paul C. Mullan, Leticia M. Ryan, Angela T. Wratney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background Medical resuscitations of critically ill children in the emergency department are stressful events requiring a coordinated team effort. Current guidelines recommend debriefing after such events to improve future performance. Debriefing practices within pediatric emergency departments by pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) fellows in the United States has not been studied. Objective The aim of this study was to describe the current debriefing experience of PEM fellows in the United States. Methods A 10-item, anonymous questionnaire regarding debriefing characteristics was distributed to fellows in US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited PEM programs via e-mail and paper format from December 2011 to March 2012. Results were summarized using descriptive statistics. Results Of 393 eligible PEM fellows, 201 (51.1%) completed the survey. The 201 respondents included 82 first-year fellows (40.8%), 71 second-year fellows (35.3%), and 48 third-year fellows (23.9%). Ninety-nine percent had participated in medical resuscitations during their fellowship training, yet 88.0% reported no formal teaching on how to debrief. There was wide variability in the format and timing of debriefings. The majority of debriefings were led by PEM attending physicians (65.5%) and PEM fellows (19.6%). Most (91.5%) of the fellows indicated they would like further education about debriefing. Conclusions The majority of PEM fellows do not receive formal training on how to debrief after a critical event and may have limited experience in leading debriefings. Debriefing training should be considered part of the educational curriculum during PEM fellowship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-554
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015


  • PEM fellows
  • debriefing
  • medical resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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