Patient End-of-Life Experiences for Pediatric Trainees: Spanning the Educational Continuum

Kumaran Senthil, Janet R. Serwint, Fatimah S. Dawood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background. End-of-life care for a child is an emotionally charged experience for pediatric trainees. Objectives. Describe the progression of medical trainee experiences with end-of-life care and determine personal/professional experiences that facilitated integration of experiences. Methods. Medical students (MS4) and pediatric residents (PL-1-3) completed a 30-question survey about experiences with patient deaths and integration of these experiences. Results. A total of 307 of 404 residents (76%) participated. Mean number of deaths ranged from 3.0 to 6.5 in the prior 12 months, and the most common location was neonatal intensive care unit or pediatric intensive care unit. In total, 18% to 27% experienced a death in their personal life. Between 26% and 41% of the residents made contact with a family after death, and 15% to 35% attended a funeral. Characteristics of good deaths included good communication and discussion of end-of-life issues. Conclusions. Trainees experienced patient deaths along the educational continuum. These findings have implications for the optimal timing and method of end-of-life care education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-818
Number of pages8
JournalClinical pediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • educational continuum
  • end-of-life care
  • grieving
  • pediatric resident education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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