Pediatric urgent care education: A survey-based needs assessment

Xian Zhao, Ioannis Koutroulis, Joanna Cohen, Deena Berkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: There is an increasing number of pediatric urgent care centers that are largely staffed by pediatric residency graduates. It is unclear if pediatric residency adequately prepares a physician to fully and successfully provide care in an urgent care setting. The goal of this study is to conduct an assessment of urgent care directors' perceptions of recent pediatric residency graduates' preparedness to successfully provide pediatric urgent care after graduation. Methods: This is a 2018 cross-sectional survey of all pediatric emergency medicine division chiefs in the United States and all pediatric urgent care directors who are members of the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care. An electronic survey was distributed consisting of eight multiple choice questions regarding perceived preparedness and knowledge gaps of recent pediatric residency graduates for independent practice in urgent care. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze results and qualitative data were analyzed via an inductive thematic approach. Results: Forty-two percent (65/154) of surveys were completed. No respondents believed that a recent pediatric residency graduate would be adequately prepared to independently practice in a pediatric urgent care and 81% of respondents recommended some additional training. Most respondents described this training as important (46%) or very important (35%). Most respondents recommended between 6 months and 1 year as the appropriate amount of time to achieve competency. Conclusions: Despite the growing number pediatric residency graduates staffing pediatric urgent care centers, the majority of surveyed pediatric emergency medicine division chiefs and pediatric urgent care directors do not think that pediatric residency adequately prepares graduates to successfully provide urgent care to pediatric patients. We recommend further exploration of gaps in knowledge of recent pediatric residency graduates as a next step towards developing systems for further training for pediatric residency graduates to gain competency in urgent care management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number388
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 14 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Residency
  • Survey
  • Training
  • Urgent care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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