Preparing future pediatricians to meet the behavioral and mental health needs of children

Julia A. McMillan, Marshall Land, Ashley E. Tucker, Laurel K. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The increasing prevalence of behavioral and/or mental health (B/MH) problems among children, adolescents, and young adults is rapidly forcing the pediatric community to examine its professional responsibility in response to this epidemic. Stakeholders involved in pediatric workforce training were brought together in April 2018, invited by the American Board of Pediatrics and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, to consider facilitators and barriers for pediatrician training to enhance care for B/MH problems and to catalyze commitment to improvement efforts. During the interactive meeting, parents, young adult patients, and trainees, together with leaders of pediatric training programs and health care organizations, acknowledged the growing B/MH epidemic and discussed past and current efforts to improve training and care, including integrated delivery models. Attendees committed in writing to making a change within their department or organization to improve training. There also was agreement that organizations that set the standards for training and certification bear some responsibility to ensure that future pediatricians are prepared to meet the needs of children and adolescents. Reports on commitments to change 12 months after the meeting indicated that although attendees had encountered a variety of barriers, many had creatively moved forward to improve training at the program or organizational level. This article describes the context for the April 2018 meeting, themes arising from the meeting, results from the commitments to change, and 3 case studies. Taken together, they suggest we, as a pediatric community, can and must collaborate to improve training and, by extension, care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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