This thoughtful letter states very well the dilemma of deciding how to apportion valuable educational time between skills that will be used everyday and ones in acute and tertiary care that may be called on infrequently, but require intensive training and practice to acquire. Interestingly, it also seems to reflect a common worry that any shift in residency training toward the "new morbidity" will go too far.
We hope that our study describes a way for selecting and organizing teaching time so that residents will have enough information to feel comfortable with new morbidity issues when they begin practice. Most pediatric residencies still offer very little organized training in dealing with these issues.1 If 1 month of a systematic, well-organized curriculum in developmental and behavioral pediatrics could reduce the time required to reach some level of competence in less than a year, it seems to us that patients and their families, as well as the practicing pediatrician, would benefit. At present, too often it is the families and children who are paying for and teaching their incompletely trained pediatricians how to deal with their problems. We think we could do better without sacrificing training in dealing with acute and tertiary care problems.
Camp BW, Gitterman B, Headley R. Preparation for Pediatric Primary Care—Reply. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(2):210. doi: