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The Pediatric Forum
July 2001

A Needs Assessment for Establishing an After-Hours Telephone Medicine Curriculum

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Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(7):856-857. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.7.855

The practice of pediatric medicine requires competency in managing daytime and after-hours telephone consultations. Call rates range from 6.0 calls per night per 1000 infants to 0.2 calls per night per 1000 teenagers.1 Some reports have suggested that calls from patients of nonprivate practices may be different and may arise from less serious conditions than calls from patients of private practices.2 Our social pediatrics residency program trains residents to practice in underserved inner-city communities. As a prelude to developing a telephone medicine curriculum geared toward these populations, we conducted a needs assessment of the types of after-hours calls placed by parents whose children were seen at an inner-city ambulatory care center. We describe an analysis of all calls to the clinic's after-hours telephone number generated during a consecutive 12-month period.

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