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May 1988

A Survey of Undergraduate Pediatric Education: Progress in the 1980s?

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(5):519-523. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150050057031

In 1981, Stillman et al1 published the results of a survey of pediatric clerkship programs in US and Canadian medical schools. The study was prompted by the belief that reorientation of educational goals, redistribution of patients toward outpatient care, and increased numbers of medical students necessitated a reassessment of the structure and function of the categorical clerkship.

Of the 141 pediatric departments contacted by Stillman and coworkers,1 119 (84%) responded. How to define objectives for instruction adequately and how to evaluate appropriately students' fund of cognitive information, interviewing and physical examination skills, and problem-solving ability were the most common and highest-priority concerns of clerkship directors. Frequently identified weaknesses in clerkship design included lack of uniformity in the educational experience, overemphasis on tertiary care coupled with inadequate ambulatory care opportunities, and insufficient student contact with faculty.

When the original study was undertaken, increasing attention was being paid to such