Clinical experiences, quantified by case logs, are an integral part of pediatric anesthesiology fellowship programs. Accreditation of pediatric anesthesiology fellowships by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and establishment of case log reporting occurred in 1997 and 2009, respectively. The specialty has evolved since then, but the case log system remains largely unchanged. The Pediatric Anesthesiology Program Directors Association (PAPDA) embarked on the development of an evidence-based case log proposal through the efforts of a case log task force (CLTF). This proposal was part of a larger consensus-building process of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) Task Force for Pediatric Anesthesiology Graduate Medical Education. The primary aim of case log revision was to propose an evidence-based, consensus-driven update to the pediatric anesthesiology case log system.
This study was executed in 2 phases. The CLTF, composed of 10 program directors representing diverse pediatric anesthesiology fellowship programs across the country, utilized evidence-based literature to develop proposed new categories. After an approval vote by PAPDA membership, this proposal was included in the nationally representative, stakeholder-based Delphi process executed by the SPA Task Force on Graduate Medical Education. Thirty-seven participants engaged in this Delphi process, during which iterative rounds of surveys were used to select elements of the old and newly proposed case logs to create a final revision of categories and minimums for updated case logs. The Delphi methodology was used, with a two-thirds agreement as the threshold for inclusion.
Participation in the Delphi process was robust, and consensus was almost completely achieved by round 2 of 3 survey rounds. Participants suggested that total case minimums should increase from 240 to 300 (300–370). Participants agreed (75.86%) that the current case logs targeted the right types of cases, but requirements were too low (82.75%). They also agreed (85.19%) that the case log system and minimums deserved an update, and that this should be used as part of a competency-based assessment in pediatric anesthesia fellowships (96%). Participants supported new categories and provided recommended minimum numbers.
The pediatric anesthesiology case log system continues to have a place in the assessment of fellowship programs, but it requires an update. This Delphi process established broad support for new categories and benchmarked minimums to ensure the robustness of fellowship programs and to better prepare the pediatric anesthesiology workforce of the future for independent clinical practice.
- Question: How should the pediatric anesthesiology case log system be modified to stay abreast of the evolution of the specialty and ensure high-quality, competent fellow graduates?
- Findings: Program directors and a group of nationally representative stakeholders agree that case logs continue to deserve a place in the assessment of fellows during fellowship programs, but that they require increases in the case log minimums, addition of patient and case characteristics, and inclusion of anesthesiologists’ procedures to remain current.
- Meaning: Evidence-based and consensus-driven changes to the case log system, as proposed by a case log task force (CLTF) and endorsed by the Pediatric Anesthesiology Program Directors Association (PAPDA) and the Society for Pediatric Anesthesiology (SPA) Task Force on Pediatric Anesthesiology Graduate Medical Education, are one of several modifications to the current system of fellowship education that will support high-quality fellowship education.
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