Lost in transition: resident and fellow training and experience caring for young adults with chronic conditions in a large United States' academic medical center.
BACKGROUND: The transition from pediatric to adult healthcare is a vulnerable time for adolescents and young adults (AYA), especially those with chronic conditions. Successful transition requires communication and coordination amongst providers, patients, and families. Unfortunately, multiple studies have demonstrated that the majority of practicing providers do not feel prepared to help AYA patients through health care transition, but little is known about the transition/transfer aptitudes of physician trainees. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to establish the transition/transfer training that residents and fellows from different fields receive - and determine what training factors are associated with increased confidence in core transition/transfer skills. DESIGN: A 20-item electronic survey regarding experiences caring for AYA patients was sent to all 2014-2015 graduate medical education (GME) trainees at our institution. RESULTS: Forty-nine percent (479/985) of trainees responded: 60 pediatric, 387 non-pediatric, and 32 'combined' (e.g., Medicine/Pediatrics or Family Medicine). Trainees from all three categories of programs reported similar exposure to AYA patients with chronic conditions, with a median of 1-3 encounters per month. A quarter of trainees rated themselves as 'not at all prepared' to speak with a counterpart provider about a transferring patient, while nearly half of trainees considered themselves 'not at all prepared' to speak with a patient and family about transition. Trainee confidence in performing these two skills was strongly predicted by three factors: increased exposure to AYA with chronic conditions, education (training or role modeling) in transition skills, and experience practicing transition skills. Of these, the strongest association with trainee confidence was experience practicing the skills of communicating with other providers (OR = 13.0) or with patients/families (OR = 14.5). CONCLUSION: Despite at least monthly encounters with AYA with chronic conditions, most residents and fellows have very little experience communicating across the pediatric-to-adult healthcare divide, highlighting training opportunities in graduate medical education.
Sadun, RE; Chung, RJ; Pollock, MD; Maslow, GR
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