Pediatric Resident Confidence in Assessing Neurological Cases: A Nationwide Survey

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Background: A relative shortage of pediatric neurologists in proportion to estimated neurological disorders often results in general pediatricians evaluating and treating children with complex neurological conditions. Dedicated rotations in pediatric neurology are not mandated during medical school or pediatric residency. We evaluated the perceptions of a large cohort of pediatric residents and program directors (PDs) regarding child neurology training. Methods: Using an online tool, surveys were sent to pediatric residents and pediatric and pediatric neurology PDs. Results: Response rates were 41% from pediatric residency programs, yielding 538 resident responses; 31% from pediatric PDs; and 62% from pediatric neurology PDs. Only 27% of the surveyed residents reported completing a neurology rotation during residency, 89% of whom expressed a subjective improvement in confidence with neurological assessments. Factors affecting comfort with eliciting a neurological history included exposure to a neurology rotation during residency, year of training, duration of neurology rotation in medical school, and inpatient exposure to neurological patients, whereas those associated with examination additionally included program size and postresidency plans. Overall, 80% of surveyed residents, 78% of pediatric PDs, and 96% of pediatric neurology PDs acknowledged the potential value of a mandatory pediatric neurology rotation during residency. Conclusion: We suggest that a mandatory pediatric neurology rotation will boost the confidence of current and future pediatric trainees in assessing common neurological conditions of childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Neurological examination
  • Neurological history
  • Pediatric neurology program director
  • Pediatric program director
  • Pediatric resident


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