Other Considerations for Attracting Medical Students into Pediatrics
Joseph Gigante, MD
President, Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP)
Professor of Pediatrics, General Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
a. Advocacy: Provide medical schools/department chairs (via AMSPDC)/clerkship directors (via COMSEP and AMSPDC) with a tool kit for promoting pediatrics, through the use of pediatric interest groups, increased incorporation of pediatric faculty and pediatric cases into the preclinical curriculum, increased shadowing/research/other experiences for pre-clinical medical students with pediatric faculty), tracking pediatric specific metrics (e.g. percent of graduates matching in categorical pediatrics and combined pediatric programs), and creative approaches to highlighting the importance of our discipline.
b. Marketing Strategy: Develop strategies to market the field of pediatrics to high-quality students utilizing approaches that respond to factors important in their decision-making process (after first identifying the factors that influence decision making). Consider approaches that emphasize the impact of pediatricians on early child development.
c. Early Exposure: Work towards increasing and implementing early and adequate exposure to the pediatrics discipline at various critical touch points, including high school and college, medical school pre-clinical and clinical curricula, early in residency training, and possibly other key times.
d. Recruitment/Outreach: Improve the pediatric pipeline by creating strategies that engage high school students, college students, and preclinical medical students, e.g. early exposure to pediatric specific STEM programs, enhanced work with organizations such as the SNMA, and partnering with COMSEP to achieve greater recruitment of students into Pediatrics.