Clinical Science Research
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Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and adolescents. Despite evidence to support physician training in firearm safety counseling, formal curricula are limited in pediatric residency programs. We sought to develop and implement a resident-led, feasible, sustainable, and impactful firearm safety curriculum for pediatric residents.
A firearm safety curriculum was developed by pediatric residents using Kern’s curriculum development framework and delivered to their peers at a single academic center from 2019 - 2020. The three-part series included workshops on basic firearm safety counseling principles, case-based practice, and advocacy training and a gun lock program in collaboration with the local police department. Impact was measured by feasibility, sustainability, acquired knowledge, and provision of counseling to patients and families.
A total of 31 residents participated in the three-hour lecture series. Sessions were integrated into the existing didactic curriculum, and no costs or faculty time were required for implementation. A total of 1,477 patient charts were reviewed from 2019 - 2021. Compared to a historical cohort, participants asked about presence of a firearm (27% to 69%, p < .0001) and counseled on firearm safety more often (25% vs. 9%, p < .0001).
A firearm safety curriculum designed specifically for pediatric residents was deemed feasible and resulted in a statistically significant improvement in inquiries about firearm ownership and safety counseling in an urban tertiary care continuity clinic. This study highlights the value in providing firearm safety education at the resident level to foster more discussions to keep children safe from firearm injuries.
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VCU School of Medicine GME Resident and Fellow Research Day Posters