Training in neonatal neurocritical care: a proposal for a hybrid model of competence by design and time-based methods.

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Pediatric research


BACKGROUND: Neonatal neurocritical care (NNCC) is a rapidly advancing field with limited fellowship training available in locally developed, non-accredited programs. A standardized survey aimed to understand the training backgrounds of individuals practicing NNCC, the structure of existing clinical NNCC services/training programs, and suggested clinical competencies for new graduates.

METHODS: We developed an anonymous survey electronically sent to members of societies related to NNCC. Using the survey results as a guide, we discuss a competence by design (CBD) curriculum as a complementary approach to traditional time-based training.

RESULTS: There were 82 responses to the survey from 30 countries; 95% of respondents were physicians. Thirty-one (42%) institutions reported having an NNCC service, 24 (29%) individuals reported formal NNCC training, 81% reported "significant variability" across NNCC training programs, and 88% were both in favor of standardizing training programs and pursuing formal accreditation for NNCC in the next 5 years.

CONCLUSIONS: The survey results demonstrate international interest in standardizing NNCC training and development of an accreditation or certification process. We propose consideration of a CBD-type curriculum as a training approach to focus on the development of specific NNCC competencies, rather than assuming the acquisition of these competencies based on time as a surrogate.

IMPACT: Continued growth and development in the field of NNCC has led to increasing need for training programs suited to meet the diverse needs of trainees from varied backgrounds. We present the results of an international survey that assessed the structure of existing training programs and the priority areas in which graduates must demonstrate competence, highlighting the combination of CBD and time-based training as one approach to address these recommendations. The survey results support interest in translating published training competencies, existing expertise, and infrastructure across centers into a standardized curriculum for NNCC including certification opportunities.