The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) sanctioned new accreditation standards that define core competencies in research and other scholarly activities for subspecialty fellows in 2007. There are few descriptions of organizational models designed to address these mandates.


To describe a department‐wide ACGME‐compliant core curriculum for pediatric subspecialty fellows that can serve as a model for hospital medicine fellowships.


In 1998, we developed and implemented a Science Course for pediatric subspecialty fellows, with continuous improvements in response to trainee evaluations, faculty feedback, and needs assessments. In 2007, we revamped the course to meet the new mandated core competencies by the ACGME. The current 3‐year curriculum offers 2‐hour monthly or bimonthly sessions; each curriculum‐year is tailored to level of training. Attendance is required. Content includes basic and clinical research, bioethics, research design, biostatistics, quality improvement, career development, finding a research mentor, teaching skills, and academic preparation. We use adult learning techniques, self‐directed learning, opportunities for critical thinking, and multidisciplinary interaction. We monitor fellows’ participation, feedback, and evaluation of didactic sessions, self‐assessed knowledge, and ACGME review cycle‐lengths. Fellows’ participation has quadrupled since 1998 (x = 47 participants/year, 2007–10), with 85% of all fellows from 16 different subspecialties attending the course. Session attendance is 78%. Evaluation of sessions was high: 4.7 ± 0.2 (n = 195; scale 1‐5; 5 = excellent); 60% of the didactic material was considered “new” knowledge, and 95% recommended keeping each session. Self‐assessed knowledge and research skills was evaluated using a 42‐item survey; course entry scores increased each year from the first to third years of fellowship (2.9, 3.4, and 4.0 of 5). Average ACGME review‐cycle length increased from 3.3 ± 1 to 4.5 ± 0.7 years (P < 0.001) compared with prior review‐cycle lengths. Factors associated with course success were: (1) support from department chair, vice chair, and fellowship directors, biostatistician, administrative assistance; (2) process that tailors course content to ACGME competency requirements, mandatory attendance, progressive levels of training, evening sessions, timely electronic communication, continuous interdisciplinary quality improvement; (3) faculty that includes distinguished pediatric and nonpediatric faculty speakers, collaborative course leadership that incorporates basic, clinical, and social science perspectives.


We have developed and implemented an efficient, highly successful, and broadly accepted department‐wide curriculum that provides hands‐on multidisciplinary learning for pediatric subspecialty fellows. This model addresses current ACGME mandates and board certification requirements and can serve as a prototype for hospital medicine fellowships.


N. Esteban‐Cruciani ‐ none; P. Cole ‐ none; C. Skae ‐ none; A. Vicencio ‐ none; S. Rajpathak ‐ none; L. Bauman ‐ none