At the University of Vermont we encourage pediatric resident scholarship in three key areas: Advocacy, Research and Quality.
It is said that child advocacy is “in the DNA of pediatricians,” and at the University of Vermont we instill in our residents this key value. During the first year of training our residents spend one month on Advocacy, meeting with state leaders in our department of health, the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter. During this month our residents are instructed in the basics of health advocacy—how to testify to the legislature, give your “elevator speech” to a potential supporter, write op-ed pieces, and more. They then take an inspired idea and create a longitudinal advocacy project that is aimed at improving the health and welfare of the children in our community. Current advocacy initiatives promoted by our residents include: improving the continuity of care for children in foster care, review of pediatric ATV accident data, the formation of a School based health clinic at Winooski Elementary school, and the formation of focus groups to understand the male psychological phenotype to assist with adolescent depression, substance abuse and anxiety.
Our residency takes turns hosting the Northern New England Advocacy Conference each fall. This unique alliance was established in 2019 between pediatric residencies in Maine, Dartmouth and Vermont, together with our respective American Academy of Pediatrics state chapters. NNEAC brings together our residencies, community and legislators to share projects, learn from keynote faculty and support one another’s community projects.
While a research project is not a requirement of training in our program, it is encouraged and supported. We have a Research elective supervised by Dr. Leigh-Anne Cioffredi and designed to take you through the process of developing, conducting and reporting a clinical research study. Every year we have residents present posters at regional and national conferences (AAP, PHM, PAS, and subspecialty conferences). Posters line our administrative hallway to showcase the phenomenal research that residents are able to do in our program. Occasionally residents are also able to publish first author publications if this is a personal goal for them.
- Vermont Oxford Network - an international neonatal research collaborative.
- Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), which is a state wide quality improvement collaborative that now is at the hub of the National Improvement Program Network (NIPN)
- Improve Care Now, which is an international quality improvement collaborative for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.
Our residents are also required to be involved in a longitudinal quality improvement initiative as part of their training. This is embedded in a population health curriculum, and the projects are organic and germane to UVM Children’s Hospital and align with institutional initiatives and goals. The residents work on these projects along with interdisciplinary teams, so it becomes a group endeavor and affords opportunity for team-based learning and building collaborative relationships with their fellow colleagues. Many of these projects have evolved into scholarly work that has been presented locally and regionally. Here are a few of our projects includes:
- “The Mind Body Buddy Program”
- "Rectal Temperature Use with Febrile Infants in Emergency Department"
- “Improving Breastfeeding Success: Reducing Unnecessary Formula Supplementation in the Newborn Nursery”
- “Creation of Resident Panels to Improve Continuity in Resident Primary Care Clinic”
- “Creation and Implementation of an Asthma Pathway for ED and Inpatient Ward and Asthma Action Plan for Outpatient Clinic”
- “Reduction of Chest X-Ray in Bronchiolitis Patients”
- “Updating Pediatric Morning Report: Increasing Observed Quality and Perceived Educational Value among Faculty and Residents”
- “Food Insecurities Screening on Inpatient Ward”
- “Effectiveness of Healers Reflection as Part of Resident Wellness Curriculum”
- “Continuity Clinic Improvement of Continuity and Population Health Metrics”