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BMC Medical Education





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© 2020, The Author(s). Background: There is a current change in type of attending coverage in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) from home calls to 24/7 in house coverage. Effects of this increased attending physician presence on education of NICU fellows has not been studied. The objective of this study is to evaluate the fellows’ perception of in house attending coverage on their education and evaluate its effect on their perceived autonomy. Methods: A secure, anonymous, web-based survey was designed using RedCap. The web-based survey was sent via the section of Neonatal Perinatal Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to all members of Training & Early Career Neonatologists. Questions were focused on perception of IH attending coverage on fellows’ educational experience including the respondent’s perceived ability to make independent decisions (autonomy). Chi-square tests were used to compare responses between groups, with Fisher Exact tests used when the expected cell frequencies were small. Results: One hundred and twenty-three surveys were analyzed, that included responses from 82 fellows & 41 early career neonatologists. 52% reported having 24/7 attending in-house (IH) coverage. Thirty of the 123 respondents experienced a change in model of attending coverage during their training. Among these 30, only 26.6% preferred the model of attending IH coverage. The respondents currently working in IH models, when compared to those in non-IH coverage models felt IH attending coverage was beneficial for fellow education (p < 0.05) but was less likely to give fellows autonomy for decision making (p = 0.02). Conclusion: In our survey respondents with in house attending, had a more favorable view of its benefit on fellow education. Institutions practicing or considering IH attending coverage should consider use of adequate measures to balance fellow supervision and education.


Autonomy; Education; House staff; Neonatology; Supervision; Survey


Medical Education

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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