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The Revision of a Joint Fellowship Curriculum

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posted on 01.12.2019, 00:00 authored by Viday Audra Heffner
The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) supports a combined educational curriculum for all pediatric subspecialty fellows called the Joint Fellowship Curriculum (JFC). The initial content in that curriculum was mapped out by physician leaders within pediatric fellow education, with the input of fellows and fellowship directors (FDs) and aimed to cover core competencies that all pediatric fellows must know regardless of their specialty. Despite several revisions of the JFC, anecdotal data indicated poor fellow attendance at sessions, general dislike of the sessions, and lack of individual division buy-in to protect time for fellow attendance. In the two previous JFC curricular revisions, the only stakeholders who were asked for input were the FDs. With fellow satisfaction regarding the JFC perennially low, our new project aimed to ask not only fellowship directors, but also the fellows their opinions about the JFC. Separate focus groups of fellowship directors and pediatric subspecialty fellows were conducted. The participants were asked series of questions related to the Joint Fellowship Curriculum, centering around the major goals of the JFC, the strengths and weaknesses of the current curriculum, and suggestions for change. A total of 10 pediatric fellows and 10 pediatric fellowship directors participated in 6 separate focus groups. Both written and oral feedback provided in the focus groups were analyzed, using the method of constant comparative analysis associated with grounded theory, to formulate themes and sub-themes. A large number of themes were generated by both groups, and there was definite overlap between themes from the FDs and the fellows. There were, however, a significant number of themes uniquely generated by each group individually. With this in mind, we suggest that future revisions of the JFC that don't incorporate fellow opinions may lose rich and important data.



Tekian, AraHarris, IleneLye, Patricia


Harris, Ilene


Medical Education

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level


Degree name

MHPE, Master of Health Professions Education

Submitted date

December 2019

Thesis type




Issue date


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