An innovative hybrid palliative care fellowship program: empowering pediatricians and enhancing care for children in resource-limited settings

Title

An innovative hybrid palliative care fellowship program: empowering pediatricians and enhancing care for children in resource-limited settings

Creator

Palat G; Doherty M; Brown S; Shah A

Publisher

Archives of Disease in Childhood

Date

2023

Subject

child; Canada; Palliative Care; pediatrics; Bangladesh; controlled study; female; human; major clinical study; male; child health; palliative therapy; total quality management; India; pediatrician; skill; clinical examination; conference abstract; Philippines; learning; rotation; leadership; teaching; rigor; career; mentor; running; resource limited setting; Southeast Asia

Description

Objective To describe the development and implementation of a 1-year 'Hybrid' Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) Fellowship, which includes both clinical and online learning to train paediatricians as specialists and leaders in paediatric palliative care in South and Southeast Asia. Methods Globally, 97% of children needing palliative care (PC) live in low- or middle-income countries, where access is often very limited. In India, less than 1% of the 1.6 million children needing PC can access these services. Building capacity and training opportunities for paediatricians are essential to improve access to PC in these settings. The Hybrid fellowship was developed through the existing partnership between Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration, Canada and the Hyderabad Centre for Palliative Care to train paediatricians as specialists and leaders in paediatric palliative care in South and Southeast Asia. A team of PPC experts developed the fellowship after a rigorous review of relevant literature and educational materials, incorporating their experiences running PPC traditional (in-person) fellowship programs in both high and lowerresourced settings. Results The fellowship includes formal teaching, clinical rotations, mentorship, regular assessments of trainees, and a scholarly project. Teaching includes 100 hours of weekly online classes, with a focus on case-based learning and leadership skills. Mandatory 4 months of clinical rotations in PC includes 2 months in the regional centre of PPC excellence in Hyderabad, India. Trainees' progression towards program competencies is assessed through written and observed standardised clinical examinations. A mentorship program provides additional support, which continues beyond the fellowship through an early career mentorship group. As a part of research and quality improvement (QI) training, fellows complete a scholarly project with support and supervision from experienced research mentors. More than 30 regional and international PPC experts contribute to the program as faculty. Since 2021, 6 paediatricians have completed the 'Hybrid' fellowship, from India (2), Bangladesh (1), and the Philippines (3), with 3 fellows currently in training. Graduated fellows have become regional and national leaders in PPC, developing new PPC programs, and implementing new PPC training in their home country. The program successfully sought endorsement from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (UK), which has strengthened the program's rigor and quality. Conclusion A 1-year Hybrid PPC Fellowship, which trains pediatricians to become specialists and champions of PPC, is an innovative model that can successfully build PPC capacity in resource-limited settings and increase access to PPC for children with life-limiting illnesses.

Rights

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Citation List Month

2023 SE5 - Low Resource Setting

Citation

Palat G; Doherty M; Brown S; Shah A, “An innovative hybrid palliative care fellowship program: empowering pediatricians and enhancing care for children in resource-limited settings,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 23, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/19423.