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Abstract

Despite a mandated 1-month rotation in developmental-behavioral pediatrics (DBP), pediatric residents report inadequate training in behavioral health care. As a first step in much needed curriculum development in this area, this study sought to assess learner experiences regarding the management of behavioral health problems during residency. Four focus groups were conducted for residents in years 1-3 of training in 2 residency programs in a northeastern state. Transcripts were analyzed and coded by researchers through qualitative classical content analysis. The exploratory analysis revealed 9 key themes: time requirements, rapport building, resources and referrals for behavioral health, psychiatric medications, diagnosis vs. treatment, working with families, the importance of behavioral health, fears of working with a pediatric population, and training issues. These qualitative data further identify gaps in the behavioral health training of pediatric residents and may inform future innovations in training curricula.

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