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Subspecialisation is increasingly a fundamental part of the contemporary practice of medicine. However, little is known about how medical trainees learn in the modern era, and particularly in growing and relatively new subspecialties, such as adult CHD. The purpose of this study was to assess institutional-led and self-directed learning strategies of adult CHD fellows.
This international, cross-sectional online survey was conducted by the International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease and consisted primarily of categorical questions and Likert rating scales. All current or recent (i.e., those within 2 years of training) fellows who reported training in adult CHD (within adult/paediatric cardiology training or within subspecialty fellowships) were eligible.
A total of 75 fellows participated in the survey: mean age: 34 ± 5; 35 (47%) female. Most adult CHD subspecialty fellows considered case-based teaching (58%) as “very helpful”, while topic-based teaching was considered “helpful” (67%); p = 0.003 (favouring case-based). When facing a non-urgent clinical dilemma, fellows reported that they were more likely to search for information online (58%) than consult a faculty member (29%) or textbook (3%). Many (69%) fellows use their smartphones at least once daily to search for information during regular clinical work.
Fellows receiving adult CHD training reported a preference for case-based learning and frequent use of online material and smartphones. These findings may be incorporated into the design and enhancement of fellowships and development of online training resources.
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