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Giving Voice to Trainee Perspectives: The Pediatrics Section on Pediatric Trainees Monthly Feature :

October 17, 2016

Trainees have much to offer, and their voice is valuable. This is the view of the Pediatrics editorial board. Since January 2015, the AAP Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) has contributed a column to the Pediatrics Monthly Feature,

Trainees have much to offer, and their voice is valuable. This is the view of the Pediatrics editorial board. Since January 2015, the AAP Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) has contributed a column to the Pediatrics Monthly Feature, and now regularly offers unique trainee-authored articles every 4 months.  We’d like to give you a quick window into the work of this section, share its “birth” and vision, and encourage you to consider writing for the section (if you are a trainee or can mentor a trainee). Submissions should tackle contemporary pediatric and medical education issues from the trainee’s perspective – tell us what is wrong (and right!) and what should and can be done about the problem. We encourage articles that contain narrative, discussions and arguments that are well-referenced, specific, gripping, thoughtfully articulated, and genuine.

Every story has a beginning, and this one began when Editor-in-Chief Dr. Lewis First reached out to Dr. Faisal Malik, then President of SOPT (Section on Pediatric Trainees, called SOMSRFT [Section on Medical Student, Resident, and Fellow Trainees] at the time). Following that early conversation, Drs. First and Malik identified a trainee editor and deputy editor to guide the creation of the Monthly Feature, with the support and guidance of a Pediatrics Editorial Board member (Dr. Lydia Furman). With added administrative support from the AAP, an editorial group was created to bring this Monthly Feature to fruition. The SOPT Monthly Feature is now completely trainee-run, with an Editor, Deputy Editor and past Editor who create advertising for manuscripts (where), triage and review submissions, and ultimately make decisions about publication. The editors are residents and chief residents at pediatric training programs across the country who see patients by day (and night…) and carve out the time for the Monthly Feature from their own lives with late night conference calls and emails. They are driven by a passion for both supporting the development of writers and injecting the trainee’s voice into larger discussions. . 

Since that first publication in January of 2015, the section has continued to publish well-crafted and thoughtful articles on important yet challenging topics. But there are many important topics left to tackle. Don’t just think about writing for this section- please write!  Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. If you are a trainee, find a mentor or a colleague with whom to work, and if you are in medical education or in private practice, please consider finding a trainee with whom to collaborate.  The trainee must be the first author and a trainee-focus must guide the article, but mentorship can make an enormous difference. At the upcoming 2016 AAP National Conference & Exhibition the editorial group will offer its second annual writing workshop for trainees on Saturday October 22, 2016 at what time following the SOPT annual meeting held that day. . The writing workshop will provide skills for writing in general, and specific tips on how to write for the SOPT section – please join us. 

The editorial group circulates a new call for articles every 4 months with a new set of possible topics. These topics are food for thought rather than an exclusive list. If you want to take a quick look at a couple of the past Monthly Features from SOPT, here are the links: Stanski N et al, (10.1542/peds.2015-3679)“Improving Trainee Education During Family-Centered Rounds: A Resident’s Perspective”; Xie J, (10.1542/peds.2015-1827) “Up to Speed: A Role for Trainees in Advancing Health Information Technology”.

Since its inception just 2 years ago, the SOPT Monthly Feature has rapidly gained momentum and widespread interest. We encourage you to join us in this journey of bringing the perspective of the budding pediatrician into the light through Pediatrics, and to contact the SOPT Monthly Feature Editorial group at SOPTpediatrics@aap.org with interest and inquiries.

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