Using Collaboration Essentials
The last decade has seen an increasing emphasis on the importance of behavioral, developmental, and social problems in child health. It has also witnessed changes in the healthcare delivery system, which have exerted more pressure on clinical faculty to see larger numbers of patients.
As a result, faculty have less time to identify and treat mental health issues or to train residents (Ludmerer, 1999). The use of structured teaching materials, which are easily accessible to faculty with limited time and varied expertise in the essential topic areas,
can help to alleviate the situation.
Case-based discussions are particularly well suited to learning about management of complex childhood illnesses (Armstrong, 1997; David and Patel, 1995; Hill et al., 1997; Reilly and Lemon, 1997). To approach children with both psychological and somatic problems, residents must learn to synthesize biomedical findings with multifaceted psychosocial information and to understand that there is often more than one appropriate way to manage a case. The goal of this project was to develop a standardized, case-based curriculum that covers important topics in the management of medical and psychiatric comorbidity, promotes collaboration between pediatricians and child psychiatrists, optimizes the care of children and their families, and places minimal demands on faculty
time and other resources.