Background: Despite the global success of immunization in preventing disease, vaccine hesitancy is increasing. Vaccine hesitancy may be countered through patient education, though health-care providers often report inadequate knowledge of vaccinology. Pediatric infectious disease (PID) physicians often serve as resources to patients and colleagues. Despite this important role, little is known regarding vaccine education of PID physicians during fellowship training.
Methods: PID fellows and fellowship directors were surveyed to assess vaccinology training available at US training programs. A web-based survey was distributed via the membership of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. Respondents provided information regarding specific vaccine topics covered in their institutions' curriculum. Respondents used a sliding scale (0-100) to self-report knowledge of vaccinology topics and to select preferences for future educational modalities.
Results: A total of 64 subjects responded, 31 program directors and 33 fellows. Many PID fellows do not receive specific vaccinology training and most are trained informally through patient encounters (Figure 1). Few fellows reported having access to formal educational material. Fellows were not confident in their knowledge of most vaccinology components, though fellowship directors were significantly more confident (Figure 2). All respondents agreed that vaccinology was an important part of PID fellowship training, and most preferred education from experts in the field (n=50, 78%). Forty-seven percent of respondents suggested 6-10 hours of formal vaccinology education would be adequate, 17% suggested 11-15 hours, and 20% suggested 16-20 hours.
Conclusion: In general, PID fellows do not receive adequate education in vaccinology. There is a need and desire for more robust, formal training in vaccinology in graduate medical education. Lectures or presentations given by experts in vaccinology are not widely available, and the majority prefer education in this way. Creating nationally available educational tools may help fill this gap.
C. B. Creech, None