The following is the summary of “How do pediatric urology fellows learn outside of direct patient care? A qualitative study” published in the December 2022 issue of Pediatric urology by Grant, et al.

Pediatric urology fellowships spend a considerable amount of time honing surgical abilities. Although fellows enter fellowship training having some background in pediatric urology from their residency, they rely on self-study to fill in the gaps. This study aims to evaluate the non-clinical training of pediatric urology fellows. Researchers also wondered how the epidemic had an impact on the independent study habits of their fellows. Participation was sought from pediatric urology fellows in their first and second years of training at institutions that hold the prestigious accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation. Remote interviews with each participant were recorded and transcribed. In the immediate aftermath of transcription, we coded each transcript. The research method employed was grounded theory, a constructivist approach. 

Over the course of the interviews, investigators used a cyclical process of ongoing comparison analysis to develop overarching themes. About 13 fellows, 8 men and 5 women, from various programs around the United States decided to participate. There were 4 major ideas that came out of the interviews: self-directed learning is the norm in fellowships, fellows are not the intended audience for didactics, fellows have little time for independent study, and formal didactics lack structure and direction. They also discovered that most training and education after the coronavirus epidemic began was conducted through teleconference.

 Pediatric urology fellows are self-motivated students who can learn on their outside of a classroom setting. Self-directed learning would benefit from more people, yet many need more time, support, and/or mentorship necessary to engage in it. Their research found that the clinical didactics for pediatric urology fellowships needed more organization. One possible application of video conferencing technology is the development of a standardized curriculum for pediatric urology fellowships at the national level.