Dear Colleagues – Winter 2016

By David Urion, MD, FAAN

David Urion, MD, FAAN

I hope everyone is surviving the early parts of winter, with a variety of unusual patterns across the country, presumably a combination of climate change and El Nino. And I hope everyone navigated our first set of Milestones Reports to the ACGME in a relatively uneventful fashion.

I wanted to give everyone an update on several issues we raised during the PCN Meeting and related Educational SIG last fall.

There have been concerns regarding the ability of trainees who finish off-cycle (i.e., not on June 30) to be able to schedule their exams the following fall. From the Director of Credentials and Meetings, Pat Janda, we heard the following:

“The ABPN did change scheduling procedures for candidates who finish training after June30 but before the actual testing dates. We will allow these candidates to schedule their exam at the same time as the other candidates.

However, candidates who finish their training during the testing window or after the exam is administered (no later than September 30) cannot schedule their exam at the same time as the other candidates as they will not be completing training before the normal testing range. ABPN arranges special exam dates with Pearson VUE to accommodate these candidates.

ABPN does guarantee a testing date and location for all candidates. However, ABPN cannot guarantee that the candidate will be provided with the date or location that the candidate has requested.”

This should help in the vast majority of instances.

The epilepsy intensive training program run for years by Jack Pellock has been transferred to the Child Neurology Society for administration, and named in Jack’s honor. The intent is to continue to run the same highly interactive program and high quality program that Jack ran for so many years. This year, the course will run Tuesday 25 October and Wednesday 26 October 2016, just before our Vancouver meeting starts. Mark the date, and please help call schedules be arranged in your programs so that third year residents have an opportunity to attend. The program can accommodate 50 residents, and we hope for an excellent turnout. Further information will be forthcoming regarding support and application processes.

Our current and past Secretary-Treasurers, Steve Leber and Suresh Kotagal, are working hard on a task force to bring the finances of the PCN and its accounting procedures up to date. We need to be an organization that covers its own expenses, and have a dues structure that reflects that. We have every hope that this will be ready for the next PCN meeting.

Finally, the feedback we received regarding an interdigitated set of CME offerings in child neurology and NDD education at the PCN meeting and Educational SIG was very positive, and so we will do this again this year. We will again work on harder-to-assess milestones, this time focusing on systems-based practice through the assessment of care integration. Metrics that have been developed for the measurement of care integration can also be used to assess resident performance in these domains. We have recruited several national experts to present on this.

This will mean we will conduct as much business as possible electronically beforehand, to allow ample time for this educational event.

Finally, we will have the first report of the governance task force on the updating of our bylaws, structures, and practices, to reflect what we do in the 21st century.

At present, we have a somewhat informal means of supporting new program directors, by offering them a contact within the PCN who has been a program director of a similarly sized training pro-gram for some time. I think it is time to formalize this, both for Program Directors as well as Section/Division/Department heads, and I will be sending out an email to long-serving members in both those roles to recruit a more formal network of mentoring.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any other member of the board with concerns, questions, or for any assistance. The PCN exists to serve its members in the promotion and support of academic child neurology and NDD programs.