Previously published work established the need for a specialty‐specific definition of professionalism in pediatric anesthesiology. That work established a composite definition consisting of 11 domains and their component “defining themes” for professionalism in pediatric anesthesiology. As a next step toward assessing generalizability of our single‐center findings, we sought to gain input from a national sample of pediatric anesthesiologists.
The aim of this study was to establish the construct validity of our previously published multidimensional definition of professionalism in pediatric anesthesiology using a nationally representative sample of pediatric anesthesiologists.
A survey was distributed via snowball sampling to the leaders of every pediatric anesthesiology fellowship program and pediatric anesthesia department or clinical division in the United States. Survey items were designed to validate individual component themes in the working definition. For affirmed items, the respondent was asked to rate the importance of the item. Respondents were also invited to suggest novel themes to be included in the definition.
A total of 216 pediatric anesthesiologists representing a variety of experience levels and practice settings responded to the survey. All 40 themes were strongly supported by the respondents, with the least supported theme receiving 71.6% approval. 92.8% of respondents indicated that the 11 domains previously identified formed a comprehensive list of domains for professionalism in pediatric anesthesiology. Four additional novel themes were suggested by respondents, including wellness/self‐care/burnout prevention, political advocacy, justice within a practice organization, and respect for leadership/experienced partners. These are topics for future study. The survey responses also indicated a near‐universal agreement that didactic lectures would be ineffective for teaching professionalism.
This national survey of pediatric anesthesiologists serves to confirm the construct validity of our prior working definition of professionalism in pediatric anesthesiology, and has uncovered several opportunities for further study. This definition can be used for both curriculum and policy development within the specialty.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.