The Importance of Educating Pediatric Trainees about Food Allergy
Sunday, March 6, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Lukman I. Abdurrahim, MD, Mehdi M. Adeli, MD, Ahmad H Al-Hammadi, MBChB,FRCPC, Mohamed A Hendaus, MD,FAAP
Rationale: The rationale of the study was to estimate the knowledge of pediatric residents and academic general pediatric fellows of food allergies in children.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all pediatric residents and academic general pediatric fellows at Hamad Medical Corporation, the only tertiary and academic center in the State of Qatar. 

Results: Out of the 68 questionnaires distributed, 68 (100%) were returned by the end of the study. Among the participants, 15 (22%) were post-graduate year-1 (PGY-1), 16 (23.5%) ,PGY-2, 17 (25%) PGY-3, 12 (16%) PGY-4 and 8 (12%) were academic general pediatric fellows. Only 20% of trainees identified the three most common food allergens in children. In terms of minimum amount of ingested allergen to cause reaction, more than 85% of trainees answered it correctly. Surprisingly, only 60% of trainees agreed that food allergy can cause anaphylactic shock and death. Moreover, approximately 20% of trainees underestimated the urgency of treating children with anaphylaxis in a timely fashion. Finally, only one third of participants agree that a peanut free environment would be unfair to patients that don't have peanut allergies.

Conclusions: There is an appreciable lack of knowledge in identifying food allergy and managing anaphylaxis reaction in children among pediatric residents. Pediatric residency working hours rule impede the option of having an allergy/immunology rotation during residency. Robust efforts should be implemented among pediatric trainees and attending immunologists to improve the lack of knowledge and improve the trainee’s confidence when facing such cases.