Urgent Advocacy Alert

Urgent Advocacy Alert


Late yesterday, SBC received notice from the incoming Chief of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics about recent changes in Pediatric Residency education proposed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the body that governs Pediatric Residency programs.  This change will affect the care of individuals with developmental disorders (DD) like spina bifidaStakeholders including families have until April 5th to provide feedback on the proposal and hopefully bring about a course correction.

Briefly, the change no longer requires any faculty member to have sub-specialty certification to teach developmental-behavioral pediatrics in Pediatric Residency programs.

The expected outcomes are:

  • an exacerbation of primary care pediatricians’ deficits in the skills needed to: understand the appropriate diagnostic evaluation for children with suspected autism spectrum disorder, DD, and other developmental-behavioral conditions; serve children with DD as an adequate medical home; deliver primary care that addresses their unique needs; and collaborate effectively with the specialty services that they require
  • decrease the likelihood that trainees will become interested in and pursue DBP subspeciality training
  • academic medical centers will have no incentive to offer subspecialty-level developmental-behavioral pediatrics clinics since these clinics are not financially lucrative. This will make DBP care even harder for families to access than it is now

You can read more about the anticipated impact this change will have in this disabilityscoop article.

What can you do to make a difference? Click on this link to provide feedback on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education website. Scroll down to this section of the page and click on Review and Comment Form under the Pediatrics Specialty.

This allows individuals to enter comments into the ystem by selecting for the “Requirements for Comment” section either “Additional Feedback” or a specific section (Section II.B.1.e), then entering feedback in the box immediately below.  As an example, you could simply enter these comments/talking points:

  • Changing the Pediatrics Residency training requirements to no longer require board-certified Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians threatens to worsen quality of pediatric training and decrease access to quality care for kids with developmental-behavioral disorders.
  • This change could lead to significant delays in diagnosing developmental-behavioral conditions and accessing services, leading to worsened outcomes for the 20% of children across the nation with developmental-behavioral issues. This change threatens to exacerbate the current crisis in child development/learning and behavioral health spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.