The M-COPE Curriculum Series for Pediatric Cardiology Fellows – Promoting Mental Health in both our Patients and Physicians

The M-COPE Curriculum Series for Pediatric Cardiology Fellows – Promoting Mental Health in both our Patients and Physicians

Academic Year:
2021 - 2022 (June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022)
Funding Requested:
Project Dates:
Overview of the Project:
Aim: To design, implement and rigorously study a curriculum aimed at patient mental health in children with congenital heart disease as well as physician well-being for pediatric cardiology trainees.
Background: Through limited studies, it is known that children with congenital heart disease have increased incidence of mental health disorders than their peers, yet are underrecognized. Mental health disorders are associated with poor outcomes in adults with congenital heart disease. Currently, no formal training exists for pediatric cardiology fellows in mental health. Additionally, physician and fellow physician burnout and mental health is known to result in poor patient care as well as increased rates of physician suicide.
Approach: Design of a holistic and interdisciplinary led 8-12 month didactic based train-the-trainer model curriculum, integrating mental health topics directed at both the mental health of the patient and the physician. Pediatric cardiology trainees will learn to screen their patients for mental health disorders and facilitate referral, as well as participate in self screening for burnout and specific anxieties related to fellowship, and learn strategies to increase resilience and self-care.
Future Directions: If successful, this curriculum may be reproducible to other subspecialties and/or other centers for collaboration in larger multi-center studies.
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:

Aim 1: To educate pediatric cardiology trainees about the incidence of mental health conditions in their patients

    1. Determine the baseline competencies of pediatric cardiology trainees in screening for and managing mental health conditions appropriate to their scope of practice
    2. Train pediatric cardiology trainees to identify those patients at risk for mental health conditions and who will benefit from referral
    3. Implement a mental health screening program as a part of routine pediatric cardiology care at the Michigan Congenital Heart Center


Aim 2: To educate pediatric cardiology trainees about the incidence of burnout in physicians and to teach research-based tools to help build resilience

  1. Determine the prevalence of burnout, imposter syndrome, and training specific fears in the pediatric cardiology fellow population
  2. Implement a curriculum aimed at reducing burnout and teaching resilience in pediatric cardiology physician fellows
Project Achievements:

We designed a 9 month didactic based lecture series, now in its second year. The curriculum has been very well received by fellows and faculty alike, and has enabled us to continue to expand the mental health services to our patients. For trainee mental health, the results of our screening metrics has also impacted efforts across the fellowship targeting trainee wellness.

The curriculum will continue with ongoing revisions to the lecture series.
The results of the first year were presented as part of the Medical Education Scholars Program Research Symposium. Data from the trainee burnout, professional fulfillment, and training related fears metrics is submitted in manuscript form and under review. Finally, we intend to publish the curriculum on MedEdPortal after this academic year of lectures to allow for revisions.
Advice to your Colleagues:
Divisional and fellowship programmatic support has been key to our success. We also found that given the topic, in person lectures were ideal (although virtual options were offered for accessibility).