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Over 1.5 million U.S. adolescents rely on emergency services for the majority of their healthcare, with increasing presentations (particularly for mental health complaints) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, a majority of physicians practicing emergency medicine report feeling unprepared to care for adolescent patients. In turn, adolescent patients often report feeling uncomfortable or unsafe when attempting to access emergency care. Despite this deficiency, the extent to which adolescent medicine is addressed during emergency residency medical training remains unclear. Our objective in this systematic review was to identify any existing, publicly available curriculum targeted to teach adolescent emergency care during emergency medicine residency. We conducted a keyword search within the Medline Ovid, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases to identify relevant literature published between the years of 1968 and 2021; publications meeting inclusion criteria were then analyzed for content. Despite an extensive review of the existing literature, we identified no systematized curriculum and only seven individual papers describing educational efforts to promote competency in adolescent care among emergency medicine residents. Of the resources available, none provide instruction on the management of multiple adolescent presentations, nor common conditions that should be included in a more comprehensive general emergency residency curriculum. No standardized curricula exist for the instruction of relevant adolescent care in an emergency medicine residency. We conclude that the available education for emergency medicine residents is lacking in the area of adolescent care and future work is needed to identify specific competencies to target with further intervention.

Published Open-Access