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Pediatrician Recognition of Child Abuse: How Do You Compare?

Posted Date: 11/15/2012

Pediatrician Recognition of Child Abuse: How Do You Compare?

Mary Rojas, PhD.
Director of Pediatric Research
Department of Pediatrics of the Infants and Children's Hospital
Associate Director of Health Services Research

Child physical abuse remains a persistent national problem. Even when there is suspicion of abuse, physicians under-report far too often. In a nationwide study to examine clinicians' experience with reporting suspected child abuse, it was noted that clinicians did not report about a quarter of injuries considered likely or very likely caused by child abuse and about three quarters of injuries considered possibly caused by child abuse1. Implicit bias may explain these findings.

Drs. Rojas, Laraque, Walker-Descartes and others have developed an educational tool to better understand physician accuracy in identifying and reporting suspected child abuse with funding from the Maimonides Research Foundation.  This tool is being piloted as part of a larger education application for primary care pediatricians.  If you’d like to try it out and provide feedback to us, we welcome it.  Test your knowledge against child abuse experts by rating nine short vignettes describing injuries.  It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete the survey.

You can send any questions or feedback to Mary Rojas, PhD at

1EG Flaherty, 2008.


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