Janiëlle van der Velden started in 2010 as a pediatric endocrinologist at Radboudumc. Her affinity with training and education is evident from various positions she has held in the years since, such as Programme director Pediatric residency programme, Director learning and development Amalia Children’s Hospital, Coordinator Education and Training Department Pediatrics. She also conducts research on learning and training in practice. All this culminates in the professorship of Pediatrics.
Dynamics of learning and training
"By teaching and training I hope to achieve better child care as a collaborative task, as doing it together with everyone involved," says Van der Velden. In doing so, she strives to always get the right knowledge in the right place at the right time. This only works if you include not only the (pediatric) doctors, nurses and others involved in the hospital, but also the parents, the children themselves, the family doctors, the caregivers, even the school, when needed.
This requires constant teamwork, an eye for different perspectives and continuous adaptation to new circumstances. Sometimes it involves knowledge development for professionals, other times clips or e-learning modules for parents of children posted on the Internet, such as this e-learning on the adrenal glands and adrenal disorders.
Looking at physicians from a different angle
The emphatic focus on learning and training is also reflected in the research Van der Velden is currently supervising. Van der Velden: "For example, we’re doing research into the collaboration between pediatric residents and residents from other specialties, because there are still judgments, prejudices and stigmas at play there; we are still often locked in our own silos. The question is: how do we improved this situation in a quick and intelligent way? In everyday practice, we’re doing ethnographic research on that topic now.
It's intramural research, but we're also looking extramurally, at collaborating with residents from general practice. We revamped the professional learning domain back in 2017 by introducing the EPA concept into pediatrician training. EPA stands for Entrustable Professional Activities and assumes that during your training you can already start performing actions independently if you have demonstrably mastered them. Thus, no long learning process in which you can only start working independently after graduation, but gradually introducing responsibility already during the training.
We recently evaluated and examined this new way of training with EPAs. This resulted in a revised training plan (TOP2025) and a nice article in the journal of the European Society of Medicine. In any case, learning on the job has our full attention. In the module 'Learning & Development in Amalia Children's Hospital' we have summarized this illustratively in an infographic."