They knew that even seriously ill children often have only brief stays in the hospital, and that most of the care happens at home and within the community. Because these children came and went so quickly, many doctors in training knew nothing more about the patient than the immediate medical crisis, and did not understand the devastating emotional, financial and social difficulties their families faced. Few were aware of what resources the community had to help families in need. It was difficult for them to look beyond the disease and care for the child and his or her family.
The goals for this new program were to train medical students and residents to practice family-centered care and look beyond the disease they were treating. Doing so would result in healthier patients and less-stressed families. The program was named for pediatrician William Boyle, who for 35 years has been a leader in both medical education at Dartmouth and in compassionate care for children and families.
The Boyle Program's completed 2006 evaluation is now available in two forms.