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Pediatric Residency Curriculum

Pediatric Residency Curriculum

We’ve developed a balanced curriculum with a focus on individualized education for the Pediatric Residency Program at Penn State Children’s Hospital.


We accept applications through ERAS. Learn more about the ERAS process.

Our curriculum is designed around the educational needs of our residents rather than being dictated by the needs of the hospital. As such, we have an appropriate balance of outpatient and inpatient experiences, and we provide an extensive individualized curriculum that goes far beyond the requirements of the ACGME. Our goal is that each of our residents graduates as a competent outpatient and inpatient general pediatrician who is also well prepared for the next step in his or her career. This balanced approach is reflected in the fact that approximately half of our recent graduates went into either primary care or hospital medicine, while the other half pursued fellowship training.


Underserved Medicine - this four-week rotation includes clinical time at the Children's and Teen Clinic in Harrisburg and at two different child abuse clinics. It also features a wide-variety of non-clinical experiences that expose residents to many community resources that can assist their patients. These experiences include:

  • Pediatric dentistry
  • WIC
  • Children and youth
  • Home nursing
  • Lactation services
  • Pediatric rehabilitation/care coordination
  • Early intervention

It also includes time meeting with lawmakers and lobbyists at the state capitol and time at the Penn State Law School working with a children's advocacy program. 

Adolescent Medicine: The primary clinical site for this four-week rotation is the Milton Hershey School, a large, cost-free, private boarding school for children from families of low income and limited resources. The rotation also includes time in an adolescent gynecology clinic, at a teenage drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, and at an eating disorders clinic.


Traditionally, the first year of residency is focused heavily on inpatient rotations, with little time for electives. In our program, the first year is well balanced and purposely includes time for electives as part of the individualized curriculum. In addition to four weeks of vacation, the first year rotations are:


  • Hospitalist team – 6 weeks
  • Hospitalist team at Harrisburg Hospital – 4 weeks
  • Inpatient GI/Cardiology/Nephrology team – 4 weeks
  • Inpatient Pulmonology team - 2 weeks
  • Night team – 4 weeks (divided into two rotations)
  • Newborn nursery – 2 weeks
  • Neonatal ICU – 4 weeks


  • Acute clinic – 4 weeks
  • Underserved medicine – 4 weeks
  • Adolescent medicine – 4 weeks
  • Emergency medicine – 4 weeks

Individualized curriculum: 6 weeks


Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics: Led by one of our most dedicated educators, this rotation includes time in a broadly focused developmental-behavioral clinic, plus time focused on:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiology
  • Palliative care
  • ADHD
  • Feeding disorders
  • PKU
  • Tic disorders
  • Autism
  • Behavior modification
  • Educational evaluation
  • Brain injury

Pediatric Surgical Specialties - this rotation includes clinical time with cardiac surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, concussion program, ENT, and ophthalmology.


The second year continues to offer a balanced curriculum, along with increased time for electives as part of the individualized curriculum. In addition to four weeks of vacation, the second year rotations are as follows:


  • Inpatient GI/Cardiology/Nephrology team – 4 weeks
  • Inpatient Pulmonology team - 2 weeks
  • Inpatient Hematology–oncology–stem cell transplant team – 4 weeks
  • Night team – 4 weeks (divided into two rotations)
  • Pediatric ICU – 4 weeks
  • Neonatal ICU – 4 weeks


  • Developmental/behavioral pediatrics – 4 weeks
  • Emergency medicine – 4 weeks
  • Emergency department consults – 2 weeks
  • Surgical specialties – 2 weeks

Individualized curriculum: 14 weeks


The third year curriculum focuses on leadership opportunities and on the individualized curriculum. Although it appears as if most rotations are in the inpatient setting, most residents will spend the majority of individualized time in the outpatient setting, including a very popular elective at the Milton Hershey School. The variable duration of many rotations shown below reflects a further attempt to individualize education in the program.

In addition to four weeks of vacation, the third year rotations are as follows:

Inpatient 26 weeks

  • Hospitalist team – 4-8 weeks
  • Hospitalist team at Harrisburg Hospital – 0-4 weeks
  • Inpatient Hematology-oncology-stem cell transplant team – 0-4 weeks
  • Night team – 2-4 weeks
  • Pediatric ICU – 4-8 weeks
  • Newborn nursery – 2-4 weeks
  • Neonatal ICU at Harrisburg Hospital – 2 weeks

Outpatient - Acute clinic: 4 weeks

Individualized curriculum: 18 weeks

Individualized education philosophy

When the ACGME first announced that pediatric residency programs had to provide for six blocks (24 weeks) of individualized education, driven by the needs of the resident and not by the needs of the hospital, many programs were quite concerned. For our program, it was simply a validation of the approach we had always taken to electives. Our program currently offers a total of 9.5 blocks (38 weeks) of individualized education, many of which can be broken up into two-week experiences if desired. In addition, variable scheduling on inpatient rotations in the third year creates another 12 weeks of somewhat individualized time.

Punit Jhaveri, M.D., serves as the director of individualized education. In this role, he is given time away from his clinical responsibilities for the specific purpose of helping residents choose rotations for the following year. We are also currently working on how we might better individualize the experiences within certain rotations depending on the career goals of the specific resident enrolled that block. Note that we have very purposely stayed away from "tracks" in the design of our curriculum. We are a program that is large enough to offer virtually every possible rotation, but we are also small enough to design individualized programs without needing to rely on tracks.

Although there are a few minor rules to follow regarding the choice of rotations, most residents are simply able to take the desired rotations from the list below:

  • Abuse/neglect
  • Acute clinic
  • Adolescent medicine
  • Allergy/immunology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Eating disorders
  • Emergency medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Hospitalist
  • Infectious diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • NICU
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Palliative care/hospice
  • Pathology
  • Pediatric surgery
  • PICU
  • Pulmonology
  • Private practice
  • Procedures
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Research
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rheumatology
  • Sports medicine
  • Urban primary care
  • Weight management (obesity) clinic
Penn State Hershey
Penn State Childrens
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State University