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Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics - Curriculum

Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics - Curriculum


The curriculum for the Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program at Penn State Children’s Hospital is based upon the Residency Review Committee guidelines and the principles of a combined residency as set forth by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Internal Medicine.

As a resident in the Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program, you’ll rotate monthly either on pediatrics or medicine for four months and then switch. This allows two full winters and two full summers on both medicine and pediatrics. You’ll have intern duties for 16 months because of this schedule (though you’ll be paid as a PGY-2 after 12 months) so you can experience as an intern each rotation you will eventually supervise.

Unique features of our Medicine/Pediatrics Residency

  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a large, academic tertiary and quaternary referral center, with Penn State Children’s Hospital right next door.
  • Offers experience in the highest level NICU, PICU and medical ICU, in one place
  • Truly balanced Medicine/Pediatrics residency program
  • Availability of global health opportunities
  • Residents as educators curriculum
  • Hippocrates Program provides opportunities for interdisciplinary medical education
  • Medicine/Pediatrics resident created simulation sessions to practice rapid responses/code situations are offered monthly
  • Residents gain experience in the Combined Medicine/Pediatrics Continuity Clinic, which also includes a medical legal clinic

Educational Opportunities

Since its inception in 1988, the Med/Peds residency program has trained well-balanced Med/Peds physicians who excel in patient care, leadership and education. The success of our program begins with the dedicated residents who are integral in the formulation of the diverse experiences we offer. Due to the varied experiences, residents can explore their interests during training and are well-equipped to pursue any medical specialty career-path they wish.

The Med/Peds program allows residents to participate in a variety of rotations to help shape their future medical careers. Interns rotate for 16 months - eight months in medicine and eight months in pediatrics. We believe this rotation helps build a strong foundation of knowledge and confidence prior to starting the senior resident-level rotations. Residents rotate every two to four weeks, alternating between medicine and pediatrics approximately every four months.

Additional rotations are available to help residents tailor their education to fit with their interests, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Caring for the underserved population (various locations)
  • Milton Hershey School (cost-free private residential school for children from low-income families)
  • Emergency medicine; residents participate as first responders with Penn State Life Lion - critical care and emergency medicine services.
  • Global health
  • Hospitalist (for both adult and pediatric care)

Standing Med/Peds Weekly Conferences - Tuesdays at noon

Each week, a member of the Med/Peds resident team presents a topic typically related to care in the outpatient setting. These conferences are an hour long and allow residents to polish their presentation skills and provide useful medical updates and clinical information. The Med/Peds faculty team members frequently attend and offer valuable information on how the topic relates to their respective specialty. Additionally, residents commit to an “academic half-day” on Thursdays, to dedicate a block of time to focus on core internal medicine and pediatric topics.

Med/Peds Continuity Clinic

The continuity clinic, located in downtown Harrisburg, allows residents the opportunity to work closely with an underserved patient population. The clinic serves adults and children with varying medical and medical-related needs, including complex chronic medical conditions, medical-legal concerns, social concerns and substance abuse. Residents work exclusively with Med/Peds faculty to see a variety of patients, for both annual physical exam and acute visits. They serve as the primary care providers for these patients.

The continuity clinic is part of the Reach Out and Read Program that provides books for infants and children during well-child visits, as a way to encourage literacy. In addition, a medical-legal partnership with Penn State Dickinson Law, brings law students to the clinic to offer services and consultation for medical-legal issues to some of the most underserved in the community. The clinic also provides access to a Penn State Health social worker to help patients with a wide array of social concerns that may impact their care and well-being. Lastly, a substance abuse clinic is available onsite to help reduce barriers to much needed medical care for the drug-addicted population.

Quality Improvement Projects

Quality improvement (QI) is an important aspect of the Medicine/Pediatrics residency, with residents often involved in medicine and pediatrics QI projects and as resident representatives on unit-based quality committees. A detailed QI curriculum provides resources, education and experiences for creating your own project prior to graduation.  There are also opportunities for more education in this area with the Penn State College of Medicine Health Systems Science Academy.

Transitional Care Curriculum

The Med/Peds residents have created a transitional care program to educate adolescents and their parents on the process of transitioning medical care from pediatricians and pediatric specialty providers to adult providers and specialists. Our residents help integrate the transitional care concepts into the pediatric specialty clinics and the well-child check-ups in the pediatric clinics. We have also incorporated these concepts into the pediatric and internal medicine residency academic half-day curriculum.

Supportive Learning Environment with Professional Coaching

There are 20 Med/Peds faculty, all of whom have been trained in both medicine and pediatrics, actively involved in various aspects of this residency program. Each member of the faculty is approachable and willing to provide advice and guidance to the residents. In addition, each resident is assigned a physician coach for professional development advice and encouragement throughout the four years of residency.

Educational Resources

To support individual learning, residents are provided with memberships in the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Med-Peds Residents’ Association (NMPRA), as well as $600 for books and educational expenses per year.

The AAP membership also provides access to Pedialink®, the online learning center, Pediatrics and Peds in Review. The ACP membership includes a subscription to the Annals of Internal Medicine. In addition, subscriptions to the Yale Pediatric and Internal Medicine Outpatient Curriculum are provided.

On-going board review occurs throughout the four years of residency, with residents attending pediatric and medicine board review courses at the end of training.

Residents as Educators

Our Woodward Center's mission is to cultivate excellence in health sciences education. Longitudinal didactics on multiple aspects of teaching, evaluation and feedback, and goal setting are offered. Woodward provides programs such as the Hippocrates Program for residents, Stanford clinical teaching skills workshops and the Woodward Scholars Program.

We also offer a Health Systems Scholar position each year.

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