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Pediatric Residency Curriculum

Pediatric Residency Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed around the educational needs of our residents rather than being dictated by the needs of the hospital.

Overview

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 minimum requirements of the ACGME. Our goal is that each of our residents graduate 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. In addition to clinical rotations, the resident educational curriculum includes daily noon conferences, a weekly protected academic half day, weekly departmental Grand Rounds, a Residents as Educators lecture series and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lecture series.

Highlights

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 clinics for adolescent gynecology, opioids and eating disorders.

Community and Advocacy - this four-week rotation includes clinical time at two pediatric clinics in Harrisburg, PA committed to serving children in under-resourced areas as well as in outpatient and inpatient child abuse settings. 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 spending time with:

  • Lawmakers and lobbyists at the state capitol
  • The Penn State Law School working with a children's advocacy program
  • Children and Youth Services
  • Home Nursing
  • Lactation Services
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation/Care Coordination
  • Early Intervention
  • Opioid Clinic
  • Pediatric Dentistry

Also offered is dedicated time and training on how to complete a needs assessment in order to implement community-based changes benefiting the children of Central Pennsylvania and beyond.

First Year Rotations

The first year rotations are as follows:

Inpatient

  • Hospitalist team – 6-8 weeks
  • Inpatient GI/Cardiology/Nephrology team – 2-4 weeks
  • Inpatient Pulmonology team - 4 weeks
  • Night team – 6 weeks (divided into three rotations)
  • Newborn nursery – 2 weeks
  • Neonatal ICU – 4 weeks

Outpatient

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

Individualized curriculum: 6 weeks

Vacation: 4 weeks

Highlights

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.

ED Consult: this rotation is a unique opportunity that allows Pediatric residents to be on the front lines of pediatric assessment, evaluation, treatment, and care. When children in the Emergency Department represent a challenging case or have the potential of needing to be admitted, the ED Consult resident evaluates and triages the patient, then works one on one with the Pediatric Hospitalist, Pediatric Intensivist, and many of the Pediatric Subspecialists to formulate an appropriate plan of care, including:

  • Admission criteria and decisions on bed placement and appropriate level of care
  • Coordination with our outpatient transitional care clinic, especially for ‘diagnostic dilemmas’ that don’t meet admission criteria but require continued workup and evaluation.
  • Discharge criteria and needed follow up

Curriculum

The second year continues to offer a balanced curriculum, along with increased time for electives as part of the individualized curriculum. It also offers multiple early opportunities to be the senior resident leader of an inpatient team.

The second year rotations are as follows:

Inpatient

  • Inpatient GI/Cardiology/Nephrology Team Senior – 2 weeks
  • Inpatient Pulmonology Team Senior - 2 weeks
  • Inpatient Hematology–oncology–stem cell transplant team – 4 weeks
  • Night Team Senior – 6 weeks (divided into three rotations)
  • Pediatric ICU – 4 weeks
  • Neonatal ICU – 4 weeks

Outpatient

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

Individualized curriculum: 14 weeks

Vacation: 4 weeks

Highlights

The third year purposively allows for significant flexibility for residents to structure their individualized curriculum to best suit his or her needs before starting a first job or fellowship.

Curriculum

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.

The third year rotations are as follows:

Inpatient

  • Hospitalist Team Senior - 4 to 8 weeks
  • Newborn Resuscitation and Procedures/NICU - 2 weeks
  • Inpatient Hematology-oncology-stem cell transplant team - 0 to 4 weeks
  • Inpatient Pulmonology Team Senior - 0 to 2 weeks
  • Inpatient GI/Cardiology/Nephrology Team Senior - 0 to 2 weeks
  • Pediatric ICU - 4 to 6 weeks
  • Newborn Nursery Team Senior - 2 to 4 weeks
  • Resource resident - 2 weeks

Outpatient

  • Acute Clinic Team Senior - 4 weeks
  • Day time ED Consult - 0 to 2 weeks
  • Overnight ED Consult - 2 to 4 weeks

Individualized curriculum: 18 weeks

Vacation: 4 weeks

Individualized education philosophy

The ACGME requires us to provide 24-weeks of individualized education. We convey the philosophy of needs of the resident interests over the need of the hospital and offer a total of 9.5 blocks (38 weeks) of individualized education, many of which can be broken up into two-week experiences. In addition, variable scheduling on inpatient rotations in the third year creates another 10 weeks of somewhat individualized time.

Punit Jhaveri, MD, 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 can individualize certain rotations to coincide with the resident's career goals. 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 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
  • Breastfeeding
  • Cardiology
  • Complex care
  • Dermatology
  • Eating disorders
  • Emergency medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Hospitalist
  • Infectious diseases
  • LifeLion
  • 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

Other Unique Educational Opportunities:

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State Cancer Institute
Penn State University