Curriculum

A Balanced Curriculum with a Focus on Individualized Education

We are fortunate to have a curriculum that is designed around the educational needs of our residents rather than being dictated by the needs of the hospital.  As such, we have a very 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 became hospitalists while the other half pursued fellowship training.  

Year 1 Highlights

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, and 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.

Year 1 Curriculum

Traditionally, the first year of residency was 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 4 weeks of vacation, the first year rotations are as follows:

Inpatient (at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital / Milton S. Hershey Medical Center unless otherwise noted):

  • Hospitalist Team - 8 weeks
  • Hospitalist Team at Harrisburg Hospital - 4 weeks
  • Subspecialty Team - 4 weeks
  • Night Team - 4 weeks (divided into two 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

Year 2 Highlights

Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics: Lead 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, and brain injury.

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

Year 2 Curriculum

The second year continues to offer a balanced curriculum, along with increased time for electives as part of the individualized curriculum. In addition to 4 weeks of vacation, the second year rotations are as follows:

Inpatient (all at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital / Milton S. Hershey Medical Center):

  • Subspecialty Team - 4 weeks
  • Hematology-Oncology-Stem Cell Transplant Team - 4 weeks
  • Night Team - 4 weeks (divided into two rotations)
  • Pediatric ICU - 4 weeks
  • Neonatal ICU - 4 weeks

Outpatient:

  • Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics - 4 weeks
  • Cardiology - 4 weeks (includes one week in the Cardiac Care Unit)
  • Emergency Medicine - 4 weeks
  • Emergency Department Consults - 2 weeks
  • Surgical Specialties - 2 weeks

Individualized Curriculum: 12 weeks

Year 3 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.

In addition to 4 weeks of vacation, the third year rotations are as follows:

Inpatient (at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital / Milton S. Hershey Medical Center unless otherwise noted):

  • Hospitalist Team - 4 weeks
  • Hospitalist Team at Harrisburg Hospital - 4 weeks
  • Hematology-Oncology-Stem Cell Transplant Team - 4 weeks
  • Night Team - 4 weeks (divided into two rotations)
  • Pediatric ICU - 4 weeks
  • Newborn Nursery - 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 6 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 blocks (36 weeks) of individualized education, many of which can be broken up into two-week experiences if desired. 

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.  He is also currently beginning to work 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
  • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  • 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
  • Teaching
  • Urban Primary Care
  • Weight Management (Obesity) Clinic