Dual Pediatrics Residency Program :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Dual Pediatrics Residency

The Dual Pediatrics Residency Program (CORE/Doctors Hospital) at Nationwide Children's Hospital is a three-year program that is dual accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Alex Rakowsky, MD
Carl Backes, DO
Program Directors
(614) 722-4414

Dual Pediatrics Residency Overview

The Dual Pediatrics Residency (also referred to as CORE/Doctors) gives residents the opportunity to train in an osteopathic pediatric training program based at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Our AOA program number is 126135.

Particular strengths of the comprehensive dual program include:

  • Pediatric Resident Clinic staffed by osteopathic pediatric faculty, including the opportunity to work in a dedicated Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) clinic
  • Focused OMM curriculum developed in conjunction with the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 100% passage rate for American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics exam and 92% passage rate for American Board of Pediatrics Exam
  • Meets the requirements for the AOA internship, while keeping the length of training to only 3 years
  • Lecture sessions dedicated to osteopathic principles, topics and skills and OMM conference featuring world-class speakers and giving residents structured "table time" to practice new skills
  • Innovative rural osteopathic pediatric rotation in Athens, Ohio attending high-risk deliveries, caring for newborns, educating interns and students, admitting night patients, and taking at-home and parent calls
  • Opportunity to work in osteopathic pediatric offices to see patients and learn the business of a practice (OPECS program)
  • Opportunity to do outreach childhood and education on multiple important topics (RISI program)
  • Opportunity to work with osteopathic faculty in our sports medicine rotation; our Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center is the first in Ohio and the fourth in the nation dedicated to providing targeted care for young athletes
  • Wealth of learning experiences and subspecialty training at Nationwide Children's Hospital

The first year of the dual program qualifies as an AOA-approved internship, and graduates of the program are eligible to take both osteopathic and allopathic pediatric specialty board exams. Graduates are eligible for American Board of Pediatrics pediatric fellowships.

View a Dual Pediatrics Program introduction letter from our chiefs »

What you need to know

Program Director Updates

Hello! Thank you for your interest in the CORE/Doctors Hospital Pediatric Residency Program (Program Number: 126135). I would like to take this time to answer some of our more commonly asked questions.

Please don't hesitate to reach out directly if you have any unanswered questions. I love to respond to emails, so feel free to write.

Alex Rakowsky, MD

Why the emphasis on osteopathic medicine?

Our mission is three fold:

  • To help develop exceptionally well-trained pediatricians who are competent, compassionate, caring and able to go into any field of pediatrics that they desire.
  • To not only maintain the OMM skills you learned in medical school, but to expand on them.
  • To incorporate the osteopathic vision of seeing every patient not as an illness, but as a unique individual whose health depends on medical, family and social determinants. We strongly believe that the core osteopathic principles can be used in any pediatric setting and our goal is to help you learn how to do this.

Why is the program called CORE/Doctors?

OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, or Doctors Hospital, located about 15 minutes west of Nationwide Children’s, is one of the largest and finest osteopathic training hospitals in the country. Many decades ago, Doctors started an osteopathic-focused pediatric residency program which trained a fair number of our community pediatricians. With changes in the medical landscape years ago, Doctors and Nationwide Children’s worked to develop one of the first dual-accredited (AOA and ACGME) pediatric residency programs in the country.

However, with the single accreditation system now in place and with major changes in provisions of care due to health care reform, the vast majority of the clinical experiences have moved from Doctors Hospital to Nationwide Children’s. You will no longer spend clinical time at Doctors, but will still be able to attend their conferences and research meetings.

Over the next year, we are aiming to become an osteopathic focused track in the Categorical Pediatric Residency Program. This will not change our curriculum or what we do. In fact, it provides us an opportunity to expand and grow. At that point, we will change our name to reflect our new track. But until then, we will maintain our name with Doctors Hospital.

So what is CORE? It is a consortium of osteopathic training sites in Ohio (Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education). Doctors’ is a leading site in CORE.

How do you plan to teach me osteopathic medicine?

Hands-on OMM Training:

  • Each block of every year, you will attend CORE day, an afternoon (2-3 hours) dedicated to OMM didactics and hands-on table time
  • You will go to our OMM Clinic at the Hilltop Primary Care Center for four half-days during your continuity clinic block every year
  • You will have a four-week rotation dedicated to learning pediatric OMM during your second year of training
  • You will attend an annual two-day (8 hours total) OMM retreat every spring with an outside OMM expert
  • Starting in 2016, you will spend a full week (40 hours) during your intern year learning cranial OMM with an outside expert

Didactic OMM Training:

  • You will attend our Journal Club and several sessions throughout the year dedicated to reviewing and learning from an OMM research article
  • You will have access to other OMM lectures during the year
  • You have the opportunity to attend the local Ohio Osteopathic Association Symposium (an annual meeting dedicated to osteopathic education and research) every year
  • You will attend one of the national osteopathic meetings (such as OMED) during your third year to perfect your skills and meet trainees from around the country
  • You will work with osteopathic trained physicians in your continuity clinic and rural medicine rotation in Athens, Ohio during your second year

Other OMM Resources:

  • You will receive the JAOA and have access to the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians website online OMM training modules
  • You will work with colleagues who are dedicated to maintaining their skills, and who will perform OMM on appropriate patients during inpatient clinical rotations

Osteopathic Principles and Vision:

  • We believe that it is vital to see the patient as part of a social structure, so you will do a two-week block of community and population health (CPH) during your intern year
  • As part of the CPH block, you will get the opportunity to work on an issue that affects your patients in clinic (Ex. lack of safe places to play) and lead an effort to develop resources for your patients that the entire Hilltop Primary Care Center group will be able to use
  • You will see patients in a more rural setting during your Athens rotation in your second year
  • You will see complex care patients and work with their families during your pediatric surgery rotation
  • You will be required to complete a QI and research project. We have several population health and OMM projects already ongoing that you can join, or you are free to develop your own

Finally, we believe that you should learn how to incorporate your OMM skills and osteopathic principles into daily clinical life. You will get to see this in action at the Hilltop Primary Care Center, in Athens, during your Sports Medicine rotation (where there are several DO faculty) and also on the floors since we have a large number of osteopathic faculty that are open to OMM being offered by you.

What is Columbus like?

Speaking as a dad of seven children, including three college-aged children or older, Columbus has a TON to offer. It is a young city that is growing, and that has a lot of activities. Our residents are involved with intramural sports, volunteer work, going to the opera or museums, having small prayer groups, etc.

Yes, we don’t have a beach or mountains, but Lake Erie is two hours north and there is some great hiking in the Appalachians two hours to the south east.

Weather wise we have all four seasons, sometimes all in one day (Not kidding. It can be snowing at night and 70 by the next afternoon).

And you can ask our senior residents, they never want to leave!

Will I interact with other residents?

Absolutely. Our program is fully embedded with the larger Categorical Pediatric Residency Program. You spend the vast majority of time with them (34 of 39 blocks).


Our dual program residents receive outstanding pediatric experiences and training in all of the areas of pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital while continuing to build upon their osteopathic foundation.

Learn about some of the additional programs and experiences that make our residency unique:

Schedule Overview

Residency training at Nationwide Children's Hospital is fast-paced, high-tech and challenging. Our faculty value and respect our residents and their contributions, and your medical decision-making autonomy will be balanced with caring supervision.

Osteopathic Focus

The application of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) in real life practice is important to your education and development. Our pediatricians in training strive to be leaders in our field by providing the highest quality healthcare for patients while preserving our Osteopathic heritage.

Salary & Benefits

Nationwide Children's residency program values a resident's work life and personal time.

The following is a breakdown of resident salaries for 2016-2017:

  • PL-1: $51,658.84
  • PL-2: $53,252.16
  • PL-3: $54,713.94

Review benefits available to our residents, including paid relocation, paid time off and retreats

Application and Interview Process

Accredited U.S. or Canadian medical school graduates can submit their applications through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). The Dual Program accepts applications in ERAS from July 15-November 4. Interviews are held October through December.

Residents, Graduates & Faculty

Nationwide Children's Hospital takes pride in the wonderful collegial relationships among its program directors, residents and graduates.

Meet our residents and faculty


Alex Rakowsky, MD
Carl Backes, DO
Program Directors

For more information regarding the residency program, please contact:

Debbie Turpening
Program Coordinator
(614) 722-4410

2017 Match

We are excited about the caliber of the young physicians who will begin training with us this year. And we expect great things from them – excellent patient and family focused care, effective communications within our health care teams, important contributions to our community and a drive toward research and education.

The three residency programs at Nationwide Children’s conduct recruitment through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Every year, our programs interview more than 450 applicants.

We look forward to training these future pediatric practitioners and leaders.

  Pediatrics    Internal Medicine/Pediatrics    Dual Pediatrics  
Number of Interns 29* (4**)   10 4
Female/Male Ratio 24/9 7/3 4/0
Total # Medical Schools    21 8 4
Total # States 11 8 4


*1 intern enrolled in Pediatrics-Child Neurology Program
**Primary Care Track

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000