Resident Experience

Medical professional giving a lecture

Residency training is fast-paced and challenging. The quest for excellence should not come at the expense of personal health and well being.

At Nationwide Children's Hospital, we care for, support and mentor our residents. One aspect of that support is a series of monthly and annual development and social events to help you balance your responsibilities, provide mechanisms for your feedback, and just have fun!

Didactic Teaching

Much of your day-to-day learning will take place during the following didactic experiences: 

  • Inpatient teaching rounds
  • Small group discussions
  • Case presentations
  • On-line modules developed by our faculty for our residents
  • Formal didactic conference series

Technical Training

All residents participate in competency assessments in our Clinical Skill Center and maintain a computerized procedure log. Required courses are:

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • BLS
  • Pediatrics Advanced Life Support
  • Neonatal Resuscitation

Ambulatory Pediatrics

The Pediatric Residency Training Program provides residents with well-rounded experiences in ambulatory pediatrics. Approximately 60% of each resident's total time is spent in an ambulatory setting. No matter what future career they may choose, our residents are prepared to be excellent "pediatric generalists."

During their three-year training program, they receive a minimum of 12 rotations of training devoted solely to ambulatory pediatrics. These experiences include required rotations in Primary Care Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Community Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Additional ambulatory electives include Child Advocacy, Child Abuse, a range of International Health opportunities and an elective in a variety of Ambulatory Clinics.

Training the Pediatric Generalist

Weekly continuity practice is a fundamental part of our residents' training. Our housestaff have two "parallel" continuity experiences each week: one in the hospital's Primary Care Network and one in a private pediatric practice. We find that our residents benefit greatly by caring for patients in these two distinct settings:

Nationwide Children's Primary Care Network (PCN)

Each resident is assigned to a specific practice in the hospital’s Primary Care Network (PCN) for a half-day continuity clinic each week. Faculty members, employed by the hospital, staff these PCN practices on the main hospital campus and in neighborhoods throughout Columbus. Most children in the PCN are from underserved populations, and many have complex medical needs.

Each resident also spends a one-month rotation, every academic year, at a PCN site. During that block rotation, the resident takes call for the Primary Care practice from home, with faculty members available for consultation. Hence, each resident gains valuable experience in telephone medicine.

Pediatric Education in Community Sites (PECS)

To provide one of the nation's most distinctive experiences in community practice, each resident is assigned to a specific community pediatrician's office for a half-day experience each week during their second and third years of residency. Residents see patients with the same preceptor during ambulatory and elective rotations. During the second year of residency, residents go to their assigned PECS office for a month-long experience. This vital, one-of-a-kind training experience:

  • Reinforces the basics of primary care pediatrics.
  • Ensures a rich diversity of experience with different patient populations and a variety of private practices
  • Teaches the business aspect of pediatric practice
  • Provides the experience of working side-by-side with a “real-life” private pediatrician.

“PECS has been an invaluable experience to me. I came into residency thinking I was going to do a fellowship, but one of the things that changed my mind was PECS. It’s been an amazing experience to see life outside of academic medicine and know what else is out there. I love working with my preceptor and seeing how she navigates being in private practice. It’s also a great networking opportunity to boot. I feel so lucky we have this program.” - Ruth Abrams, MD

"PECS is a unique opportunity that is especially beneficial to those considering primary care. It is a great chance to learn about outpatient private practice and work with a new mentor. It is a chance to work with a patient population that is different from our continuity clinics." - Zeke Hartman, MD

Residents in Schools Initiative

Our Residents in Schools Initiative (RISI) is truly unique among traditional residency training programs. This initiative gives residents the chance to go to elementary schools and teach second- and third-grade students about health and science. Residents spend one afternoon each week at an assigned school during rotations with similar goals: Primary Care, PECS and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. While at their assigned school, residents teach students from a structured health curriculum that is designed to be fun, interactive and informative. The goals of the experience include:

  • Educating children about their bodies and health and how to make safe and healthy choices
  • Giving children, primarily from underserved neighborhoods, weekly role model experiences with young health care professionals, highlighting the value of education
  • Exposing residents to children in their “natural environment” schools
  • Showing residents the challenges of teaching and how children’s academic, social, emotional and behavioral issues impact their classroom experience
  • Encouraging advocacy for children’s issues by residents and fostering the view that pediatricians are part of a bigger community

“RISI is one of my highlights of residency! Residents are able to teach elementary school students health topics in a fun and engaging way, including story time on why smoking is bad, hands on heart auscultation, and trivia games on eating healthy. I've taught, danced, and laughed with our students! RISI is a very unique program to NCH and allows residents to see kids as kids in their own environment rather than in the office or hospital. RISI brings out the inner kid in everyone involved!” - Collin Abbott, MD

“RISI has been such a wonderful experience! It’s nice to get out into the community to interact with the kids and form a fun, positive relationship with them - all while teaching them about health and safety. They seem to enjoy it just as much as we do (and they really say the darnest things!)” - Bianca Zapanta, DO

Emergency Department

Pediatric residents spend one to two months each year in the Emergency Department (ED). Nationwide Children's newly expanded ED has 24-hour pediatric emergency medicine attending coverage, and is the region's only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center. Nationwide Children's is one of the busiest pediatric emergency departments in the country.

Evidence Based Medicine

Clinicians provide optimal care for their patients when they apply the highest quality, most current scientific evidence to each patient encounter. As such our residents are trained in the application of evidence-based clinical practices. This is formally done in various settings including: (a) journal club during most blocks that is specific for each of our continuity clinics, (b) monthly EBM emails with quick learning points and a Board review question, (c) presentation of an EBM project during the Adolescent Medicine rotation, (d) use of EBM to present at noon report and at M&M and (e) an EBM workshop during one of our senior retreats. As importantly, our faculty stress the use of EBM during rounds and in clinic since ultimately EBM starts with the patient and ends with the patient. We focus on the five A’s of Evidence Based Medicine: Assess the patient, Ask a well-built question derived from the case, Acquire high quality evidence, Appraise the evidence, and Apply to the patient.

Diverse Community Experience

Columbus is a diverse community and so are our patients. Columbus, the 14th largest city in the U.S. and Ohio’s capital city, boasts an increasingly diverse population that includes African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Somalians. Our Somalian community is the second largest in the United States and the number of Hispanics in the Columbus metropolitan area has doubled between the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census.

Nationwide Children’s has made a commitment to shape our environment to acknowledge, understand and celebrate the diversity of our patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians. Nationwide Children’s acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of the community we serve. The hospital also is committed to provide a workplace where each person is respected and supported. A number of educational sessions for physicians and staff help everyone understand the varied patient population we serve. 

Residents as Teachers

Nationwide Children's Hospital/ The Ohio State University's Pediatric Residency Program’s “Residents as Teachers” program is a longitudinal curriculum which includes presentations and workshops that focus on teaching topics and skills important to the needs of residents during each year of training.

The topics are presented at retreats and core lectures which occur throughout residency. The teaching curriculum is focused in retreats to ensure all residents are able to experience them (since the entire class is made available for their retreats), and then discuss and practice these concepts with their peers.

Below find our current Residents as Teachers Series, the topic for each in the series, and the retreats in which they occur, as well as outcome measures for the educational endeavors. Nationwide Children's Hospital Residents as Teachers Series

Nationwide Children's Hospital Residents as Teachers Series



The role of the Resident as Teacher (Introduction)

PL-1 Orientation

Teaching adults: understanding teaching and learning styles

PL-1 Orientation


PL-1 Feb

Providing effective feedback

PL-1 Feb

Learning climate/approach, goal setting

PL-1 May

Dealing with the struggling learner

PL-1 May

Effective large group presentations

PL-2 Feb

Interactive learning methods

PL-2 Feb

Research Opportunities

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus is home to one of the nation’s ten largest free-standing pediatric research facilities, making optional research opportunities for residents abundant. Nearly a third of our residents participate in bench and/or clinical research projects under the direction of faculty members eager to have resident involvement. Each June, The Abigail Wexner Research Institute highlights resident, fellow and student research during a two-day Research Forum.


Interns complete a six-session series of simulations aimed at managing acute patient deterioration at our state-of-the-art Simulation Center. The Simulation Center is located across the street from the main hospital and has simulation spaces that mimic in-patient and out-patient rooms as well as critical care rooms. Additionally, residents complete in-situ mock codes throughout their residency training.

Resident Advocacy 

  • All residents participate in a two-week immersive advocacy and community health rotation during their intern year. The goal of this rotation is to provide a wide range of experiences so residents can develop as advocates for children within their institution, locally or at the state or federal level.
  • Residents influence the public (and legislators) through well-crafted letters to the editor in the local newspaper. Rachel Nash has a passion for injury prevention and wrote a letter about gun safety and storage in The Columbus Dispatch.
  • Residents with a strong interest in advocacy can complete an additional four-week Child Advocacy Elective where they explore in-depth a topic of their choice with a focus on advocacy or community health.
  • Residents can also enroll in the longitudinal Advocacy Advanced Competency where they hone their skills as child health advocates through evening sessions, retreats and hands-on mentorship as they work through an advocacy project. Past residents have focused on issues such as refugee health disparities, food insecurity, adolescent transitions, gun violence prevention and homelessness youth.
  • Pediatric Residents Annual Statehouse Day: Residents from across Ohio join to raise their voices at Ohio’s Capitol through small group legislative visits, hearing from policy speakers, and sharing their advocacy experiences.

Mentoring Match Program

Resident Success Fueled by Mentorship

In 2020- 2021, the Pediatric Residency Program initiated Faculty-Resident Groups (FRoGs), a structured mentoring program for our pediatric residents.

The goals of this program are to:

  1. Link pediatric residents early in training to faculty who are able to provide personal/emotional support, career guidance and information about effective resources.
  2. Improve the success and satisfaction of pediatric residents during their training at Nationwide Children's.

Resident interests and focus can (and should) change throughout residency. To support residents through residency and the career development process, we developed FRoGs which each consist of 3 to 4 residents and several faculty. This format allows for flexibility of the mentor-mentee relationship and helps residents meet a broad group of faculty that can support them throughout residency. FRoGs meet at least quarterly. As residents progress and identify specific areas of interest, the hope is that the faculty mentors can help connect them with faculty in those fields to support those interests. It is anticipated that each resident may have additional advisors for different aspects of their personalized education at Nationwide Children's.