Resident physician lecturing

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
  • Board exam simulation exercise (Board Review)
  • 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 has no inpatient call responsibilities, but takes night-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.

I have had the amazing opportunity to teach PECS residents since the inception of the program (we piloted it at my practice in 1997). Not only do I derive great pleasure knowing that these residents are better educated and get a more honest representation of what primary care pediatrics is really all about, but having them in my office keeps me on my toes and doesn't allow me to get complacent with my practice. The residents and I learn from each other and it is a great honor to insure these pediatricians leave residency with greater knowledge than we obtained back in 'the dark ages' when I trained!"

- Lee Budin, MD, PECS Preceptor

My PECS office has allowed me to develop as a general pediatrician because of the high level of continuity and differing concerns of more middle class families. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to work with one of the pediatricians in the community and learn in a different primary care setting.

-Donald Fahler, MD, Former Pediatric Resident

PECS is a great opportunity to work with pediatricians in the community. As a resident, I am able to see a population different from what is typically seen in my continuity clinic. My preceptor is excellent and allows me to have autonomy with her private patients. Attending PECS is also helpful in deciding what type of career I would like to have after residency.

- Sheria Spain, MD, Former Pediatric Resident

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

Below are quotes from our residents sharing what the RISI program means to them.

RISI is one of my favorite aspects of the residency program at Nationwide Children's Hospital. A huge part of general pediatrics is preventative medicine. RISI allows residents to work with children in the community, teaching them how to keep themselves happy and healthy. Providing these kids with basic information on topics such as nutrition, sleep, exercise and smoking can help them, and their families to choose healthier lifestyles in the future. It is a fun change of pace from the usual clinical duties of residency.

-Markita Suttle, MD, Former Pediatric Resident

Going into classrooms to teach kids is so amazing. They get excited and will say, "The doctors are here!!!" It is a great feeling to think that we can impact children outside of our offices and hospital in a positive way.

-Maria Valdez, MD, Former Pediatric Resident

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, in July 2011 Nationwide Children's Hospital Pediatric Residency Program implemented a novel Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) curriculum to train residents in the application of evidence-based clinical practices. The EBM Curriculum aims to impact resident practices and improve clinical care. The five A’s of Evidence Based Medicine are: Assess the patient, Ask a well-built question derived from the case, Acquire high quality evidence, Appraise the evidence, and Apply to the patient. EBM starts with the patient and ends with the patient. The EBM curriculum was implemented in four domains – Behavior Development, Adolescent Medicine, Journal Club and Noon Report. It is designed to improve resident competency in each of the 5 A’s.

Diverse Community Experience

Columbus is a diverse community and so are our patients. Columbus, the 15th 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.