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Pediatrics Residency Curriculum

Pediatrics Residency CurriculumA comprehensive curriculum for the Pediatrics Residency includes primary care pediatrics, subspecialty care, critical care and care for the community as well as opportunities to pursue medical research and experiences in global health and community health. In each of the three program years, residents complete 13, four-week rotations, choose two or three electives, and can preference rotation blocks to develop an individualized curriculum to fit their needs.

The majority of rotations are based at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health on the IU School of Medicine—Indianapolis campus. Other rotations occur at IU Health Methodist Hospital and Eskenazi Health, the county hospital—both located in downtown Indianapolis, near the IU School of Medicine campus—and at IU Health North Hospital in suburban Carmel.

Sample Rotation Schedule

Each program year contains 13 4-week block rotations. Electives are outpatient-oriented and residents in special pathways/tracks can focus on research, global health or primary care with their electives.

PGY – 1

PGY – 2

PGY – 3

General Wards 1 General Wards General Wards
General Wards 2 Specialty Selective (e.g. Hem/Onc) General Wards/Suburban Hospitalist
General Wards 3 Specialty selective (e.g. ID) Specialty selective (e.g. Endo)
Pulmonary Specialty selective (e.g. Cards) Specialty selective (e.g. Renal)
Specialty selective (e.g. GI) ED ED
NICU NICU/Genetics Rheumatology
Normal Newborn Urgent Care Developmental Behavioral Peds
Ambulatory/Urgent care Adolescent Med Normal Newborn
Community/advocacy-I Community/advocacy Elective
Elective Elective Elective
Elective Elective Elective


Ambulatory care is a key component of the Pediatrics Residency curriculum. Approximately half of the three-year residency experience is in an ambulatory setting, such as the continuity clinic, urgent visit centers, emergency department, specialty clinics, behavioral pediatrics, adolescent medicine and community pediatrics rotations. All residents receive training in the management of developmental and behavioral problems of children. First year residents spend one outpatient month becoming familiar with developmental milestones and assessment and learn about community resources for both typically developed and developmentally delayed children. In years two and three, residents complete a behavioral pediatrics rotation, involving clinics for children with school problems, developmental disabilities and behavior disorders, and residents gain experience in school health and community pediatrics, learning about the role of physician as advocate for children’s health.

Proficiency in critical care is a distinguishing feature of pediatrics. The Pediatrics Residency at IU School of Medicine provides a graduated experience each year as residents train in state-of-the-art neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and emergency departments. Residents learn about anesthesia and other critical-care procedures from neonatologists and other pediatric specialists. At Riley Hospital alone, there are 36 pediatric intensive care beds and 12 cardiovascular intensive care beds. Residents develop skills to diagnose, stabilize and initiate treatment of children with critical illness. Graduates of the program can recognize and manage any pediatric emergency. In addition, Riley has been designated an ECMO (Extracoporeal Membrane Oxygenation) center of excellence by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

Residents have one block rotation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit each year at either Riley Hospital, Methodist Hospital or Eskenzai Hospital, which provides a broad range of level II and level III NICU experiences. Second-year residents receive additional training working in obstetrics newborn delivery. In these settings, residents become confident in their abilities to provide resuscitation, stabilization, transport and treatment of seriously ill newborns. The large volume of patients provides exposure to all types of newborn disease, including complex cardiac and surgical conditions.

Riley Hospital for Children serves as the major source of subspecialty pediatric care in Indiana, making it an exceptional venue for resident teaching. A full range of pediatric subspecialty services is provided by nationally recognized board-certified subspecialists who are eager to train the next generation of pediatricians. Residents also benefit from working with pediatric pharmacists, social workers, physical therapists and others who have specialized in pediatric fields. Teaching includes well-supervised direct patient care, bedside rounds and didactic presentations.

While each clinical service varies slightly, residents typically participate in a mixture of inpatient and consultation services as part of scheduled subspecialty rotations. Ambulatory care is integrated within some of the services as well. Pediatric specialty services include adolescent health, cardiology, endocrinology/ diabetes/ metabolism, gastroenterology/ hepatology/ nutrition, hematology/ oncology, infectious disease, nephrology, pulmonology, rheumatology and developmental pediatrics. During specialty rotations, pediatric residents are often exposed to other medical specialties such as pediatric surgery, orthopedics, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, radiology and psychiatry.

The Division of General and Community Pediatrics is the largest division in the Department of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine and educates residents in all aspects of outpatient primary care, including well-child care, chronic disease management and the treatment of common behavioral disorders and acute illness. In addition, residents typically complete two general pediatrics inpatient experiences per year at Riley Hospital for Children and nearby Methodist Hospital or Eskenazi Hospital. Some of the common illnesses and conditions diagnosed and treated during the general pediatrics ward rotations include fever, apnea, asthma, pyelonephritis, pneumonia, failure to thrive, seizures, gastroenteritis and dehydration. Time spent in large newborn nurseries help residents become proficient in the management of problems of the newborn.

Program Tracks

Global health is one of the main strengths of IU School of Medicine. Residents can travel to established partnerships around the globe for 1-2 month electives to participate in clinical care, research, and other advocacy work. In addition, Indianapolis has many international pediatric populations that are served locally.

Residents are able to rotate in a variety of settings, with the Kenya partnership as an exemplary model of partnership in care for decades. The Department of Pediatrics also has alumni, connections, and opportunities in China, Nepal, Lebanon and Central America. Finally, specialized training can be provided for those interested in a potential career in global health via the interdisciplinary global health track.

The primary care track is designed to enhance the outpatient experience of residents planning a career in general outpatient pediatrics while still providing a strong inpatient/subspecialty education. The track allows residents to experience key outpatient rotations earlier in their training while still maintaining the same number of electives each year so residents can continue to create their individualized learning plan. In addition, the primary care track provides enriched education in primary care and community for sharing, peer mentoring, and support within the larger program.

Those who are interested may apply to the pediatric residency research track position. The position is open to a categorical pediatric resident who will participate in either the integrated research pathway or accelerated research pathway.

Educational Conferences

Educational Conferences

Daily educational conferences focus on preparing our residents for clinical practice, as well as for the American Board of Pediatrics board examination. Annual retreats off campus allow for extra workshops on topics ranging from teaching and communication to leadership and practice/financial management.

Community Pediatrics Training Initiative

Advocacy and Community Leadership

All pediatric residents participate in one or two months dedicated to expanding their knowledge of community resources, participating in service learning experiences, and developing the skills to become leaders in child advocacy.