Description by Year
During the first year of training, residents acquire clinical skills and knowledge for the care of children through guided yet independent decision-making. All first-year residents complete the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course. The first year consists of 13 four-week blocks, of which four focus on inpatient general pediatrics and one and a half concentrate on inpatient hematology/oncology. Residents spend one block in the busy term nursery learning normal newborn care, a comprehensive newborn physical exam, the intricacies of breastfeeding (taught by lactation consultants), and basics of newborn resuscitation in the delivery room. Many infants born at Inova Children's Hospital receive follow-up care at the Inova Cares Clinic for Children, often by the same resident, offering continuity for both the resident and the family.
Additional blocks during the first year include behavior anddDevelopment, emergency medicine, one block at InovaCares Clinic for Children, and three elective rotations. Residents also begin their continuity clinic experience in the first weeks of residency. Interns complete the United States medical licensing exam (USMLE) step III prior to completion of their intern year, allowing them to spend the rest of residency focusing on learning pediatrics. By the end of the first year, residents will have established the skills to perform a complete and thorough pediatric history and physical exam, as well as a basic understanding of the management of common pediatric medical problems.
Second year is one of increasing responsibility and independence. The second year resident accepts and triages admissions with the role of a teacher and supervisor. As a budding senior, they also get experience managing an inpatient team during some of the afternoons as well as managing our busy hematology/oncology unit during night team. Residents also act as the hematology/oncology unit supervisors during the day.
One block is spent in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and two in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Our residents have the privilege to attend deliveries at one of the busiest delivery centers in the nation, with the opportunity to lead resuscitation of distressed newborns. Residents also have one block of emergency medicine, one block at InovaCares Clinic for Children, a half block of pediatric surgery, one block of adolescent medicine, and two electives. Overall, residents have ample opportunity to broaden their knowledge base and develop leadership and teaching skills.
By the third year, our residents are ready for the challenge of handling a busy inpatient floor, while teaching and supervising residents and medical students at various levels of training.
Third-year residents serve as inpatient team leaders during their Ward and Night Team blocks, with plenty of leeway to decide on plan of care for their patients. They supervise more junior residents on all rotations, including two blocks on the inpatient ward, the one block in the NICU, and the two blocks in the PICU. Residents also have at least three elective blocks during the third year. During the one block at the Inova Cares Clinic for Children, residents have their own daily schedule and will see their own patients with minimal supervision from the pediatric attendings.
By the end of the residency, our residents are well prepared to start their careers in inpatient or outpatient pediatrics as well as in pediatric fellowships.