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Frequently Asked Questions

What do our graduates do?

The graduating classes of 2010 through 2014 have produced 17 general pediatricians, 8 hospitalists and 23 fellows in a variety of specialties, including cardiology, critical care, emergency medicine, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology, infectious disease, nephrology, neonatology and pulmonology at top tier institutions.


What is the history of Inova Children's Hospital as a training institution?

Inova Children's Hospital (formerly known as Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children) has educated residents and medical students for many years. In addition to our own residents, the program is responsible for the training of visiting residents, from programs which include Georgetown Pediatrics, Fairfax Family Practice, Dewitt Army Family Practice, Georgetown Transitional, and George Washington Emergency Medicine.

Third year medical students from both the University of Virginia, the Virginia Commonwealth University and Georgetown may complete their pediatric clerkship by rotating through the inpatient unit at Inova Children's Hospital.  As such, all inpatient interns have the responsibility to educate and mentor third year students. Fourth year medical students from a wide range of medical schools are trained and supervised by senior residents.


How often are residents on call? What about weekends?

Interns work a maximum of 14-hour shifts. During intern year, interns spend an average of four blocks on the pediatric wards, which includes one week of five consecutive night shifts. The remaining three weekends each intern does a total of four weekend day calls from approximately 0700 to 1800, with four days off each block. While on other rotations, each intern typically works two out of four weekends on call, but there are call-free months.

Second and third year residents do two week blocks of night team, during which they work Sunday through Thursday night with Friday and Saturday off. Upper level residents generally take one Friday and one Saturday 24-hour call each block, as well as one Sunday day call. Each upper level resident typically has 1 call free block.

Residents rotate in the PICU and NICU only during the second and third year. Residents in the PICU can expect to do one week of five consecutive night shifts per rotation as well as 24 hour weekend calls. Residents in the NICU do not do any nights, but will help cover the ward on the weekends.


How many days of vacation do residents receive?

Residents receive two two-week blocks. In addition to this, residents also have five days off during the winter holiday season. While the program does not guarantee that each resident's vacation choices will be granted, every attempt is made to accommodate one's request. In the past several years everyone has received at least one of their first two choices.


Where do residents live? What is the quality of life?

The Northern Virginia/Washington, DC, area offers many housing options, including urban apartments, suburban houses, and more rural areas. Most residents live within a 20-mile radius of the hospital. As the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus is located near the Capital beltway (I-495), the hospital is accessible from all directions. Northern Virginia continues to experience explosive growth, partly as result of the thriving computer/technology economy. Fairfax County also boasts one of the finest public school systems in the nation and is an excellent place to raise a family.


What do residents do during their time off?

The Washington, DC, region offers unlimited access to political, cultural, historical, and educational opportunities. Located 10 minutes from a metro station, the hospital is a short ride to the Mall and Capitol, AAP headquarters, a multitude of galleries and museums including the National Gallery and Smithsonian museums, and the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Wolf Trap, an outdoor entertainment venue, hosts world-famous artists, plays and festivals. Excellent restaurants of all genres are plentiful. Professional sports teams, including the Redskins, Capitals, Wizards and Nationals play home games in the area. Ideally located on the eastern seaboard, beaches and mountains are both readily accessible for travel and exploration. Three major airports service the area.

Residents get together frequently for happy hours, with a multitude of informal events happening weekly. Annual traditions include a resident-only-retreat, senior resident boat cruise and annual bowling games.