Residents spend time at several important sites outside of the hospital. These sites provide an environment in which the resident develops expertise in basic health assessment, health education for patients and their families, child advocacy, working with a healthcare team and managing an office practice.
Each resident spends one afternoon per week in an office setting where patients are seen specifically by the resident. Residents may elect to do their continuity clinic at the InovaCares Clinic for Children (ICCC) or in a private practice office. A resident is paired with a preceptor with whom he or she will work throughout the three years of residency.
Private physician practices
Residents obtain real-life pediatric practice experience by choosing from a range of opportunities, from small practices to larger groups with multiple locations as a part of their continuity clinic experience or as a private practice elective. Residents are paired with preceptors who are faculty members who exhibit an exceptionally strong interest and aptitude for teaching. Residents experience how doctors and staff provide comprehensive medical care in the reality of today's health care marketplace. Depending on the practice, the resident gains familiarity with families with and without insurance, with a variety of social backgrounds and might have their own schedule. Through this experience, the resident gains insight into billing, office management and financial considerations in private practice.
InovaCares Clinic for Children
The Inova Cares Clinic for Children provides pediatric care for the underserved population in a multicultural setting. Approximately 22,000 visits occur annually. Residents play an integral role in the care of these patients, the majority of whom are immigrants from across the globe. Most families are Spanish speaking; however, a proficiency in Spanish is not required due to the availability of Spanish speaking staff and translator phones. Residents work with public health workers, social services, health educators, and nursing staff to address the medical and psychosocial needs of these patients. Approximately one third of our residents choose to do their continuity clinic at this location, and all of our residents spend one block there per year. The ICCC moved to its new beautiful location in 2008 and got electronic medical records in 2010.
Subspecialty pediatrics is obtained through a number of required and elective rotations. The curriculum in each subspecialty emphasizes the ambulatory aspects of the practice. Residents gain experience in the evaluation of complex patients while acquiring insight into the appropriate use of subspecialty referrals. This experience enhances the quality of collaboration between primary care physicians and subspecialists. Residents have the opportunity to rotate in any pediatric subspecialty, at our hospital or as away electives.
This rotation includes office-based adolescent experience, including the college student clinics at Georgetown University and George Mason. As part of this rotation, residents obtain experience with gynecologic issues of adolescents. Residents also see adolescents during their inpatient and outpatient rotations at Inova Children's Hospital.
Inova Children's Hospital, on the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, features a dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department. One of the busiest in the Washington, DC, area, our ED is staffed exclusively with pediatric emergency medicine physicians and pediatric nurses. It serves as a Level I pediatric trauma center and represents a referral center for much of Northern Virginia via ground and air transportation. A thriving pediatric emergency medicine fellowship accepts one to two fellows each year.
The intern behavior and development block provides a variety of experiences designed to provide each intern a broad exposure to the multidisciplinary assessment of infants and children. Two weeks are spent rotating with the Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia, which provides early intervention services and support. During this two-week block, residents complete home visits with a variety of therapists and participate in team meetings.
Residents also spend two weeks with the National Capital Consortium developmental pediatric team, one week at National Navy Medical Center in Bethesda and one week at DeWitt Army Community Hospital. These developmental teams include board-certified developmental pediatricians working closely with OT/PT, speech therapists and psychologists evaluating children with developmental delay including autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and the full spectrum of physical disabilities.