The Department of Pediatrics strives to present students with the unique characteristics of the field of pediatrics, enabling them to make an enlightened career choice, promote understanding of the biopsychosocial and developmental aspects of pediatrics in the areas of health supervision, and diagnose and manage acute and chronic illness. The pediatric curriculum also empowers students to acquire skills in the collection of patient information, establish rapport with children and their parents to facilitate diagnosis and therapy; acquire knowledge and skills to analyze, synthesize, and manage clinical problems; and enhance such qualities, values and attitudes as empathy and non-judgment when serving as a child and family advocate.
During the first two years, faculty members participate in interdepartmental lectures and conferences that emphasize the biopsychosocial aspects of health and disease in infants and children. Departmental faculty have specific teaching responsibilities in such areas as the "Patient, Physician and Society" course and the Longitudinal Preceptor Program, neuroanatomy, genetics, microbiology, hematology, immunology and behavioral sciences.
The third-year pediatric clerkship utilizes the pediatric interview and a clinical problem-solving orientation to encourage patient/student interaction, critical thinking and educator/student discussion. Students become familiar with the primary care and subspecialty nature of the field of pediatrics and the important role that the pediatrician plays in the physical and emotional development of children.
During the third year, students participate as a member of a health care team in a variety of community outpatient and inpatient settings. The experiences include active participation in the health care of children, allowing students to apply their interviewing and clinical problem-solving skills.
In addition, the department provides an opportunity for approximately 30 students to participate in a 12-week combined OB/GYN and pediatric/maternal child health clerkship during which the student is responsible for a woman’s prenatal care, as well as the health supervision of her infant. Students who have a special interest in the welfare of children can also participate in an elective Special Interest Group in Pediatrics. The group meets regularly in the home of faculty members to discuss such topics as the ethical issues of reproductive choice and severe prematurity, human sexuality, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, divorce and adoption. These seminars are developed by the students with the help of a faculty member.
Fourth-year students can elect a two- to three-month Senior Scholars Program designed to provide an in-depth clinical and/or research experience in an area of special interest. Electives are also available in pediatric subspecialties, general pediatrics, pediatric emergency and pediatric intensive care.