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Curriculum

The Pediatric Residency’s three-year training program is composed of 13 four-week blocks per year. The program offers an innovative X+Y schedule: a three-week rotation followed by one week of ambulatory clinics, including continuity clinic, other ambulatory experiences and learning sessions. This schedule enhances the continuity clinic experience by minimizing disruptions from other rotations.

The curriculum also includes individualized tracks, additional programs and other educational opportunities.

Required Rotations

The pediatric emergency department at Dell Children’s Medical Center is the only designated Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in Central Texas. Residents learn how to assess, evaluate and treat pediatric patients with acute medical and surgical conditions. Board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians and pediatric emergency medicine fellows directly supervise residents both day and night.

Residents rotate in hematology-oncology during their intern year. Pediatric hematologist-oncologists lead the rotation, providing direct supervision and education. Conferences, such as tumor board and didactic teaching sessions, supplement the rotation.

Four to five resident teams cover the inpatient wards. The day teams are composed of one junior or senior resident supervisor, two interns, one acting intern (depending on the time of year) and medical students from Dell Medical School. The complex care team serves people with complex medical needs and works closely with the Children’s Comprehensive Care Clinic.

Interns and senior residents cover the teams at night. Pediatric hospitalists supervise all teams both day and night. Ward teams function as the primary medical team with pediatric specialists serving in a consultative role. The rotation provides a robust inpatient medicine curriculum, and residents participate in educational conferences with minimal disruption to their daily workflow.

Residents participate in the triage officer rotation, which gives them experience in coordinating admissions and transfers of care to acute-care units in the hospital.

Residents rotate in the newborn nursery at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin during their intern year. Newborn hospitalists supervise the rotation, and residents have the opportunity to work with medical students.

Residents rotate in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) during their intern and third year at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, which has a large Level III NICU and a busy labor and delivery service.

The unit is composed of two teams: one resident and one nurse practitioner team. The teams round daily with an attending neonatologist, and didactic lectures are provided during the rotation. Residents also have an optional elective at the Level IV NICU at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, which cares for people with highly complex medical and surgical conditions.

Residents, mid-level providers and critical care attendings staff the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Day and night resident teams with 24/7 attending supervision provide coverage. Residents care for children who are critically ill with the benefits of a large support infrastructure and advanced technologies, including ECMO. Residents interested in intensive care management of people with congenital heart disease and other cardiac anomalies can complete electives in the cardiac care unit.

Residents rotate on pulmonary inpatient service during their intern year with an emphasis on care for people with cystic fibrosis, chronic ventilation and asthma. Pediatric pulmonologists lead the rotation, providing direct supervision and education.

The program offers residents a wide variety of electives to meet their personal and professional goals. This includes medical specialties such as infectious diseases, palliative medicine, dermatology, nephrology, rheumatology and endocrinology. Surgical subspecialty electives include general pediatric surgery, urology, ENT and orthopedic surgery. Residents have the opportunity to tailor their experience to meet their professional goals and interests, such as a transport elective for residents interested in critical care or a point-of-care ultrasound elective for residents interested in emergency medicine.

Ambulatory Experiences

The program’s adolescent medicine specialist leads the adolescent medicine rotation, which is a longitudinal experience in the second year of residency. The rotation includes offsite visits to community partners who specialize in providing medical and psychosocial care to adolescents and young adults.

For the first two years, residents have their continuity clinic experience at the CommUnityCare East Austin Health Center, a federally qualified health center. Residents provide primary care to a diverse and medically underserved patient population located in the urban core of Austin. Board-certified general pediatricians supervise the continuity clinic experience. Residents participate in lectures and programs such as the centering program, which provides health assessment, interactive learning and community building to support positive health behavior and drive better health outcomes for children.

During the third year of residency, residents choose from a variety of continuity clinic options, including:

  • CommUnityCare East Austin Health Center
  • Private-practice pediatrician
  • Dell Children’s mobile health van for people who have been underserved historically
  • Dell Children’s subspecialty clinics
  • Dell Children’s Comprehensive Care Clinic serving people with complex medical conditions
  • Another federally qualified health center site

First-year and third-year residents rotate in developmental-behavioral pediatrics as part of a longitudinal experience. Interns learn about normal development in children and recognizing the value of early childhood development. Third-year residents gain experience in identifying and treating ADHD, autism and other behavioral disorders.

Sample Schedule

  • Inpatient wards (10 weeks)
  • Inpatient triage officer (2 weeks)
  • Inpatient wards night shift (5 weeks)
  • NICU (3 weeks)
  • Nursery (3 weeks)
  • Hematology-oncology (3 weeks)
  • Pulmonary (3 weeks)
  • Emergency department (3 weeks)
  • Subspecialty (2 weeks)
  • Professional development (2 weeks)
  • Y week (13 weeks, includes continuity clinic, behavior-development)
  • Vacation (3 weeks, split into one-week and two-week blocks)
  • Inpatient wards (4 weeks)
  • Inpatient wards night shift (4 weeks)
  • Inpatient triage officer (2 weeks)
  • PICU (3 weeks, day and night shifts)
  • Complex care team (3 weeks)
  • Emergency department (3 weeks)
  • Subspecialty (9 weeks)
  • Professional development (8 weeks)
  • Y week (13 weeks, includes continuity clinic, adolescent medicine)
  • Vacation (3 weeks, split into one-week and two-week blocks)
  • Inpatient wards (4 weeks)
  • Inpatient wards night shift (4 weeks)
  • Inpatient triage officer (2 weeks)
  • PICU (3 weeks, day and night shifts)
  • NICU (3 weeks)
  • Emergency department (3 weeks)
  • Subspecialty (8 weeks)
  • Professional development (9 weeks)
  • Y week (13 weeks, includes continuity clinic, behavior-development)
  • Vacation (3 weeks, split into one-week and two-week blocks)