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Pediatrics core clerkship

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Acceptance into the elective is by application only.

All applications must be submitted through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities™ (VSLO®) 

The department of pediatrics offers excellent educational opportunities for third- and fourth-year medical students. Janet Weis Children's Hospital is a freestanding, 88-bed, nationally recognized facility with a level-one NICU, high acuity PICU and two pediatric wards. Outpatient facilities include several general pediatrics clinics as well as subspecialty clinics representing most pediatric subspecialties.

With the goal of developing a strong base in general pediatrics, the student's time is divided between our outpatient clinics, inpatient floors and the newborn nursery. Students enjoy strong didactics including morning reports, noon conferences, grand rounds and a conference designed specifically for medical student education. Emphasis is on developing an understanding of those issues unique to pediatrics including physical examination, preventative skills and exposure to diseases unique to children.

Fourth-year opportunities include sub-intern experiences in general inpatient pediatrics, NICU, and PICU. These are designed for a more in depth experience in inpatient pediatrics and to prepare the motivated senior medical student for their intern year. Affiliated and visiting students are strongly encouraged to consider one of the many electives that our department offers which are available to third and fourth year students. These include several of our subspecialty clinics and are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

During the third year pediatrics core clerkship the student will be exposed to children of all ages in various states of health. The breadth of knowledge required for pediatric health maintenance and disease management can seem overwhelming to the third year student. As such, the emphasis of the clerkship is on general pediatric principals that will provide a solid foundation for further learning. At the completion of the clerkship, students should have a clear understanding of growth and development, health maintenance and the management of common pediatric illnesses. Specific goals and objectives are listed below.

Goals & objectives


  • Be able to recognize the unique aspects of the developing child physically, emotionally and cognitively
  • Be able to perform a complete, age appropriate history and physical exam and develop a brief assessment and system based oriented plan
  • Acquire skills in interviewing a child and family
  • Develop counseling skills for both children of all ages and their families
  • Observe and when appropriate perform relevant procedures
  • Understand perinatal issues and diseases unique to newborns
  • Learn the importance of preventative pediatrics including accident prevention, immunizations, nutrition and anticipatory guidance


  • Know the major developmental milestones in children
  • Appreciate the significance of vaccine-preventable illnesses and the current use of immunizations in pediatric practice
  • Learn the basic workup of fever in infants and older children
  • Be able to calculate daily fluid requirements for hospitalized children
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse
  • Learn the nutritional options available to parents of newborn infants and the importance of breastfeeding
  • Learn the basics of neonatal and pediatric resuscitation
  • Learn the rational behind basic antibiotic use in pediatrics
  • Appreciate the use of diagnostics (laboratory evaluation, imaging, specialty testing) in hospitalized children
  • Develop familiarity with common clinical illnesses of children

Pediatric disease states that the student is likely to encounter and therefore should have a working knowledge of include:

  • Newborn disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Renal disease
  • Hematologic and oncologic disease
  • Infectious disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Endocrine disease
  • Infectious agents of particular importance to the pediatric patient

Contact us

Megan Longenberger, BS
Medical Education Coordinator