Pediatric Residency Program
Message From Dr. Steven Selbst, Program Director
Welcome to the Pediatric Residency Program of Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University/Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Thank you for your interest in our Pediatric Residency Program.
Our Hospital, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, began as a small orthopedic facility and it has grown to become a major health care provider for the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. The hospital is frequently recognized by US News and World Report as “among the best”. We are very fortunate to work at an outstanding, modern pediatric facility located in a beautiful setting. The hospital is dedicated to making children and families of all backgrounds feel comfortable and reassured whenever they need routine or sophisticated medical care. The hospital recognizes that its mission depends on the residents who care for the children, and we are most proud of those who train with us.
Our program offers a unique opportunity to work at a stand-alone, busy children’s hospital. We have providers for every specialty and we offer care to numerous healthy children and those with very complex, chronic illnesses. We know that pediatric residency can be difficult at times. The demands are great, the patients are complex. However, residency will also be stimulating and fun! We pride ourselves in our longstanding success at nurturing residents and supporting them through the good and difficult times of residency training. Our devoted team of educators and leaders will help you succeed no matter what personal or professional obstacles you may face. With daily interactive conferences, out of hospital retreats and direct care of patients, you will master all aspects of pediatric care. You will be carefully supervised and learn to manage a variety of patients with increasing autonomy as you progress in your training.
Our faculty are dedicated and enthusiastic teachers. You will have numerous opportunities to work closely with experts in their fields. Many are academic leaders in their specialties. Our general pediatricians are wonderful role models. Our superb specialists provide cutting edge medicine to those who need intensive care, bone marrow transplants, liver or cardiac transplants and other live-saving procedures. Our faculty will guide you if you choose to get involved in research projects or advocate for children in the communities we serve. You will get to know the faculty well, and many will even invite you to their homes for our monthly journal clubs!
Our patients are diverse and offer unmatched opportunities to learn. Since duPont Hospital is the only children’s hospital in the state of DE, we serve low-income families from the city of Wilmington, and more affluent families from the suburbs of Delaware and Pennsylvania. We also care for numerous children from nearby rural areas, who have an array of unique medical problems, including rare metabolic diseases, farm related illness and injuries and more. You will also have the opportunity to train at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, with patients from underserved communities of south and southwest Philadelphia. Finally, you will manage newborns at Jefferson and at nearby Christiana Care Hospital, which has one of the busiest birthing centers on the east coast. Almost all of the patients in your Continuity Clinic are from medically underserved communities. You will also have opportunities to work with our global health experts and care for patients in many countries. The range of pathology and diversity that our program offers is truly astounding.
Our residents are superb. We have been very fortunate to attract residents from all over the United States. They recognize how important it is to work as a team. No one can get through 3 years of challenging pediatric residency without working well together. Your fellow residents will become your ‘second family’. Our trainees always support each other and very much enjoy working together. They have fun here at the hospital and after work. They are a close-knit group that often gets together outside of the hospital, taking full advantage of all that Philadelphia and Wilmington have to offer.
Our graduates have gone on to achieve their goals in very rewarding careers. Our board pass rate exceeds the national average. About half of our graduates continue on for specialty training and match in outstanding fellowship programs all over the country. About half of our graduates enjoy satisfying careers as general pediatricians in offices and clinics in our region and beyond.
We hope you will consider joining us for your pediatric training. We are sure you will meet the challenges ahead and you will always know that you are supported and appreciated.
Steven M. Selbst, MD
Pediatric Residency Program Director
We have pooled the considerable resources of two major institutions to create exciting, high-quality programs in patient care, biomedical research, and, in particular, resident training. With the strong financial backing of Nemours, the broad patient bases of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, and the rich academic heritage of Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), we have developed a unique educational program. As you read the following information, we believe you will share our enthusiasm and excitement for our dynamic pediatric residency program.
About Our Program
Gain a wealth of experience working with nationally-recognized physician-educators in a variety of pediatric disciplines and with patients in hospital, clinic and private practice settings. You’ll receive exposure to several hospitals serving distinct communities:
Curriculum by Year
We’re pleased to offer a truly unique pediatric residency program that combines the leading pediatricians and surgical specialists of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children with the outstanding academics of Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU).
The primary teaching hospital for the program is the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, located in Wilmington, Del. The other hospitals in the program are the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, just 30 minutes away in Philadelphia, and the Christiana Hospital, located right nearby in Newark, Del.
We accept 22 pediatric residents each year into the program. Throughout this 3-year training period, you’ll progressively gain more responsibility, not only in patient care but in the teaching and supervision of students, junior residents, and other health care professionals. And we offer the entire spectrum of pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties, with multiple physicians represented in each.
Begin to Develop the Skills You’ll Need
In the first year of our residency program, you’ll begin to develop the skills necessary to become competent pediatricians. With an emphasis on general inpatient and outpatient pediatrics, neonatology, well-baby care, and emergency medicine, during the first year, you’ll:
- rotate through the medical/surgical units, general pediatrics clinics, and newborn nurseries, as well as gain training in private practitioners’ offices
- receive as much responsibility as possible, in a supervised educational environment
- have the opportunity to make decisions, formulate diagnoses, and present your cases to supervisors. Our attending faculty members are very accessible and will give you support and direction
- gain experience with common and uncommon pediatric diseases, as well as the various aspects of well-child care and normal growth and development
- explore areas of special interest through a block of electives
- complete training in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program courses
Begin to Care for Patients With More Complex Needs
In your second year, we’ll emphasize developing skills and knowledge to take care of patients with more complex needs. The second-year program has additional flexibility, giving you a choice of ambulatory medical and surgical subspecialty experiences.
You’ll also gain increased responsibility and independence in the emergency department, and work with critically ill patients in rotations through cardiology, as well as the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. You’ll begin to take on a supervisory role in general inpatient rotations, helping first-year residents organize rounds, triaging and assigning patients, and assuming overall coordination of clinical care.
To present a balanced curriculum in the second year, we offer a variety of electives. You also can increase your private office experience during much of the second (and third) year of training, while continuing traditional continuity clinics for a half day each week.
Residents will spend two weeks on a dedicated teaching rotation, learning valuable skills from experienced clinical educators with the opportunity to practice those skills during multiple afternoon teaching sessions.
Become a Manager and Educator
During your third year, the emphasis will be on training to become a manager and educator, rather than on simply providing patient care. You’ll oversee and assist junior residents and students in the inpatient and outpatient settings, providing guidance and supervision. Team management, in conjunction with our attending faculty members, will become a major role you’ll take on this year.
You’ll also have ample opportunities for elective rotations in subspecialty areas of interest. Throughout your residency program, you’ll have a chance to work with community agencies that provide services to children. You’ll receive wide-ranging experience in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, as well as the evaluation and treatment of victims of child abuse through the Child Advocacy Center.
Off-site electives, including experiences abroad, are permitted during call-free rotations. Research electives also are encouraged.
A Day in the Life of a Pediatric Resident
Here’s what you can expect, in general, when you come to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children’s Pediatric Residency Program:
6:30-8:30 a.m. Sign-In & Bedside Work Rounds on Inpatient Units
The intern will get sign-out from the outgoing night team and then collect vital signs and examine each patient being cared for by their team.
8:30-9 a.m. Morning Report
The house officers and attendings will discuss an interesting case presented by an upper-year resident. This is one of the highlights of our program, as it always leads to great discussions between the house staff, general pediatric attending, and subspecialty attendings. The morning report also is well-attended by the faculty.
9 a.m. to noon Family-Centered Rounds & General Patient Care
Bedside rounding is performed on each patient and involves medical students, house staff, nursing staff, and families. Our computer order entry system and portable computers allow most orders to be entered while the team is rounding. However, there is time after bedside rounds to complete notes, call consults, and handle any other patient care-related work.
Noon to 1 p.m. Protected Teaching Conference
Faculty members from the general pediatric division and subspecialties present lectures to the house staff and medical students. Each month, the house staff also attends seminars on ethics, case conferences, and morbidity and mortality conferences during this one-hour time period. This time is protected for the residents’ education.
1-5:30 p.m. General Inpatient Care or Continuity Clinic
This time is for residents to perform any additional work on their patients and to admit new patients to the hospital. This is also a good opportunity for you to receive even more instruction, by speaking with consultants who may have been called in that morning.
One half-day per week each resident works in one of our five local primary care centers. During this time, residents provide acute and well-child care to a group of patients with whom they build a relationship over the 3 years they’re assigned to that center.
5:30 p.m. Sign-Out to the Night Team
A variety of conferences, seminars, lectures and Grand Rounds add to your educational experience here at Nemours, depending upon your program of interest.
You’ll also be encouraged to pursue clinical research activities under faculty supervision.
Weekly Schedule for Formal Teaching
Teaching is the primary focus of our program. Each day you will have protected time to learn in a variety of ways both formally and informally. Conferences are teleconferenced to Thomas Jefferson University so that you will never miss an opportunity to learn.
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday mornings
Morning report is a case-oriented conference led and presented by an inpatient team, critical care team, or a resident assigned to a subspecialty. A morning report audience will include medical students, residents, fellows, general and subspecialty pediatric attending, and radiologists, all of whom come together to contribute to the learning environment. The Chief Residents follow up by researching the topics discussed and e-mailing links and articles.
Grand Round lectures are presented weekly by faculty, as well as local and nationally known speakers on a variety of topics.
The Chief Residents present conferences biweekly.
You’ll be mentored by our faculty members during your electives or as part of the Teaching Admitting rotation, leading to your presentation at a teaching conference.
The supervising attending leads Daily Bedside Rounds — multidisciplinary rounds that include medical students, residents, fellows, social work, nursing, and parents. These are supplemented by monthly bedside teaching rounds with the Chief Residents.
Daily conferences are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Over the course of three years all subspecialty divisions contribute to presenting the noon conference. Topics include basics of patient care, neonatology, genetics, pulmonary, emergency medicine, infectious disease, dermatology, allergy/immunology, endocrinology, adolescent/gyn, GI/nutrition, rheumatology, hematology/oncology, nephrology/urology, development, respiratory diseases, surgical subspecialties. Lunch is served daily. Pagers and iPhones are held by the residency office so you can concentrate on the topic presented.
Radiology rounds occur daily. Teams meet with radiologists at appointed times to review studies for all patients on the team. The residents have an opportunity to ask questions and learn from the radiologists.
Monthly conferences include Morbidity and Mortality, Ethics, Neurology, Hematology/Oncology, and Trauma.
The program encourages residents to fine-tune their procedural skills by scheduling a procedure day for every resident. You’ll spend time with Day Medicine, phlebotomy, and sim labs. If interested, you may schedule additional time in the sim laboratory with an attending.
Monthly board review sessions are offered at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Our residency program also works with Penn State Hershey Medical Center to offer a comprehensive three-day board review course in the fall. The conference is free of charge to our house staff.