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Pediatric Residency

Pediatric Residency

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The Pediatric Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a three-year, ACGME-accredited program that accepts 16 residents per year.

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Program Details

The Pediatric Residency at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital features a balanced and individualized training curriculum executed in a supportive and resident-driven learning environment.

The program is ideally sized to offer a family-like atmosphere but also flexibility for time off. As the only children’s hospital, pediatric intensive care unit and Level IV neonatal intensive care unit in the region, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital offers a level of patient diversity, acuity and complexity that is comparable to, and may exceed that of, the largest children’s hospitals and pediatric residency programs in the nation.

Learn more about Penn State Health Children’s Hospital and its U.S. News and World Report National Rankings here.

Learn More about the Residency

Program Director Welcome Expand answer

Thank you for your interest in the Pediatric Residency at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

Our program prides itself on helping trainees develop the lifelong skills of goal-setting and self-directed learning within a curriculum that allows significant flexibility for individualization. Our residents are the driving force not only of their own professional development, but also in the continued evaluation and improvement of the residency experience with opportunities to participate in numerous committees focused on wellness, curriculum development, program evaluation, recruitment, patient safety, quality improvement, informatics and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Trainees are also given the opportunity to further develop their educator skills through lectures, electives and retreats offered by the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education. No matter your interest, we will work hard to find educational opportunities to support your goals.

This is an exciting time to join the Penn State Health pediatric family. Penn State Health Children’s Hospital was recently ranked in the top 50 for five subspecialties in the 2021-2022 U.S. News Best Hospitals Rankings, placing it seventh overall in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Our Children’s Hospital has recently expanded, now featuring a new, 56-bed NICU; postpartum area; and post-surgical acute-care unit. We have been slowly increasing our residency class size during the past few years to accommodate this expansion.

The town of Hershey, located 13 miles from the state capital of Harrisburg, is an easy and affordable place to live, where residents are able to rent apartments or purchase homes in safe neighborhoods with highly rated public schools all within a few miles of the hospital. Whether you want to ride one of the 15 roller coasters at Hersheypark, catch a country music concert at Hersheypark Stadium, laugh with your favorite comedian at the Giant Center, watch a musical at the Hershey Theater, cheer on the Hershey Bears hockey team, kayak the Swatara Creek/Susquehanna River, hike the Appalachian Trail, or relax at a local brewery, there is something in this region for everyone.

The Harrisburg/Hershey area is ranked 61st in the 2021 U.S. News “Best Places to Live” rankings. It is also within a short day’s trip to many major cities and attractions such as Baltimore (90 miles), Philadelphia (95 miles), Poconos Mountains (110 miles), Washington DC (135 miles), Shenandoah National Park (150 miles), New York City (160 miles), and Pittsburgh (215 miles). Learn more about the Hershey area here.

This is an exciting time to live and train in central Pennsylvania at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, and we hope you consider joining us!

Aaron R. Shedlock, MD, FAAP
Program Director, Pediatric Residency

Mission Statement Expand answer

The mission of our program is to recruit a diverse residency cohort, support each resident’s individual learning needs with respect to background and experiences, and teach them to provide personalized healthcare that addresses the needs of the children in our hospital and throughout our region. Each resident will thus graduate as a well-trained pediatrician prepared to provide inclusive care to a diverse group of patients at the next step in their career.

Program Aims and Philosophy Expand answer

The program’s educational philosophy recognizes that each resident:

  • Enters training with a unique array of knowledge, skills, attitudes and interests
  • Develops along an individual trajectory toward competency
  • Has specific personal and professional goals to achieve during residency

The curricular philosophy is to provide an appropriate balance between:

  • General pediatric training and subspecialty training
  • The inpatient setting and the outpatient setting
  • Supervision and autonomy
  • Personal responsibility/ownership and shared responsibility/teamwork
  • Experiential learning and formalized classroom learning
  • A mandatory curriculum and an individualized curriculum
  • Time spent working and time spent thinking and reflecting
  • The necessary rigors of residency and the promotion of resident wellness

The operational philosophy is that residents:

  • Play a critical role in a constant cycle of program re-evaluation and improvement
  • Are a leading voice in the evolution of the program over time
  • Have a sense of ownership of the program

The aims of the program are to foster an effective, supportive and personalized learning environment in which each resident:

  • Develops the skills necessary to be a successful self-directed learner
  • Sets and achieves appropriate individualized learning objectives based on current skills as well as career goals
  • Builds an individualized schedule that helps to meet their objectives
  • Utilizes the support of coaches, mentors and/or program leaders to meet those objectives
  • Is given the flexibility and support, and is taught the skills necessary, to achieve their wellness needs
  • Feels a sense of ownership over the direction of the program
To Apply Expand answer

General Application Information

All applicants must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) by Dec. 1 and must register for a PL-1 position through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

Applications are considered without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status and family medical or genetic information. The program sponsors J-1 visas only. Current or recent experience working in the U.S. healthcare system is strongly preferred.

Application Requirements

  • Personal statement
  • MSPE (dean’s letter)
  • Medical school transcript
  • USMLE or COMLEX scores
  • Three to four letters of recommendation from faculty members with whom the applicant has worked

The program does not require a letter from the applicant’s department chair or clerkship director.

Interview Process

Interviews are by invitation only, and will be conducted from mid-October through January. Those who are invited for an interview will be notified by email and are asked to respond promptly so the program can best accommodate scheduling needs. The program team prefers to interview smaller groups each day in order to create a more personalized day.

All interviews will be conducted virtually during the 2021-2022 application cycle as recommended by the Association of Pediatric Program Directors.

The virtual interview day schedule will include:

  • Introduction to the program (with program leadership)
  • Interviews with program leadership and faculty
  • Noon conference
  • Program director question-and-answer session and wrap-up
Program Leadership Expand answer

Pediatric Team

See all pediatric clinical providers here See all Department of Pediatrics faculty here

Program Leadership

Coaching, Mentorship and Support Expand answer

Coaching Program Overview

Trainees are paired with one of seven expert coaches who are specially trained and provided protected time to help facilitate and monitor clinical/academic progression, goal-setting, career planning and wellness throughout the entire residency.

At minimum, residents will formally meet with the following program leaders:

  • Continuity clinic preceptor – every week
  • Chief residents – early in the fall of intern year
  • Coach – three times a year
  • Program director/associate program directors – twice yearly
  • Director of individualized education – each winter (to choose electives)

Housestaff sessions are also scheduled every two weeks with the residents and program leadership (PD, chiefs and coordinators) to provide ongoing support.


Current Residents Expand answer
Past Residents Expand answer

Stay in touch

Program graduates are asked to update information to remain on the program’s mailing list.

Five-year resident placements (2017 to 2021)

pursued fellowship

entered general pediatrics

took another path
(additional residency; chief year outside the organization, etc.)
entered hospital medicine
For the past five years (from 2017 to 2021), 41 percent of graduated residents have pursued a fellowship, while 42 percent of graduates entered directly into general pediatrics, 12 percent entered into hospital medicine and 5 percent pursued another path.

Past Resident Listing

Residents from this program have gone on to fellowship at a variety of academic medical centers across the country. Use the search bar above the photo grid to see specific locations and subspecialties for these graduates.

Fellowship Placement Expand answer

Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine

  • Children’s Hospital of Michigan
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

  • Children’s Hospital of Michigan
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital
  • University of North Carolina Hospitals
  • Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

  • Children’s National Medical Center
  • Northwestern McGaw/Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Urgent Care

  • Children’s National Medical Center

Sports Medicine

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine

  • University of Rochester

Pediatric Cardiology

  • Mount Sinai

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

  • Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital
  • Riley Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

  • Baystate Medical Center

Pediatric Hospital Medicine

  • University of Florida – Jacksonville

Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency

  • Johns Hopkins University

Sports Medicine, Pediatric Track

  • University of Colorado


  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine

  • Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

  • Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital (2)

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

  • Prisma Health, Greenville Health Systems

Pediatric Cardiology

  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • University of Utah

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

  • Duke University
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Gastroenterology

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Hospital Medicine

  • Baylor College of Medicine


  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • University of North Carolina

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Sleep Medicine

  • University of Michigan


  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Dermatology Residency

  • University of Puerto Rico

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

  • University of Virginia

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • NYU Langone Health

Pediatric Endocrinology

  • Emory University

Pediatric Rheumatology

  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
About Penn State Health Expand answer

Tour Penn State Health Children’s Hospital

A screenshot shows the 2020 virtual tour of Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

Virtual Tour

A recently developed virtual tour showcases locations across Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.

Explore the virtual tour

Penn State Health

Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to improve health through patient care, research, education and community outreach.

In December 2017, the system partnered with Highmark Health to facilitate creation of a value-based, community care network in the region. The shared goal of Highmark and Penn State Health is to ensure patients in the community are within:

  • 10 minutes of a Penn State Health primary care provider
  • 20 minutes of Penn State Health specialty care
  • 30 minutes of a Penn State Health acute care facility

Learn more about Penn State Health

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine campus is seen in an aerial photo on a sunny day.

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital (left), Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (center) and Penn State Cancer Institute (right)

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

500 University Dr., Hershey, Pa., 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)

  • The health system’s 628-bed flagship teaching and research hospital
  • The only medical facility in Pennsylvania accredited as both an adult and a pediatric Level I (highest-level) trauma center
  • Dedicated surgical, neuroscience, cardiovascular, trauma and medical intensive care units
  • Accredited Life Lion critical-care transport providing more than 1,100 helicopter and approximately 750 ground ambulance transports per year
  • More than 1,300 faculty members and more than 650 residents and fellows
  • Approximately 28,500 admissions, 75,000 emergency department visits, 1.1 million outpatient visits and 32,000 surgical procedures annually
  • Designated as a Magnet hospital four consecutive times, one of 116 hospitals to do so

Learn more about Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital

600 University Dr., Hershey, Pa. 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)

  • An eight-story, 263,000-square-foot-facility built in 2013 and expanded in 2020
  • 146 licensed pediatric beds, 18 acute care beds and a 56-bed neonatal intensive care unit
  • Level IV (highest-level) neonatal intensive care unit
  • Level I quaternary (highest-level) pediatric intensive care unit
  • Level I (highest-level) pediatric trauma center designation
  • Intermediate care unit
  • Dedicated pediatric operating rooms
  • More than 150,000 pediatric outpatient visits and approximately 5,000 pediatric patient discharges annually

Learn more about Penn State Health Children’s Hospital

About Hershey: Benefits, Stipends and More Expand answer

An aerial image shows downtown Hershey with the words Welcome to Hershey superimposed at right.

Welcome to Hershey

A new guide to the Hershey, Pa., area showcases the highlights of life in central Pennsylvania.

Learn more about the Hershey area

More About Hershey

Interested in learning more about living and working in Hershey, Pa.? See details here:

Wellness Initiatives Expand answer

Wellness, including emotional, spiritual, social and physical health, is a crucial component to training and to becoming a professional, compassionate and resilient physician. Self-care is a skill which must be continually practiced and reinforced. Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health are committed to addressing wellness among residents and fellows, with multiple resources readily available.

Institutional resources

Graduate medical education resources

Program Resources

The program knows that residency can be a challenging time in any young physician’s life and so takes wellness seriously. The Pediatric Residency offers the following wellness initiatives:

  • PAWS (pediatric administrative and wellness sessions) every other week focusing on the eight dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, spiritual, vocational, and financial)
  • Timely debrief sessions following traumatic events such as codes, traumas or deaths
  • Quarterly class wellness nights
  • Biannual wellness half-days
  • Semiannual residency wellness events
  • Yearly class retreats (including three in intern year)
  • House staff sessions every other week to discuss and address any resident concerns
  • Resident families (assigned shortly after Match Day)
  • Resident clubs (e.g., running, hiking, books, TV, board games, etc.)
  • Resident-led wellness/social committee
  • Resident coaches (assigned upon arrival for intern year)
Diversity Expand answer

Institutional Resources

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine celebrate, embrace and support the diversity of all patients, faculty, staff, students and trainees.

Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In keeping with this, Penn State Health has an active Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with various programs, networks and resource groups, including:

  • Talks and lectures on diversity, equity and inclusion through Inclusion Academy
  • Regular events on topics such as eradicating racism and creating a culture of inclusiveness
  • An allyship support group
  • Many affinity resource network groups, including:
    • Disability Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Group on Women in Medicine and Science
    • Interfaith Affinity Resource Network Group
    • LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Military/Veterans Affinity Resource Network Group
    • Multicultural Affinity Resource Network Group
    • NextGen

Learn more about the Penn State Health Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Learn more about the College of Medicine’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Belonging

Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education

The vision at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health is to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to provide culturally excellent health care and research for an increasingly diverse U.S. population. The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education was formed to help meet that goal.

Learn more about the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education

Office for a Respectful Learning Environment

In addition, the institution does not tolerate discrimination, biases, microaggression, harassment or learner mistreatment of any kind, and any concerns are immediately addressed by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.

Learn more about the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment

Program Resources

Each year, the Pediatric Residency chooses a delegate to local and national chapters of the Student National Medical Association/National Medical Association and Latino Medical Student Association to help promote diversity initiatives and inspire resident/community engagement.

These residents also participate on the Department of Pediatrics’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council alongside the department vice chair for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Resident Perks Expand answer

Resident Perks

  • Annual book money allowance
  • Residency pays for copies of Harriet Lane and Bright Futures Pocket Guide
  • Extra monetary allowance for presenting research at conferences (including free poster production)
  • “Meal Money” to be used at hospital cafeterias or Starbucks
  • Program additionally provides lunch twice per week
  • Stocked resident fridge (free snacks and drinks at night)
  • Free American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) membership providing monthly print journals (Pediatrics and Pediatrics in Review) as well as Board Review Questions (PREP)
  • Free certifications and updates of BLS, PALS, NRP and ATLS.
  • Free on-site parking
  • Retreats and wellness events paid for by residency
Away Rotations/Visiting Students Expand answer

For medical school students

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital offers four acting internships and multiple other subspecialty electives as fourth year medical student experiences. Medical students interested in an away rotation at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital should view visiting student eligibility and application requirements here. General questions about the application process and logistics should be directed to or

Any student applying for an away rotation because of a strong interest in completing their pediatric residency training at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital are strongly encouraged to email program directors or

Visiting Residents

All information and the application for visiting residents can be found here.

Contact Us Expand answer

Mailing Address

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Residency
500 University Dr., Mail Code H085
P.O Box 850
Hershey, PA 17033

Curriculum Details

Overview Expand answer

The Pediatric Residency curriculum is designed around the educational needs of residents, rather than being dictated by the needs of the hospital.

As such, there is an appropriate balance of outpatient and inpatient experiences, and the program provides an extensive individualized curriculum that goes far beyond the minimum requirements of the ACGME.

The program’s goal is that each resident graduates as a competent outpatient and inpatient general pediatrician who is also well-prepared for the next step in their career. This balanced approach is reflected in the fact that approximately half of recent graduates went into either primary care or hospital medicine, while the other half pursued fellowship training.

In addition to clinical rotations, the resident educational curriculum includes daily noon conferences, a weekly protected academic half-day, weekly departmental Grand Rounds, a Residents as Educators lecture series and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lecture series.

Curriculum Threads Expand answer

The following topics are longitudinally represented throughout the residency educational experience:

  • Care of deteriorating patient – twice-monthly simulation sessions and monthly mock codes
  • Career development
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Health systems science
  • Health care disparities and advocacy – monthly topics and longitudinal three-year class project
  • Moral distress/trauma debriefings
  • Quality improvement
  • Patient safety – resident-led quarterly morbidity and mortality conferences
  • Primary care anticipatory guidance topics – monthly “ask the expert” and continuity clinic curriculum
  • Residents as educators
  • Scientific and evidence-based principles – monthly journal club
  • Wellness – bimonthly pediatric administrative and wellness sessions (PAWS)
Continuity Clinic Expand answer

The longitudinal primary care continuity clinic experience is special in many ways:

  • Each resident is paired with one outpatient preceptor for the entire three-year residency, allowing for many personalized mentorship and feedback opportunities.
  • Each resident will have the choice of five different continuity site locations, ranging from a large academic hospital-based clinic to a more urban/underserved clinic to a more suburban/rural practice setting. There are private clinic opportunities as well.

In addition, there is a monthly continuity clinic curriculum with rotating primary care core topics to be discussed in small-group settings during clinic sessions.

PGY-1 Year Expand answer


The first-year curriculum purposefully integrates numerous outpatient and elective experiences to balance the inpatient experience.

Adolescent medicine: The primary clinical site for this four-week rotation is the Milton Hershey School, a large, cost-free, private boarding school for children from families of low income and limited resources. The rotation also includes time in clinics for adolescent gynecology, addiction medicine and eating disorders.

Community and advocacy: This four-week rotation includes clinical time at two pediatric clinics in Harrisburg, Pa., committed to serving children in under-resourced areas as well as in outpatient and inpatient child abuse settings. It also features a wide-variety of non-clinical experiences that expose residents to many community resources that can assist their patients. These experiences include spending time with:

  • Lawmakers and lobbyists at the state capitol
  • Penn State Law, working with a children’s advocacy program
  • Children and Youth Services
  • Home nursing
  • Lactation services
  • Pediatric rehabilitation/care coordination
  • Early intervention
  • Opioid clinic
  • Pediatric dentistry

Also offered is dedicated time and training on how to complete a needs assessment in order to implement community-based changes benefiting the children of central Pennsylvania and beyond. This serves as the starting point for the class advocacy/health care disparity project.

First-Year Rotations

The first-year rotations are:


  • Hospitalist team – four to six weeks
  • Inpatient gastrointestinal/cardiology/nephrology team – two to four weeks
  • Inpatient pulmonology team – four weeks
  • Neonatal ICU – four weeks
  • Newborn nursery – two weeks
  • Night team – six weeks (divided into three rotations)


  • Acute clinic – four weeks
  • Adolescent medicine – four weeks
  • Community and advocacy – four weeks
  • Emergency medicine – four weeks


  • Individualized curriculum/electives – eight weeks
  • Longitudinal continuity clinic
  • Vacation – four weeks
PGY-2 Year Expand answer


The second year continues to offer a balanced curriculum (along with increased time for electives as part of the individualized curriculum) while building senior resident leadership skills and increasing comfort with more severely ill patients.

Developmental/behavioral pediatrics: Led by one of the program’s most dedicated educators, this rotation includes time in a broadly focused developmental-behavioral clinic, plus time focused on:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiology
  • Palliative care
  • ADHD
  • Feeding disorders
  • PKU
  • Tic disorders
  • Autism
  • Behavior modification
  • Educational evaluation
  • Brain injury

Pediatric surgical specialties: This rotation allows residents to choose from experiences in outpatient clinics in areas such as cardiac surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, the concussion program, ENT (otolaryngology) and ophthalmology. It also provides opportunities to enhance procedural experience.

ED consult: This rotation is an opportunity that allows pediatric residents to be on the front lines of pediatric assessment, evaluation, treatment and care. When children in the Emergency Department represent a challenging case or will potentially need to be admitted, the ED consult resident evaluates and triages the patient, then works one-on-one with the pediatric hospitalist, pediatric intensivist and many of the pediatric subspecialists to formulate an appropriate plan of care, including:

  • Admission criteria and decisions on bed placement and appropriate level of care
  • Coordination with the outpatient transitional care clinic, especially for “diagnostic dilemmas” that don’t meet admission criteria but require continued workup and evaluation
  • Discharge criteria and needed follow-up

Senior educator: This opportunity allows senior residents the dedicated time to teach medical students at the bedside or with small-group lectures, provide structured feedback on patient care signouts and facilitate the pediatric hospitalist curriculum.

Second-year rotations

The second-year rotations are:


  • Inpatient gastrointestinal/cardiology/nephrology team senior – two weeks
  • Inpatient hematology/oncology/stem-cell transplant team – four weeks
  • Inpatient pulmonology team senior – two weeks
  • Neonatal ICU – four weeks
  • Senior educator/night team senior – six weeks (divided into three rotations)
  • Pediatric ICU – four weeks


  • Daytime ED consults – two weeks
  • Developmental/behavioral pediatrics – four weeks
  • Emergency medicine – four weeks
  • Surgical specialties – two weeks


  • Individualized curriculum/electives – 14 weeks
  • Longitudinal continuity clinic
  • Vacation – four weeks
PGY-3 Year Expand answer


The third year purposefully allows for significant flexibility for residents to structure their individualized curriculum to best suit their needs before starting a first job or fellowship. The curriculum focuses on leadership opportunities and on career development. Although it appears as if most rotations are in the inpatient setting, most residents will spend the majority of individualized elective time in the outpatient setting.

School-based community health and advocacy: All residents spend two weeks at the local Milton Hershey School, which is a cost-free private boarding school started by Milton and Catherine Hershey to service children with family hardships. This rotation provides independent outpatient clinical experience with the opportunity to mentor children, teach school-wide health seminars and influence school health policies.

Resource resident: Implemented as a “flex opportunity” to promote wellness of individual residents (providing weekdays off) and the residency as a whole (filling in clinical coverage gaps and providing an extra resident to help when needed).

Third-Year Rotations

The third-year rotations are:


  • Hospitalist team senior – four weeks
  • Newborn nursery team senior – two weeks
  • Pediatric ICU – four weeks
  • Resource resident – two weeks

Residents also spend an additional eight weeks perfecting their senior resident skills on the services of their choice, including inpatient gastrointestinal/cardiology/nephrology team, inpatient hematology/oncology/stem-cell transplant team, inpatient pulmonology team, newborn nursery team, pediatric ICU team or as emergency department consult resident.


  • Acute clinic team senior – four weeks
  • Overnight ED consult – two weeks
  • School-based community health and advocacy (Milton Hershey School) – two weeks


  • Individualized curriculum/electives – 20 weeks
  • Longitudinal continuity clinic
  • Vacation – four weeks
Individualized Education Expand answer

The ACGME requires pediatric residencies to provide 24 weeks of individualized education. The Pediatric Residency at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital places the needs of residents and their interests over the needs of the hospital and offers a total of 10 and a half blocks (42 weeks) of individualized education, many of which can be broken up into two-week experiences.

In addition, variable scheduling on inpatient rotations in the third year creates another eight weeks of somewhat individualized time.

Punit Jhaveri, MD, serves as the director of individualized education. In this role, he is given time away from his clinical responsibilities for the specific purpose of helping residents choose rotations for the following year.

The program can individualize certain rotations to coincide with the resident’s career goals. Note that the residency has purposely stayed away from “tracks” in the design of its curriculum. The program is large enough to offer virtually every possible rotation, but also small enough to design individualized programs without needing to rely on tracks.

Although there are a few rules to follow regarding the choice of rotations, most residents are simply able to take the desired rotations from this list or create and customize their own elective rotation to meet their individual goals:

  • Abuse/neglect
  • Acute clinic
  • Adolescent medicine
  • Allergy/immunology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Breastfeeding
  • Cardiology
  • Complex care
  • Dermatology
  • Eating disorders
  • Emergency medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Hospitalist
  • Infectious diseases
  • Life Lion
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • NICU
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Palliative care/hospice
  • Pathology
  • Pediatric surgery
  • PICU
  • Pulmonology
  • Private practice
  • Procedures
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Research
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rheumatology
  • Sports medicine
  • Urban primary care
  • Weight management (obesity) clinic

In the self-managed individualized learning elective (SMILE), residents can take up to four weeks to design their own learning goals and objectives and can even work from home (i.e., reading block).

Educational Conferences Expand answer

Resident-led noon conferences occur four days a week, covering interesting clinical cases, primary care topics, journal club, research topics, quality improvement, health care disparities, wellness topics and board review.

An academic half-day consists of faculty-led didactics and simulation lab experiences on Thursday afternoons, with clinical coverage provided and pagers/phones held. These topics compose the core curriculum, repeating every 18 months, and are based on the board exam specification content outline of the American Board of Pediatrics.

Other educational opportunities include:

Simulation Center Expand answer

The multifaceted Clinical Simulation Center is a 9,500-square-foot space including some small encounter rooms, three larger bays, skills training areas and rooms for debriefing purposes.

Many educational opportunities are provided here, including a simulation instructor course (resulting in a certificate in simulation education), the Resuscitation Sciences Training Center and a standardized patient program. Along with full-bodied manikins of all ages, there are many types of clinical equipment in order to practice clinical diagnosis and treatment, as well as simulation scenarios such as procedures, surgery and trauma.

The Clinical Simulation Center is staffed for a majority of the day each weekday. The Pediatric Residency incorporates simulation lab didactics during one academic half-day each quarter.

Learn more about the Simulation Center

Residents as Educators Expand answer

In conjunction with Penn State College of Medicine, the Pediatric Residency offers many exciting opportunities to further trainees’ development as medical educators:

  • Health Systems Science Academy (HSSA)
    • One PGY-2 trainee is chosen each year as a Health Systems Science Scholar with protected time to complete the HSSA.
  • Woodward Center educator development resources and programs, including:
    • Quarterly “Residents as Educators” core lecture series
    • Quarterly “Teaching Champion” retreats
    • Two-week cross-specialty medical education elective for residents
    • Longitudinal “Hippocrates” and “Clinician Educator” medical education tracks
    • Woodward Scholars Program
      • Opportunity for 100 percent tuition discount for a graduate certificate (12 credits) in adult education from Penn State Harrisburg. Credits can later be applied toward a master’s degree (30 credits).
    • EdVenture Conference: the College of Medicine’s annual celebration of teaching and learning.
  • The Exceptional Moments in Teaching program highlights outstanding resident and fellow teachers at Penn State Health. Residents from each class are also honored with teaching awards each year at graduation.
Research and Quality Improvement Expand answer

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine have nationally recognized investigators with numerous grants and NIH funding in the fields of basic/bench, clinical, translational and health services research.

Through extensive individualized curriculum opportunities, residents have the ability to work alongside these researchers longitudinally and/or during research electives. Residents can schedule as many as 22 weeks of individualized time for research. Those highly interested in a future research career can also consider the Physician-Scientist Training Program to receive a research certificate and be matched with prolific research mentors and periodically meet with other budding clinical scientists to share ideas.

Approximately 50 percent of program residents participate in research during a given academic year. Residents have disseminated their research at the national, regional and local levels. Penn State Health’s Resident/Fellow Research Day is held yearly to showcase accomplishments. The residency program regularly funds resident posters and travel costs to present research.

Residents also have the opportunity to participate in numerous quality improvement/patient safety committees as well as complete projects with expert faculty. Lectures on quality improvement and patient safety are given throughout the year, and periodic workshops in quality improvement are offered.

Global Health Expand answer

Residents interested in global health have multiple opportunities at Penn State Health and College of Medicine.

The most popular affiliation/elective is to Ghana.

  • When: January or February
  • Duration: Four weeks
  • About the facility: The program takes place with Penn State Health Children’s Hospital’s clinical partner, Eastern Regional Hospital, a 350-bed hospital serving as the primary care center for the local community. It includes a six-bed ICU, lab, CT scan and X-ray. Many specialties are housed here.
  • Rotation details: Experiences in NICU, pediatrics floors and pediatric outpatient clinics; upon return, participant experiences are shared during a Grand Rounds presentation before the end of the academic year
Health Care Disparities and Advocacy Expand answer

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital is situated just 13 miles from Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg and 130 miles from Washington, D.C., providing numerous opportunities for local, state and national advocacy.

  • All residents are taught basic principles of social determinants of health and advocacy during their first-year Community and Advocacy four-week rotation.
  • Each intern completes a “windshield survey” of the local community to later develop a community-based project proposal.
  • Residents choose a class-based health care disparity/advocacy project and are provided protected time to work on this project longitudinally to serve the community during residency.
  • All residents rotate at a boarding school for disadvantaged children and participate in school-based community health and advocacy for two weeks during the third year.
  • Residents facilitate a monthly community and advocacy noon conference.
  • The residency program funds all resident memberships to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  • The program also encourages residents to participate in Advocacy Day in Harrisburg each spring.
  • One PGY-2 trainee is chosen each year as the pediatric residency’s:
    • AAP Advocacy Delegate (including free travel to the yearly AAP conference)
    • Health Systems Science Scholar, to participate in the Health Systems Science Academy
  • Penn State Health is very engaged in community health initiatives, presenting many opportunities for residents, including:

Resident Honors and Recognitions

Resident Spotlights and Opportunities Expand answer

Below is a list of individualized opportunities for residents and current residents who participate.

Exceptional Teachers Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center accept ongoing nominations for the Exceptional Moments in Teaching award.

The award, given monthly by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment, accepts nominations from College of Medicine students who are invited to submit narratives about faculty members, residents, fellows, nurses or any other educators who challenge them and provide an exceptional learning experience. See more about the award here.

Previous nominees from the Pediatric Residency are listed here. Click the + next to a nominee name to read their nominator’s comments.

Resident/Fellow Research Day Presentations Expand answer

The annual Resident/Fellow Research Day is held each summer on and around the Penn State Health Milton S. Medical Center campus in Hershey, Pa.

The intent of the event is to provide an opportunity for residents and fellows to showcase their research accomplishments to their peers in other clinical departments, as well as their colleagues in the basic sciences.

Learn more about Resident/Fellow Research Day here.

Previous presentations from the Pediatric Residency are listed here.

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