Welcome to Pediatrics!
We feel that our department’s unique contribution to your education will consist of a constellation of experiences that include an introduction to children, their uniqueness in life, their special medical problems, the techniques necessary to obtain data from them, and a beginning insight into growth and development as biologic and medical phenomena, both normal and abnormal.
Our faculty will provide you with an educational and stimulating environment in which you begin to learn the fundamentals of Pediatrics. We recognize that you cannot “learn” Pediatrics in your 6-week clerkship but you will be exposed to children in whatever area of medicine you choose for your career. During the clerkship, you can learn certain basic principles, approaches and facts that will develop as a foundation for continued learning in this discipline. The third year will allow you to start putting into use the basic principles you have acquired over the last few years and begin the exploration of the practice of medicine. The clerkship has been designed with these objectives in mind. We firmly believe in the importance of junior medical student education--after all, that is the primary function of a medical school.
We only ask you to display an eagerness to learn and conduct yourself as a professional. On our part, we will put forth considerable effort to have you succeed in your achievement.
You should be fairly clear on what we expect of you:
1. We expect you to expand considerable effort towards your own learning by pursuing the responsibilities assigned to you. This includes patient care duties, attendance at all assigned conferences, seminars and ward rounds and a significant amount of reading related to the general principles of pediatrics as outlined in the Learning Objectives section of your clerkship manual.
2. We expect you to demonstrate an enthusiasm for the study of medicine and Pediatrics. The Department of Pediatrics will provide the opportunity, the supervision, and the guidance--you must provide the enthusiasm.
3. We expect you to demonstrate professional integrity. This includes reporting accurately what you see, hear, feel or obtain--not what the faculty expects to hear.
4. We expect you to acquire increased abilities in several areas:
• Pediatric Data Collection:
Obtaining a history and performing a physical examination in children from newborns to adolescents requires interactions with the child as well as the parent or caretaker. This will require a sensitive attitude and depending on the age of the child and their degree of illness, very different techniques and skills. We expect your reaching a level of competence and comfort with these skills.
We expect that you will learn new information, improve and modify old information, and integrate the two. We expect that you will behave as adult learners and will read a lot independently. Rounds, conferences, conversations, and meetings can augment, amplify, help to explain and develop concepts, but only personal effort in reading will provide you with a solid foundation. We expect of you two to four hours of reading per day to cover all the required material for the clerkship. Reading and data acquisition are more meaningful when put in the context of a patient. See as much as you can! Be each other’s teacher and share and demonstrate to each other the interesting physical findings and patients.
• Problem solving:
No one can teach you problem solving. We can model the process for you, we can critique your clinical reasoning and force you to examine your capabilities in this area, but you provide the “basic stuff” and by exercising your mind, undertake the clinical judgment process.
• Professional attitudes:
As you pass through medical school, you combine your own personality traits with acquired behavior you learn from your patients, your peers, and your teachers. You should end up, not only a professional, but thinking of yourself as a professional.
5. Needless to say, we expect your performance to be at least at the passing level. Your evaluation will be based on a number of items:
• At the end of the clerkship you will take the NBME Pediatric Subject Examination.
• Evaluations: You will be evaluated by your faculty attendings, preceptors and house officers on the basis of your knowledge, motivation, problem-solving ability, attitude and relationship to patients, colleagues and health care personnel, an estimation of your motivation during the clerkship, your abilities to perform a history and physical examination, your sense of responsibility and your attendance.
• Overall estimate of your professionalism made by your preceptors based on their daily observations of you and their evaluation of your integrity, sense of responsibility and doctor-patient relationships.
Learning is both fun and hard work. Children are fun and challenging, so enjoy yourself and work hard. We hope to share with you the excitement that is inherent to Pediatrics. In the end, you are the beneficiary of your education and your future patients will be the ultimate benefactors.