Pediatrics Curriculum

The pediatrics program at UPMC Shadyside provides exposure to the whole scope of pediatrics required for the practice of family medicine. Four required rotations are dedicated to pediatrics during the residency and electives are also available. One month is spent at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) of UPMC, where the resident provides care on an inpatient team. CHP provides the inpatient and emergency care for the majority of children in the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. CHP averages 12,500 admissions per year; therefore, residents see patients with common problems, as well as, some more complex cases during this month.

The Ambulatory Peds/Nursery rotation during the PGY-1 year is divided into a newborn nursery experience and an ambulatory pediatrics experience. The newborn nursery experience consists of two weeks of daily rounds in the mornings in the well-baby nurseries at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC with pediatric residents and a faculty pediatrician from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. In addition, residents spend three afternoons per week for two weeks in the newborn follow-up clinic where many breastfeeding babies are seen. A formal web-based newborn nursery curriculum accompanied by case discussions and required readings supports this clinical experience. In addition, first-year residents on this rotation spend two and one half-days per week for two weeks in a board certified pediatrician's office. This ambulatory pediatric experience is supplemented by four mornings of a didactic and clinical ambulatory pediatric care curriculum, taught by UPMC Shadyside's faculty pediatrician. Teaching strategies include case discussions, lectures, videos, assigned readings and self-study modules.

During the second and third years of training, residents spend one rotation each year in the Emergency Department at CHP. Since CHP averages 53,000 emergency room visits per year, this experience gives exposure to a wide variety of acute care pediatrics in a busy setting. In addition, third year residents spend another two weeks in the CHP Emergency Department working four ten-hour shifts. During this two week rotation, residents are assigned to Family Health Center office hours in order to catch up on required patient numbers.

One of the joys of residency is delivering a child and then following this child throughout his or her early years of life. Beyond scheduled rotations, residents will spend time seeing children as part of their continuity care at UPMC Shadyside's Family Health Center. Approximately 20 percent of all patient visits at the Family Health Center are for patients under the age of 15 years. Residents will see children for acute care, well-child checks with immunizations, chronic medical care, and a variety of medical examinations.

On call, residents will triage phone calls for our pediatric population. Other required rotations, such as otolaryngology and orthopedics, have pediatric components as well. Residents are required to complete a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course during their second year.

Continuing education during all three years of residency includes lectures on various primary care topics provided by pediatric and family Medicine faculty. Madeline Simasek, MD, a full-time faculty member and board-certified pediatrician, coordinates the pediatrics curriculum. Dr. Simasek is available to see patients with complicated problems in consultation with residents at the Family Health Center. In addition, she provides feedback on care delivered by the residents. She also co-precepts select well-child visits with our clinical social worker. These sessions are designed to teach developmental/behavioral pediatrics at the point of care.