Curriculum Overview

Our program offers a range of clinical training in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient settings, community-based settings, intensive and acute care, primary care and sub-specialty care, and for ages ranging from pre-term infancy through adolescences.

Residency Curriculum

Residents learn general pediatrics through (a) weekly sessions in Continuity Practice taking care of sick and well children of all ages, (b) time spent in Urgent Care clinics, and (c) rotations on the General Inpatient Unit.
We have subspecialty clinics for children needing specialized care in allergy/immunology, cardiology, diabetes, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, genetics, infectious diseases, neonatology and nephrology. Residents have required and elective subspecialty rotations during the PGY-3 year, organized so that the resident assumes direct care responsibility for subspecialty patients in clinic and on hospital wards, in close consultation with the subspecialty faculty.
Six (6) individualized learning units have been organized into tracks. The three (3) track options are community, hospitalist and subspecialty pediatric tracks.
All relevant pediatric topics are covered during a recurring 18-month curricular cycle via a wide range of educational experiences, including case-based conferences, didactic lectures and outside readings.

Over the three years of the program, each resident is required to complete a mentored scholarly activity of research by completing one of three project types: a hypothesis driven scholarly research project, a case report, a quality improvement project, an education project, or a substantial review.

The curriculum, with assignments and resources, is managed on a Blackboard course available to all residents and their Advisers.

Scholarly projects are presented at an Annual Resident Research Forum during the spring of the PGY - 3 year.

We have created weekly activities to help residents stay focused on preparing for pediatric board exams on completion of residency. These include case-based discussions, practice exams, Jeopardy games, and friendly team competitions. For more information, link here.

As first year residents, pediatric interns learn the basic principles and practices of pediatric medicine through directly supervised patient care on the inpatient and outpatient clinical services. PGY-1 residents rotate on the inpatient ward teams, the Newborn Nursery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Inpatient Pediatric Service exposes residents to a wide variety of acute pediatric problems, as well as, acute and chronic illnesses for chronically ill or disabled children. UTMB delivers over 6,200 infants annually, giving our residents excellent neonatal training in our nursery as well as our Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Residents participate in daily work rounds and teaching conferences with attendings during each of these rotations. 

Outpatient experiences include rotations through the UTMB Primary Care, Acute Care,  as well as Specialty Care Clinics.  The Health and Development rotation is designed for the resident to improve knowledge of normal development and skills for well-child visits and anticipatory guidance. In addition, the Adolescent Medicine rotation exposes residents to multidisciplinary teen care. Throughout all three years of training, residents spend at least one half-day per week caring for continuity patients, which they follow throughout their years of training.

Pediatric Residency Curriculum Detail

During the PGY-2 year, residents participate in a structured curriculum covering continuity care, and various other essential elements of primary and secondary pediatric outpatient care. Diverse clinical settings are used for the resident to put education into action, all under the supervision of experienced faculty clinician-educators. Residents also participate in specialized multidisciplinary clinics for the evaluation of suspected abuse and neglect, AIDS/HIV, and a variety of selected sub-specialties including pediatric dermatology, asthma and psychiatry. Residents experience  neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, in addition to general pediatric inpatient and newborn nursery care. During this year, residents play in important supervisory role in mother/baby, inpatient and neonatal intensive care units.

Our unique School Health and Community Pediatrics Program offers PGY-2 residents additional educational experiences serving as a school consultant and physician liaison with one of our local school districts. This program introduces residents to school and community health issues and shows them how to consult with community organizations and services that provide child health services (systems-based practice).

Residents are introduced to education topics during the Senior Teaching Rotation where they take on the role of teaching and supervision of junior residents and medical students. During this rotation, they are expected to contribute to a quality improvement project.

The remainder of the year is devoted to electives, continued participation in continuity care clinics, and the development and implementation of resident scholarly projects.

Pediatric Residency Curriculum Detail

During the third year, the residents’ education program focuses on providing individualized training in preparation of their career path or fellowship training, as well as continuing the role of teaching and supervision of junior residents and medical students. The third-year resident rotates as a supervisor on the inpatient service, the ER, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and multiple subspecialty services. They also function as the night inpatient admitting resident (AR).

There is considerable time in this year for electives and subspecialty rotations to tailor the end of their training to reflect areas of interest or future career decisions. Options include endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, infectious diseases, cardiology, genetics, chronic care, allergy/immunology, business of medicine, among other core and non-core electives.

Resident scholarly projects are completed in the spring of the third year and presented at the Annual Resident Research Forum.

Pediatric Residency Curriculum Detail

Conference Time Participants
Morning Report Monday - Thursday 8:00 - 8:30 Faculty, chief resident, housestaff, students and in-patient attendings
Work and teaching Rounds Daily Team Residents, attending faculty and students
Ground Rounds three of four Fridays each month, 8:00 - 9:00 Chairman, full-time and guest faculty, Chief resident, housestaff and students
Academic Half -Day

Wednesdays 12:30 – 4:00

Full-time faculty, associate faculty, chief resident and housestaff
Housestaff Meetings Monthly Program director, chief resident and housestaff
Resident Council Monthly Chief resident and elected housestaff representatives
Continuity Team Meetings Monthly - Friday Housestaff and Continuity Practice faculty team leaders
Journal Club Monthly Faculty, chief resident, housestaff, students and in-patient attendings

Additional and unique features of the UTMB program include learning experiences with the following:

  • A Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a mother/baby transitional and newborn nursery, and a Neonatology Fellowship program
  • A multidisciplinary Children’s Asthma Program
  • A day care visit
  • A School Health Program, with consultation to Galveston County’s school districts.
  • Summer Camp opportunities for residents to serve as camp physicians and counselors. Childhood Cancer Connection offers a one-week summer camp for pediatric patients with blood dyscrasias or malignancies and their siblings. Other opportunities include camps for children with diabetes and PKU.
  • A month-long rotation on normal development and health supervision, separate from the rotation on abnormal behavior and development
  • Video recorded well-child encounters with faculty observation and feedback
Dr. Amber HairfieldAmber Hairfield DO
Program Director
Chair, Grad. Med. Ed. Comm.
amhairfi@UTMB.EDU
Catalina CastrpCatalina Castro
Residency Program Manager
(409) 747-0534
ccastro@utmb.edu