Medical Education

View of the exterior of Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Department of Pediatrics

Pediatrics Core Clinical Experience (PEDI 730)

Every OHSU medical student is required to complete a 4-week core clinical experience in Pediatrics, along with the other six required core experiences: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, OB/GYN, Psychiatry, and Surgery. During your Pediatrics Core clinical experience, you will learn the pediatric-specific elements of the history and physical exam and develop assessments and plans for infants, children, and adolescents. Furthermore, you will develop an understanding of the unique healthcare needs of pediatric patients, work to identify age-specific milestones, and gain exposure to the basic management of children with special healthcare needs.

During the rotation, you will be exposed to both general and subspecialty pediatric patients across a mixture of inpatient and outpatient settings. We attempt to place you in at least one clinical site of your choosing; a few months before your scheduled Pediatrics rotation, you will be asked to complete a site preference survey where you can indicate which service(s), if any, you would like to gain exposure to. While each student’s clinical site may differ, we take care to ensure that your educational experiences are equivalent regardless of site placement.

Please note that although the Department of Pediatrics offers a handful of elective courses without prerequisites (see below), many of our elective course directors prefer that you first complete your pediatrics core clinical experience. If you have questions about how best to arrange/schedule your pediatric courses, please contact the course coordinator, Alina Dunbar ().

Top 10 Tips for How to Succeed in your Pediatrics Core Clinical Experience

OHSU students: log in to Sakai for course materials pertaining to PEDI 730

Pediatric Electives

The Department of Pediatrics offers a wide range of electives designed to provide students with a variety of opportunities to further their pediatric education and training. Students can explore a pediatric subspecialty in greater depth, work in a general pediatric clinic, or arrange for interdisciplinary training. Specialty experiences are numerous and varied. Many community pediatricians have graciously welcomed students into their practices to provide even more educational opportunities for OHSU students. In addition to our 30+ formal courses—which include two-week electives, four-week electives, sub-internships, and eight-week continuity experiences—students can create special electives based on the site, preceptor, and duration of their choosing. The Department of Pediatrics makes every effort to accommodate student requests and aims to provide curricular recommendations based on each student’s individual preferences, interests, and future plans.

Please note that the availability of these courses/sites varies greatly throughout the academic year, and that specific site placements cannot be guaranteed. Some of these courses have prerequisites; others do not. In many cases, our elective course directors prefer that you first complete your Pediatrics core clinical experience. The majority of courses are available through the lottery, while others require departmental approval. For specifics regarding block availability, prerequisites, and competencies, please refer to the corresponding course catalog on the Dean's Office SOM Program Curriculum page.

Another helpful resource is the Pediatric Electives Quick Reference List, which gives an overview of the type, duration, and location of our elective offerings.

To explore our elective courses in greater depth, please email the course coordinator, Alina Dunbar () to request access to our Sakai electives site.

Visiting students

The Department of Pediatrics is one of the busiest at OHSU in terms of visiting students, and we are committed to providing educationally valuable experiences to as many visiting students as possible! We encourage students to explore all that OHSU has to offer, both in terms of medical student education and residency opportunities. While at OHSU, visiting students will have the opportunity to review cases with our chief residents, meet our Division Chair, and learn about our residency program through our Visiting and Elective Student Curriculum.    

Learn more about the visiting student application process (VSLO)

Club Peds

If you are a first or second year medical student interested in Pediatrics, consider joining Club Peds! Club Peds is a student-driven interest group that holds lunchtime talks with OHSU pediatricians, arranges monthly ward walks with pediatricians and sub-specialists, organizes pediatric-focused volunteer events, and can help facilitate access to pediatric mentors.

2018 Club Peds Co-Presidents:  Claire Packer and Kimi Chan

Faculty sponsors:

Students can join the Oregon Pediatric Society (Oregon AAP chapter) at no cost. Visit the OPS website for more details. 

Please direct any questions to:

Sarah Blattler
Operations & Membership Manager

Pediatric Advising

The Department of Pediatrics seeks to provide guidance to all students interested in our programs. We hold several advising events throughout the year, including Strolling Through the Match, typically held in late summer; informal meet & greets with our faculty, fellows, and residents; and supplemental programming as part of the All Colleges events.

In addition, we hold a variety of Pediatric conferences each week, including Morning Report, Noon Conference, Grand Rounds, and Friday Forum. These events are open to all interested students. Email Alina Dunbar () if you would like to be added to the weekly conference listserv.