Residency for Pediatrics | Programs Size | How to Choose

Residency for Pediatrics – Overview

Pediatrics is a medical specialty that treats the physical, emotional, and social well-being of infants, children, and adolescents.

This specialty includes comprehensive preventive health and diagnosing and treating acute and chronic disorders in children and young adults.

To become a certified pediatrician you will need to complete not just the required medical education but also undergo training in a hospital setting as a resident pediatrician.

Why is Residency in Pediatrics important

When you join a healthcare provider as a resident pediatrician, you will have the opportunity to work with experienced, professional doctors, specialists, and surgeons.

The training in a pediatric residency program follows the completion of medical school.

It is important to get admission into an accredited residency program. Completing an accredited residency program is essential for eligibility to pursue optional fellowship training in a pediatric subspecialty.

Besides, you need to keep in mind your future career plans when deciding to choose a residency program in pediatrics.

Pediatric residency is a time to explore and grow. It is incredibly important to find the right residency opportunity for you.

How to Choose the Best Residency for Pediatrics

It is crucial to choose pediatric residency programs that adhere to the structure of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) guidelines.

For instance, ACGME requires pediatric residents to receive substantial training in inpatient care as a critical component of their education.

Apart from this, the resident pediatrician is also expected to spend an equivalent amount of time on their chosen sub-specialty.

Apart from these, the rest of the residency training can be scheduled to involve other aspects of the pediatric residency program.

Some residency programs use tracking systems to offer a complete training experience focused on the type of pediatric care or population, such as primary care or rural healthcare.

It is not necessary that signing up for a track should hinder your ability to join other types of pediatric practices.

Every residency program has its pros and cons. For example, if you wish to focus your career on primary care, then a large program enables wider exposure to common problems.

This is excellent for optimal training and ample exposure.

In a pediatric residency program, you are trained under clinical advisors, pediatric mentors, clerkship directors, etc.

These professionals can help you gain valuable insight into the best pediatric residency program meant for you.

The interview process in the initial stages of your training will help you decide on the best pediatric residency opportunities for you.

What is the program size of Residency for Pediatrics

Various pediatric residency programs are offered by renowned healthcare providers, hospitals, and clinics throughout the United States.

Some residency programs may admit only 4 trainees, while others may accommodate as many as 50 residents each year.

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of small and large pediatric residency programs:

Pros of Small Pediatric Residency Programs

  • Mentors/trainers can pay attention to individual trainees in the residency program
  • You have the opportunity to develop close professional relationships with your co-residents
  • You can also develop a close bond with the training medical faculty in the program

Cons of Small Pediatric Residency Program

  • There are fewer residents available in urgent cases
  • You may experience lessened exposure to complicated cases
  • There are fewer subspecialty faculty and projects to train on

Now that you know the pros and cons of choosing a small pediatric residency program, let’s find out the advantages and drawbacks of choosing a larger residency program for pediatrics.

Pros of Large Pediatric Residency Program

  • Large pediatric residency programs often have enough resident pediatricians to cover urgent care needs effectively.
  • You have a choice to choose from multiple venues for clinical training.
  • Large programs typically offer more diverse subspecialty training opportunities and access to various subspecialty faculty.

Cons of Large Pediatric Residency Program

  • You may need to work harder to build professional relationships with faculty.
  • You may find it challenging to bond with co-residents in your training program.

University-Affiliated vs. Community Programs – Which is better for Pediatric Residency

The majority of residency programs are affiliated with accredited medical schools.

University-affiliated and community programs have unique strengths; university programs often have a broader range of resources and research opportunities, while community programs may offer more practical hands-on experiences.


Residency for pediatrics is mandatory if you want to become a certified, professional pediatric practitioner in the US and most other countries.

Make sure to choose a residency for pediatrics that allows you to explore your true potential and involves challenging your knowledge and skills every day.

This way, you can enter the medical field with a full arsenal of medical know-how.

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