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Curriculum

The UC Irvine School of Medicine/CHOC Children's Hospital of Orange County Pediatric Residency Program recognizes that providing medical care for children is a privilege as well as a responsibility. We welcome aspiring pediatricians who are equally committed to this philosophy.

Pediatric residency integrates patient care, didactic teaching, and research to fulfill this fundamental mission. Training in pediatrics focuses on the total care of the child from birth through young adulthood. We provide a strong clinical and educational foundation through experiences with a broad spectrum of pathology, as well as normal development, preventive healthcare, and use of community resources.

The goal of this program is to provide residents with a solid clinical base for the practice of pediatrics. The program also is designed to foster the development of the learning skills necessary to keep pace with the rapid changes in medical science. Clinical experiences in university-based and private children's hospital settings ensure exposure to a diverse patient population and a broad range of diseases.

The success of our graduates in securing excellent fellowship and job opportunities attests to the quality of our residency program.

RESIDENT SCHEDULE »

Resident rotation schedules are based upon the concept that all pediatricians, including subspecialists, must be well prepared to provide comprehensive care for all children.

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The rotation schedule highlights the program’s emphasis on a broad-based curriculum with the ability to capitalize on the strengths of each of our training institutions:

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*ABC: Academics, Basics, and Career Development. See "Individualized Tracks" section below.

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*PACT: Pediatric Advocacy, Child Abuse, Community Pediatrics, and Teaching. Residents are given the further option of selecting a track focused on Child Abuse, Advocacy, or Teaching.

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CONTINUITY CLINIC »

Our Continuity Clinic is an important part of each resident’s three-year experience. This is where residents develop lasting relationships with their out-patient families, co-residents, attending physicians and clinic staff. Each resident spends at least one afternoon a week in an assigned continuity clinic.

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There are seven unique continuity clinic sites for our residents, spanning the Los Angeles and Orange County area:

  • CHOC Children's Hospital of Orange County: Located on the CHOC campus; offers on-site radiology and laboratory services. 
  • CHOC Clinica Para Niños: Located in the heart of Santa Ana, attracts many Spanish-speaking families and has a community feel.  
  • CHOC Clinic at the Boys and Girls Club: Located in the heart of Santa Ana, attracts many Spanish-speaking families and has a community feel.  
  • The Children’s Clinic: Located on the Miller Children’s Hospital campus in Long Beach. Many patients are referred from the hospital itself, including patients with chronic long-term medical conditions. Attracts many Spanish-speaking families.  
  • UC Irvine Family Health Center Anaheim: Located in Anaheim. Attracts many Spanish-speaking families. UC Irvine medical students and NP students work with residents at times.  
  • UC Irvine Family Health Center Santa Ana: Located in Santa Ana, with a pediatric Urgent Care facility on the same floor. Attracts many Spanish-speaking families. UC Irvine medical students and NP students work with residents at times.  

Each clinic session begins with a brief didactic lecture (Moodle curriculum) on a general pediatric topic given by a resident or attending pediatrician. Residents then see a diverse mix of well-child and sick visits.

INDIVIDUALIZED TRACKS »

Residents select tracks specific to their future career goals and are given opportunities to individualize their residency experience while completing all requirements mandated by ACGME. This process starts during the first year of residency through the "Academics, Basics, and Career Development" (ABC) rotation, which gives residents a designated time to explore future aspirations and begin a dialogue with potential mentors and researchers.

The following is a short description of ABC rotation elements of tracks that are currently provided:

  • Critical Care: Consists of sessions in our PICU/CVICU and Anesthesiology departments, along with experiences in transport and PICC team. This track is ideal for residents interested in critical care specialties, including PICU, NICU and Emergency Medicine. It can also be considered for Hospital Medicine, Cardiology and other subspecialties that have more of a critical care and procedural focus.
  • Primary Care: Consists of sessions in out-patient clinic, along with early introduction to behavior and development, as well as procedures pertinent to the office setting. This track is ideal for residents interested in practicing primary care and general pediatric medicine.
  • Subspecialty: Consists of sessions in a specified subspecialty, typically in the out-patient clinic setting, along with opportunities to observe subspecialty-specific procedures. This track is ideal for residents interested in pursuing a fellowship after residency in a non-critical care specialty.
  • Hospital Medicine: Consists of in-patient ward sessions at Mission Hospital, a community hospital in Mission Viejo that has a pediatric floor and serves south Orange County. It provides a unique experience, different from a stand-alone children's hospital. This track is ideal for residents interested in Hospital Medicine, Emergency Medicine or Hospital-Based General Medicine.

Residents are provided curriculum suggestions based on their tracks, which are reviewed biannually with administrative staff. Residents are also encouraged and supported in developing new electives, creating innovative experiences that further supplement resident education. New tracks continue to be formed based on resident interest. This is a dynamic process in our program.

DIDACTICS »

Formal training in clinical problem-solving and critical appraisal of the literature is also incorporated into the residency curriculum.

A didactic core curriculum in clinical pediatrics is offered through the following:

  • Morning Report: Daily didactic sessions, led predominantly by attending physicians and fellows. These are typically case-based, interactive lectures. Recently, a night time curriculum was instituted, led by our hospitalists.
  • Noon Conference: Daily lecture series, which is duplicated at both teaching hospitals to ensure all residents have access to the same material. The curriculum includes mostly high yield board-based lectures, along with journal club, morbidity and mortality report, and procedural practicums.
  • Pediatric Grand Rounds: Weekly CME sponsored lecture series at both institutions, introducing cutting edge medicine and practices, while allowing for opportunities to interact with community pediatricians.
  • Board Review Series: Monthly series cycling through all major subspecialties and board content over the course of 18 months. This is followed by a competitive board review bowl on that month's topic with overall points being tallied for a most coveted end of the year surprise!
  • Moodle Curriculum: Weekly brief lectures hosted in continuity clinics with discussions being led by attending physicians and residents. This curriculum is based off Yale Primary Care modules and reviews high yield general pediatric topics, focused on out-patient medicine.
  • Simulation Center: Residents use centers at both Miller Children's and UC Irvine, participating in mock codes and procedure workshops with state of the art, computer-controlled manikins, which replicate sights and sounds one might encounter in real life situations.

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Specialized seminars and lecture series have been developed through resident feedback, including the following:

  • Life After Residency: Annual seminar for graduating seniors to address post-residency considerations, including job hunting, financial planning, maintaining certification, fellowship preparation, and reviewing contracts/offers.
  • Senior Seminar: All rising seniors are provided coverage to attend an annual two-day senior seminar, covering such topics as medical emergencies, hospital workflow/triaging, leadership skills and so on.
  • Fellowship Seminar: Annual lecture led by fellowship-bound residents to provide guidance to co-residents considering subspecialty careers. Residents review the application process, interviewing, program selection, and other specific considerations.
  • Resident Wellness: Activities and outtings orchestrated by our resident-run Wellness Committee to help recognize and address physician burn-out, foster comraderie among residents and their families, and provide a safe space for destressing. 
  • Medical Spanish: Newly established curriculum reviewing basic Spanish skills for those interested, given our large community of Spanish-speaking patients and their families.

Finally, residents work closely with our local AAP Chapter 4 because we are the only pediatric residency program in the area. Chapter membership is included for all residents, giving them fee-waived/reduced-cost access to a variety of events, such as:

  • AAP Current Advances in Pediatrics Conference
  • Quarterly dinner meetings with didactic lecture
  • Multiple CME workshops on variable topics, along with special events
  • Community Engagement Award, providing project funds to promote community health and wellness to interested chapter residents
  • Job fair
RESEARCH »

In providing our residents with a well-rounded education, our program is fortunate to have a diverse medical community, including an association with a university hospital and robust research body. Our residents have access to multiple research activities with welcoming clinician scientists, and have been involved in poster presentations at national conferences. The following are some current research projects by our residents:

  • Dr. Meena Bolourchi (Class of 2016): Aortic root dilatation in mucopolysaccharidosis. Under the supervision of Drs. Renella, Nguyen, and Wang.
  • Dr. Sharlee DeAngelo (Class of 2016): Mastocytosis study. Under the supervision of Dr. Chin.
  • Dr. Brenton Francisco (Class of 2017): Toxicity of pegylated L-asparaginase in adolescent and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Under the supervision of Dr. Orgel.
  • Dr. Marilyn Mendoza (Class of 2016): How to optimize Hispanic population response to obesity education in terms of communication, enrollment of children into an obesity program, and nutrition/activity classes. Under the supervision of Drs. Browne and Hidalgo. 
  • Dr. Nisha Narayanan (Class of 2017): Factors that affect ED length of stay after motor vehicle trauma in the pediatric ED. Under the supervision of Drs. Chang and Srinivasan. Can an academic-community partnership be used as an adjunct to help implement health policy in low-resource schools? Under the supervision of Dr. Taylor, through Dorothy Waffarn grant and AAP grant. Relationship between IVIG alone versus IVIG and Remicade and severity of coronary artery aneurysm: A single-institution analysis. Under the supervision of Drs. Ashouri and Renella.
  • Dr. Pina Patel (Class of 2017): A retrospective chart review of Kawasaki Disease at CHOC Children's. Under the supervision of Drs. Ashouri and Renella. Long QT/hypertrophic cardiomyopathy multi-center study. Under the supervision of Dr. Batra.
  • Dr. Amy Seagroves (Class of 2017): Continuous glucose monitoring in high risk neonates in the NICU. Under the supervision of Drs. Ahmad, Cleary, and Daniels.
  • Dr. Adam Wheeler (Class of 2017): A rare case of Tetralogy Of Fallot with hemitruncus and discontinuous pulmonary arteries. Under the supervision of Dr. Renella.
  • Dr. Eva Yuan (Class of 2016): Ventilator associated infection point prevalence study. Under the supervision of Dr. Schwartz.

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Residents also participate in Research Day at both institutions, where posters are displayed and studies are presented at grand rounds.

LEADERSHIP / COMMITTEES »

Our residency program strives to develop leaders in healthcare by providing them with the experience needed to be proactive and engaged in their future workplace. As we train at three separate institutions, there are multiple opportunities for resident involvement and leadership. Below is a noninclusive list of some resident held positions and hospital/residency committees.

Leadership Positions (per class):

Committees:

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