Pediatrics Residency Program

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A Message from Program Director

Thank you for your interest in the Pediatric Residency Program at Westchester Medical Center at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital (MFCH), a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). We hope the information located here will further your interest in our program by conveying its many strengths

Our program's mission is to produce outstanding pediatricians who are ready to excel in both general and subspecialty pediatrics. To achieve this, we create an educationally innovative, inclusive and supportive environment and foster camaraderie and teamwork amongst our physicians. Our residents receive an exceptional education in all areas of pediatrics and they acquire the practical skills needed to care for children with a vast range of illnesses.

Our location in New York's Hudson Valley grants us unparalleled population density and diversity. MFCH is the principal referral center of the Hudson Valley, the 150-mile region between New York City and Albany; this ensures that our residents manage childhood illnesses that range from common, to rare, to previously undescribed. Year after year our residents express enthusiasm about the diversity of our cases and the educational opportunities provided by the breadth of pathologies we encounter. Our administrative leadership and extensive teaching faculty strive to maximize the educational opportunities offered by our diverse patient population. We pride ourselves on our program’s supportive, inclusive culture that values advocacy and joy in our work.

MFCH provides a state-of-the-art environment for our clinical, educational, and research activities. MFCH is a full-service children's hospital with complete pediatric subspecialty representation. Designed with the comfort of both families and caregivers in mind, MFCH features on-call suites for our residents and numerous conference areas.

The first children's hospital named after a child, MFCH has set the standard for a comforting and stimulating healing environment for ill children and their families. We offer private rooms for every patient with sleeping space for parents, family housing at our on-site Ronald McDonald house, a giant aquarium, an interactive computer lab/music studio, the world's largest dollhouse, a baseball museum, and a wheelchair-accessible miniature golf course.

Our program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. We strictly observe both New York State and Residency Review Committee regulations regarding resident work hours and supervision.

We are proud of our program and its graduates, and we look forward to introducing them to you.

Sincerely,

 

Matthew J. Kapklein, MD, MPH
Program Director

Caroline Moon, MD, MTS
Associate Program Director

Sonia Solomon, DO
Assistant Program Director


Program Overview

Didactic Education

Our program is committed to resident education with protected educational time for daily clinical reason conference, noontime core conference and weekly resident-led continuity clinic conference.

Our pediatric residency program Zoom ID is 477.318.5601. Feel free to pop in just about every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 -9 a.m. (clinical reasoning conference) and every weekday 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. (noontime core conference) to get a glimpse of our daily education and resident life!

Clinical Reasoning Conference (CRC)

During clinical reasoning conference, select overnight admissions are presented by residents to their peers and selected faculty. Emphasis is placed on clinical diagnostic reasoning and decision making as we work through initial patient presentations while discussing differential diagnoses.

Noontime Core Conference

Noontime core conference consists of a boards-based curriculum that is supplemented by a variety of educational topics in all pediatric subspecialty areas as well as wellness sessions, journal club, resident-as-teacher presentations, pediatric board review sessions, emergency medicine skills workshops, critical care lectures and monthly house staff meetings.

Continuity Clinic Conference

Every week during continuity clinic sessions, residents discuss topics from our online curriculum, which covers a wide range of topics relevant to primary pediatric care, including; nutrition, developmental milestones, vaccine schedules, breastfeeding versus formula feeding, and anticipatory guidance.

Grand Rounds

Grand rounds occur every Wednesday from 8:00 - 9:00 and are open to all faculty, residents, and medical students. Here, faculty and residents, as well as guest lecturers, present a variety of pertinent pediatric topics.

Board Review

In addition to our daily morning clinical reasoning conference and noontime core conference, residents are given an annual subscription to the TrueLearn Question Bank, our online curriculum for the weekly lectures in continuity clinic, the Challenger Question Bank, and PREP Question Banks through FREE AAP memberships. During the spring of third year, senior residents participate in a board review boot camp in preparation for their upcoming boards.

Simulations

We have regularly scheduled mock codes and monthly PICU simulations. Simulated resuscitations are also frequently held in our NICU. Additionally, we hold PICU boot camps, IV placements, splinting and suture workshops that are frequently provided throughout the year for our residents. We participate in the Sim Olympics, where we compete against other residency programs in the area.

Mentorship

Each resident is paired with a career mentor in their desired field, based on their area of interest. This is an opportunity for residents to receive career guidance in their field of interest. Faculty research mentors are also assigned to residents in their PL-1 year. These faculty help residents find project mentors and help develop their ideas into workable original research and quality improvement projects.

Research/Quality Improvement

Each resident is required to participate in a scholarly project during their training. They are free to choose their own topic in an area such as quality improvement (QI)/patient safety, clinical studies, or basic science research. There are ample opportunities for research and our residents are involved in many projects. Residents are also able to take dedicated four-week research electives in their second or third years. Some of the most popular departments for research are PICU, NICU, pulmonology, and hematology/oncology. Additionally, PGY-2 residents spend two weeks on a Quality Improvement/Patient Safety rotation where they work on active QI projects.

Examples of recent resident scholarly project presentations include: 

  • Impact of an Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) oncology program
  • Effects of implementing a clinical pathway for community-acquired pneumonia
  • Incidence of intention to breastfeed among marijuana-using new mothers
  • Association of mode of delivery with maternal use of marijuana products
  • Effect of sex on glomerular filtration rate in a programmed rat model
  • Lifestyle characteristics of parental electronic cigarette users
  • Implementation of Clinical Care Pathway Reduces Measles Exposures During Outbreak in New York
  • Panel Discussions as an Effective Strategy to Teach Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Medical Education

Pediatric Fellowships

Currently, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital offers Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)–accredited fellowships in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Pediatric Pulmonology, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatric Hospital Medicine, and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Our fellows work directly with residents and provide a great source of education and learning in their specialty.

Resident Initiatives

Buddy Program: A voluntary program to match interns with seniors to help ease the transition into residency

Diversity Committee: The diversity committee organizes resident-led initiatives to bring awareness of, encourage diversity in, and provide a safe space for issues that affect our community. Our group is mentored by the amazing pulmonologist, Marilyn Scharbach. Among other things, we have hosted dinners for new interviewees, started a new mentorship program between NYMC students and residents, and are expanding our diversity education curriculum in coordination with the Assistant Program Director, Dr. Sonia Solomon. We also correspond regularly with the Resident Wellness Committee and the White Coats for Black Lives chapter at Westchester Medical Center. Our learning environment is inclusive and equitable.

The goals of the committee are as follows; 

  • To promote and celebrate diversity within our program in all respects, including gender, age, culture, race, religion, ability, and sexual orientation, with special attention to groups that are historically underrepresented
  • To support learning and working environment that is inclusive to all 
  • To change perception of marginalized groups in medicine through educational programs 
  • Partner with NYMC diversity office and provide mentors to underrepresented trainees in pediatrics and those interested in pediatrics
  • To provide a venue for discussion and social support surrounding issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion. 

Advocacy Day: We pride ourselves in our engagement in group-level advocacy on multiple levels, including local (e.g., our Community Pediatrics and Advocacy rotation), regional (e.g., testifying before local governments in support of children’s health initiatives, and lobbying at our state capital annually), and national (e.g., completing a legislative advocacy rotation with the American Academy of Pediatrics in Washington, DC). 

My CHOICE: Started by our residents in 2017, My CHOICE is an elementary school-based program with the goal of educating students on the importance of making good decisions about healthy food. This is a six-week long program where residents go into the classroom (now via Zoom) and teach students the importance of healthy eating and exercise. 

Recruitment Committee: A group of residents who want to share their positive residency experiences with applicants through virtual nights-out, resident-led interview sessions, and social media. Speaking of social media, check out our Instagram page @westpedschiefs!

Survival Squad Committee: A group of residents who create a survival guide, full of helpful hints and facts, and brainstorm on other ways to help to make the transition to residency an easier one.

Wellness Committee

At Maria Fareri, we wholeheartedly support efforts to maintain the emotional and mental wellness of our residents. With the introduction of a Wellness Curriculum in 2019 and the development of our resident-run Wellness Committee, we have initiated a program-wide culture shift to recognize and address the challenges associated with being a modern physician. With that, we have dedicated educational time to regular wellness sessions that include didactics and experiential conferences. These introduce residents to concepts of stress management and mindfulness, while practicing talk therapy and meditation. Maria Fareri Children's Hospital's therapy animal program benefits both our patients and our residents, as the gentle animals are available for cuddles for all. We invite you to join us in this exciting new wave of introspection as we learn to be the best version of ourselves as practicing physicians.

Additionally, there is a committee run by pediatric residents that organizes monthly wellness and social events inside and outside the hospital. Residents get together for monthly activities such as hiking, going to the beach, going to the park, getting dinner, and since COVID-19, Zoom get-togethers.


Program Curriculum

Rotation Blocks

The academic year consists of 13 four-week blocks, and the most rotations are four weeks long. Each rotation block consists of a four-week rotation. All inpatient rotations occur at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. Over the course of three years, pediatric residents are exposed to a variety of pediatric cases, ranging from the typical "bread and butter" to the highly subspecialty-based and complex.

Inpatient Rotation

Each of our three inpatient teams (Rainbows, Ladders and Stars) consist of four or five PGY1 junior residents, two or three PGY2 or PGY3 senior residents, and variable numbers of medical students.

For the two larger teams (Rainbows and Ladders) with five juniors and three seniors, the teams are split into two “hemi-teams” for family-centered rounds. On all teams, PGY1 residents typically have primary responsibility for an average of five patients, although numbers fluctuate by team and time of year. Family-centered rounds are conducted on every team, every day.

  • Rainbows (general pediatrics): Our pediatric hospitalists supervise the general pediatrics team, where our residents care for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from common to complex general pediatrics problems. The Rainbows team is split into two teams (Red and Violet) with one senior and two interns on each team.
  • Stars (hematology/oncology): Our Stars team is composed of two seniors and four interns and covers the hematology/oncology service, which includes bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients.
  • Ladders (subspecialty): Patients admitted to other subspecialty services are cared for by the residents on the Ladders team, our mixed subspecialty team. Our largest subspecialty inpatient services are Pulmonology, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, Neurology, and Adolescent.

Call Schedule

  • After many years as an exclusively 24-hour call program, this year we are transitioning toward a shift schedule on some of the inpatient teams. We are actively seeking feedback from our residents throughout this process, as we work toward the optimal scheduling system for our residents, our patients, and our program. Historically, 24-hour call averages from every fourth to every sixth night. Residents have at least one full weekend off (Friday evening to Monday morning) every block.
  • On outpatient rotations, residents cross-cover weekends and weeknights on an inpatient team or in the emergency department three to five times per block. Residents have at least one full weekend off per block.
  • In the Emergency Department, residents have a shift schedule. ED rotations are only two weeks long, and shifts are typically ten hours long. There is a PEM attending and senior resident in the ED at all times.

24-Hour Call Example:

Inpatient call schedule example:

7 a.m. - 8 a.m.: Morning sign-out
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Regular work day
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Evening sign-out from co-residents to assume management of all the patients the resident’s designated inpatient teams.
6 p.m. - 7 a.m.: The overnight team consists of one senior resident (PGY2 or PGY3) and one junior resident (PGY1) on the non-ICU inpatient teams, one senior resident (PGY3) and one junior resident (PGY2) in the PICU, and a fellow and one resident (of any level) in the NICU. After sign-out, the on-call residents continue to manage the inpatient teams, attend to vital patient care, and take on new patients/admissions from the ED throughout the night until sign-out at 7 a.m. the following morning.

Our residents are always supported and never alone, as there is always a hospitalist, intensivist and ED attending in-house 24/7.

Pediatric Emergency Department

Our dedicated pediatric emergency department is a level 1 pediatric trauma center staffed and supervised by board-certified pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) attendings with 24/7 coverage. Our robust emergency department is always busy and provides excellent exposure to a variety of pathology, as well as hands-on exposure to a variety of procedures. The residents work one-on-one with attendings, allowing residents to have high levels of autonomy in our high acuity ED. 

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Rotations in the 18-bed Level I medical/surgical PICU occur in the second and third years. There, residents take primary responsibility for critically ill children with a variety of conditions, including trauma, burns, and post-operative cardiac surgery. There are no PICU fellows, allowing residents to have high levels of autonomy in our high acuity PICU. 

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Residents rotate in our 60-bed Level IV NICU yearly, starting in the first year, where they care for neonates with a wide variety of conditions. The resident team typically consist of two PGY1 residents, one PGY2 resident and one PGY3 resident, who are supervised by a NICU fellow and NICU attending. Residents typically each care for 8-10 patients during their NICU rotation. This academic year, in response to resident feedback, we increased the size of the resident team in the NICU.

Nursery

First year residents spend three weeks in the nursery at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and one week at a local community hospital nursery taking care of healthy newborns and giving parents anticipatory guidance after the birth of their child.

Elective Rotations

We offer the full complement of core pediatric subspecialty rotations (Cardiology, Pulmonology, GI, Nephrology, ID, etc) all of which are done in house at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. In addition, each resident has several blocks in which they have the opportunity to determine their own curricula, including creating their own electives. Past electives have included ultrasound, transport, hospitalist, urgent care, and research.

Continuity Clinic

Residents are allocated one half-day a week at one of nine clinic sites. These sites are located anywhere from five to 30 minutes away from the main hospital campus. Clinic sites range from hospital-based clinics to community-based health centers, to private practices. The wide range of clinics offered allows residents to choose which type of outpatient pediatric clinic they would prefer. Additionally, all residents rotate through our hospital-based clinic. Our residents are also able to transition to a subspecialty clinic site once they have chosen their career path.

Schedule by Year

PL1 Year

 

The PL1 resident spends with six blocks on one our three inpatient teams – general pediatrics (Rainbows), mixed subspecialty (Ladders) and (hematology/oncology (Stars) – each in equal measure. The remainder of the year includes one block each of NICU, ED, Well-Baby Nursery, Adolescent Medicine, and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics, two weeks of a Community Pediatric Advocacy rotation (CPA), as well as a rotation devoted to improving residents' procedural and evidence-based medicine skills. 

During the non-inpatient rotations, the only in-hospital responsibilities are cross-coverage of the ED on weekends, usually two out of the four weeks.

  • Inpatient General Pediatrics (Rainbows) Junior: 2 blocks
  • Subspecialty (Ladders) Junior: 2 blocks
  • Heme/Onc (Stars) Junior: 2 blocks
  • ED Junior: 1 block
  • Wellbaby Nursery: 1 block
  • NICU Junior: 1 block
  • Adolescent: 1 block
  • Developmental Pediatrics: 1 block
  • Community Pediatrics and Advocacy: 1/2 block
  • PBLI: 2 weeks
  • Vacation: 1 block

PL2 Year

In PL2 year our residents take on supervisory responsibilities for their PL1 colleagues, and also spend time exploring subspecialty interests and other individualized rotations. All PL2s have three months as inpatient senior team leader (split among each of the three teams), plus 2 weeks of Quality Improvement, and one month each of NICU, ED, PICU, Community Pediatrics and Advocacy, and half a month at our on-campus Child Advocacy Center, the regional referral center for evaluation of non-accidental injuries and sexual trauma in children. 

The remaining time is spent on subspecialty rotations of the resident's choice (three months), plus one and a half individual blocks, where residents may design their own rotations or choose from among other well-established ones; some popular choices include Research, Resident-as-Teacher, Lactation, and additional supervisory experience in the Well-Baby Nursery.

  • Inpatient General Pediatrics (Rainbows) Senior: 1 month
  • Subspecialty (Ladders) Senior: 1 month
  • Heme/Onc (Stars) Senior: 2 weeks
  • ED Senior: 1 month
  • PICU Junior: 1 month
  • NICU: 1 month
  • Elective Rotations: 3 months
  • Individualized Rotations: 1.5 months
  • Community Pediatrics and Advocacy: 2 weeks
  • Quality Improvement: 2 weeks
  • Child Advocacy Center (CAC): 2 weeks
  • Vacation: 4 weeks

PL3 Year

Supervisory responsibilities in the PL3 year include two and a half months as senior resident on the inpatient teams, one month of NICU, one month of ED, and also expand to being senior resident of the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). 

The rest of the year is divided between elective subspecialties and individual rotations. 

Most PL3 residents spend their individual rotations preparing for their planned careers: a resident planning a career in outpatient general pediatrics may spend a month at a clinic or private practice, a resident planning a career in emergency medicine may spend a month doing ultrasounds, a resident planning a career as a hospitalist may spend a month as a "pretending" (or "practice attending") hospitalist on the general pediatrics inpatient team, and so on. Residents who feel they need the time may also spend an individual month preparing for their pediatric board certification exam.

Cross-coverage during these rotations is similar to PL2 year, and now also includes PICU coverage.

  • Inpatient General Pediatrics (Rainbows) Senior: 1 month
  • Subspecialty (Ladders) Senior: 1 month
  • Heme/Onc (Stars) Senior: 2 weeks
  • ED Senior: 1 month
  • PICU Senior: 1 month
  • NICU: 1 month
  • Elective Rotations: 3 months
  • Individualized Rotations: 3 months
  • Community Pediatrics and Advocacy: 2 weeks
  • Vacation: 4 weeks 

Plus

Residents attend their continuity clinic weekly throughout their training. All residents also have one call-free block; most residents use it during their PL3 year – this is a good time to do international rotations or rotations at other institutions if they wish. Many residents in the past have done away rotations at private offices, global health locations, and specialized departments at other hospitals.

General Schedule of Rotations Over Three Years


 

PL1

PL2

PL3

Inpatient Pediatrics

General Pediatrics

8 weeks

4 weeks

(team leader)

4 weeks

(team leader)

 

Hematology/Oncology

8 weeks

4 weeks

(team leader)

2 weeks

(team leader)

 

Mixed Subspecialty

8 weeks

4 weeks

4 weeks

 

Well-baby Nursery

4 weeks

 

 

Critical Care

PICU

 

4 weeks

4 weeks

(team leader)

 

NICU

4 weeks

4 weeks

4 weeks

Acute Care

Emergency Department

4 weeks

4 weeks

(team leader)

4 weeks

(team leader)

Subspecialty

Adolescent Medicine

4 weeks

 

 

 

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics

4 weeks

 

 

 

Subspecialty Elective

 

12 weeks

12 weeks

 

Additional Experiences

Community Pediatrics & Advocacy

2 weeks

2 weeks

2 weeks

 

 

Quality Improvement

 

2 weeks

2 weeks

 

 

Individualized Curriculum*

 

6 weeks

12 weeks

 

 

Procedures/Evidence-Based Medicine

2 weeks

 

 

 

   Child Abuse Pediatrics   2 weeks     

 

Vacation

4 weeks

4 weeks

4 weeks

 

Sample Daily Schedule

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

7 a.m. - 8 a.m.

Pre-Round and Sign-Out

8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Clinical Reasoning Conference

Grand Rounds

Clinical Reasoning Conference

9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Family-Centered Rounds

11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Patient Care and Clinic Sign-Out

12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Noontime Core Conference

1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Patient Care/Afternoon Didactics/Psychosoicial Rounds

5 p.m.

Sign-out time may vary based on 24-hour vs. shift call

Sign-Out to Overnight Residents

 

 


Fellowship Matches

We are proud of our residents’ success in obtaining competitive fellowship positions in the fields of their choice.

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

Allergy/Immunology

Children’s Hospital at Montefiore

Rutgers

Critical Care

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Penn State

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Mt. Sinai

Good Samaritan Long Island

Gastroenterology

Children's Hospital of Montefiore (CHAM)

Stony Brook

Maria Fareri/Westchester Medical Center

Heme/Onc

MD Anderson

Children’s Hospital LA

Infectious Disease

NYU Langone

Nephrology

Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP)

Critical Care

Cohen Children’s

Cardiology

Nicklaus Children’s

Gastroenterology

Children's Hospital of Montefiore (CHAM)

Hematology/Oncology

Maria Fareri/Westchester Medical Center

Hospitalist

Cohen Children’s

Infectious Disease

Cincinatti Children’s

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Maria Fareri/Westchester Medical Center

Maria Fareri/Westchester Medical Center

Pulmonology

Baylor/Texas Children’s

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Adolescent Medicine

University of Miami

Allergy/Immunology

Downstate

Cardiology

Children's National

Cohen Children's 

Hematology/Oncology

MD Anderson

Maria Fareri/Westchester Medical Center

Hospitalist

New York Presbyterian Columbia/Cornell

Infectious Disease

Children's National

Rheumatology

Penn State

Nephrology

Montefiore

Allergy/Immunology

Cohen Children’s

Critical Care

Cohen Children’s

Montefiore

Virginia Commonwealth University

Emergency Medicine

University of Connecticut

UT Houston at Texas Medical Center

Global Health

Boston Children's 

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

University of Florida

Pulmonology

Johns Hopkins

Rheumatology

Montefiore

Critical Care

University of Arkansas

Emergency Medicine

Jacobi Medical Center

Oklahoma State University

Endocrinology

New York Presbyterian/Cornell

Infectious Disease

Children's National (2)

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Mount Sinai

Westchester Medical Center

Penn State

Child Abuse

Brown

Critical Care

Montefiore