Program Educational Goals


The University of Connecticut Pediatric Residency Program is designed to provide its residents a progressive educational experience with increasing patient care and supervisory responsibility over a three-year period. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide educational experiences that prepare residents to be competent general pediatricians, able to provide comprehensive coordinated care to a broad range of pediatric patients. The educational experiences are designed to develop competencies and skills needed to practice general pediatrics of high quality in the community, and to have sufficient familiarity with the fields of subspecialty pediatrics to participate as a team member in the care of patients with chronic and complex disorders.

Written goals and objectives have been established for each of our experiences, with specific objectives for each level of training. The following overall goals, for each level of the program, are designed to guide overall expectations of residents and faculty as they implement and revise each of the curricular components.

PL-1 Level:

During the first year of training, residents will be introduced to the basic experiences upon which the rest of their training will be based. They will learn to accomplish thorough but appropriately focused evaluations of pediatric patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, in the well-baby nursery and in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. These evaluations will include competent and age appropriate histories and examinations, resulting in thoughtful assessments and plans. PL-1 residents will learn to prescribe necessary care plans, and to perform appropriate procedures for the patients under their responsibility. PL-1 residents will maintain a high sense of responsibility for their patients. They will be able to identify the level of severity of illness in a timely manner, and they will know when and how to seek help as needed.

As they progress through the first year, residents will expand their pediatric knowledge base, and develop increasing skill as teachers for other students, patients and families. They will develop a level of efficiency that allows them to function properly as supervisors. They will expand their scientific inquisitiveness in asking insightful questions, seeking knowledge independently and reading medical literature critically. They will develop a framework of understanding of pediatric practice that allows them incorporate issues of child health advocacy, preventive health care, ethical dilemmas, and cost of clinical investigation and therapies into each aspect of their experience.

PL-2 Level:

The second year of pediatric training will build upon the skill and knowledge base established in the first year. PL-2 residents will broaden the scope and complexity of the problems they address. They will enter in-depth experiences in subspecialty areas, critical care, emergency pediatrics and adolescent medicine. They will expand and build upon their practice experience, demonstrating greater efficiency and ability in providing care to patients with problems of a broader range of complexity. In the primary care setting in particular, they will show an increasing ability to practice with greater responsibility, and they will begin to function in a supervisory role as well. Their clinical assessment skills will be refined to allow them to efficiently oversee care provided by PL-1 residents and students, knowing when and how to seek help as needed.

PL-2 residents will enhance their teaching role at the bedside and in the consultation rooms, and expand their teaching efforts to the conference room. They will learn to develop effective group teaching sessions, and to better use teaching materials and library resources. The second year resident will also begin to focus their career planning thoughts. They will do this as a result of their increasing and in-depth pediatric experience, and through their discussions with their mentors. They will enroll in the necessary activities to confirm or develop their future interests, and focus their efforts as child health advocates, preventive health care providers, ethically based decision makers and cost effective practitioners.

PL-3 Level:

The third resident will continue to expand their pediatric knowledge base, as they prepare to take the certifying examination of the American Board of Pediatrics and develop successful lifelong learning habits. They will further enhance their knowledge base experientially, through additional subspecialty and pediatric generalist rotations. They will finish establishing their competence in procedural skills, and further develop their transport, office preparedness and telephone triaging abilities. They will be able to practice efficiently and effectively, with a sufficient degree of responsibility, with documentation that they are able to practice pediatrics without supervision by the end of the year. They will demonstrate leadership, confidence and supervisory capability in the inpatient, intensive care and emergency settings.

PL-3 residents will refine their supervisory and group teaching skills, while they expand their ability to teach in a rounding format, with multiple level learners and a simultaneous service function. They will develop focused hand-over skills to enhance their ability to facilitate continuity of care, and recognize how to use these skills in the practice setting. They will bring appropriate closure to their continuing care experience, and finish planning the next step in their careers- beginning practice or additional training. They will make a lifelong commitment to be promoters of preventive health care, child health advocacy, and ethical and cost effective practice of pediatrics.

Individualized Curriculum:

During their progression through the program, residents will select a concentration and a pathway, and they will complete 6 educational units of activities plus the didactic instruction for their areas of pursuit. The concentrations are: primary care (community practice, general academic pediatrics), acute care (neonatal-perinatal medicine, critical care, hospital medicine and pediatric emergency care), subspecialty care (all other subspecialties) and population health (advocacy), and the pathways are noted in parentheses.

The 6 educational units are selected from among 3 discretionary choices in the first year, 4 in the second and 5 in the third. This allows for early, delayed or changed decisions. The process of selecting individualized pathways will be a mentor-guided process, with the opportunity to incorporate some longitudinal activities as warranted. Each choice will have a required subspecialty and an open selection, and the rest will be guided by the menu of options developed specifically for the pathway selected and the resident’s interests.

Edwin L. Zalneraitis, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Residency Program

University of Connecticut Pediatric Residency Program, Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

Medical Education, 4H, 282 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106