Developing Skills Core to the Practice of Pediatrics

George Lazarus, MD, works with medical students at Columbia

Medical Student Education

Department of Pediatric Annual Report 2022 Banner

During their major clinical year (MCY), students at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) spend six weeks on the pediatric clerkship, either at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital or Harlem Hospital. Under the direction of the Pediatric Clerkship Director Marguerite (Maggie) Costich, MD, MS and Associate Pediatric Clerkship Directors Kathleen Brennan, MD, MS, and Beth Prabhu, MD, students learn to care for children and families in a variety of patient care settings and develop the clinical skills, diagnostic reasoning, basic management strategies, and interpersonal and communication skills core to the practice of pediatrics. Department faculty members and pediatric residents are involved in every aspect of medical student education, from mentorship and didactic conferences to advising on career directions.

Students are exposed to both normal child development and the role illness plays in the lives of children and families. Their patient care experience is supplemented with daily rounds, conferences, case-based seminars, and team-based learning modules.

In their final year, students can avail themselves of numerous pediatric electives ranging from sub-internships on the general medicine service to virtually all subspecialty divisions within the department.

In 2022, twelve VP&S students matched in pediatric residency programs, five in medicine-pediatric residency programs and two in pediatrics-medical genetics.

Honors and Awards

During the 2022 Babies Hospital Alumni Association annual meeting, several students received awards from Pediatrics faculty members.

The Rebecca Schwarz Memorial Prize was awarded to Francisca (Fran) Chou. This award is presented to a senior medical student conducting outstanding research in pediatric heart disease.

The Harry S. Altman Memorial Prize was awarded to Zach Pitkowsky. This award is presented annually to a senior medical student who demonstrates enthusiasm, eagerness, integrity, honesty, and dedication to the health and well-being of children, in the best tradition of Dr. Harry Altman.

The Jerry Jacobs Prize was awarded to Catherine Kernie and Liza Stephanz. This award is presented to a graduating student(s) who has demonstrated excellence in the differential diagnosis and treatment of disorders in children.

The Emmett Holt Fellowship Award was awarded to Lisa Grossman Liu. This award is presented annually to a graduating student(s) who shows exceptional promise in the field of pediatrics and dedication to children.

The William Perry Watson Prize was awarded to Haley Davis and Maggie Schmaedick. This is the oldest award in Pediatrics, awarded to the member(s) of the VP&S graduating class showing the most valuable work in the study of the diseases of infants and children during regular courses.

Pediatric Clerkship Director Marguerite Costich, MD was awarded the Major Clinical Year Outstanding Teacher Award by the 2022 Major Clinical Year Students.

Team-Based Learning, Learning from Experts, and Feedback

During their pediatrics clerkships, students prepare for learning sessions, then self-assess in person, and discuss questions and cases in small, then larger learning groups. Topics and facilitators include:

In 2023 the team will implement a Pediatric Cardiology TBL, created by Denis Donovan, MD, an alum of VP&S and the NYP/Columbia pediatric residency program, and who is currently a pediatric cardiology fellow here. Dr. Donovan received the Fellow of the Year award from the 2022 graduating pediatric residents at NYP/Columbia.

The Pediatric Clerkship team is also implementing a system for peer feedback in our student learning groups, to provide timely and actionable feedback in all settings, with an emphasis on just-in-time feedback with workplace-based assessments. This formative feedback allows learners to incorporate changes in practice and to focus on skill-building. Workplace-based assessments were already in place in the pediatric emergency department and inpatient rotations. In 2022 the clerkship team rolled out workplace-based assessments at Harlem Hospital, with accompanying resident and faculty education and development.

Dr. Costich has led a study looking at education and training of faculty and workplace-based assessments in the ambulatory pediatric rotation, with a focus on the experience of the faculty preceptor.

Pediatric Electives

Steve Caddle, MD, MPH, director of pediatric electives and sub-internships, is also the Department of Pediatrics Electives Committee representative. Through quarterly meetings and information-sharing about individual student rotations and more general information, Dr. Caddle has established a community for electives directors. This group provides important support for students deciding on pediatrics as a career trajectory.

This year, electives directors participated in a workshop, “Mitigating Bias in Narrative Evaluations and Letters of Recommendation,” to support them in providing unbiased comments in grading and letters for students.

Pediatric Electives Directors

Pediatric Applicant Advising for 2022

Steve Caddle, MD, MPH and Marina Catallozzi, MD, MSCE co-lead the group that advises students applying to residencies in pediatrics, medicine-pediatrics, pediatric genetics, and pediatric physician-scientist programs. All students are also paired with an individual advisor in the department. These advisors include: