Medical Student Education

The Department of Pediatrics provides opportunities for learning at every point in the continuum of medical education at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Pediatrics faculty provide early clinical experiences and numerous basic and clinical science courses to students during their first 18 months of instruction.

During the major clinical year (MCY), students spend six weeks on the pediatric clerkship, either at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital or Harlem Hospital. The rotation is divided evenly between inpatient and outpatient experiences. The three-week outpatient arm of the clerkship includes exposure to pediatric emergency medicine, general pediatric office-based medicine, and pediatric and adult otolaryngology.

The clerkship's emphasis is on learning to care for children and families in a variety of patient care settings and on developing the clinical skills, diagnostic reasoning, basic management strategies, and interpersonal and communication skills core to the practice of pediatrics. Attendings and house officers emphasize normal child development as well as the role illness plays in the lives of children and families. Patient care experience is supplemented with daily rounds, conferences, case-based seminars, and team-based learning modules.

Students entering the differentiation and integration phase of the curriculum can avail themselves of numerous pediatric electives ranging from subinternships on the general medicine service, the NICU, PICU, and emergency department, and consult/preceptor experiences in virtually all subspecialty divisions within the department. Full participation in these electives is open to visiting US and Canadian medical students from accredited medical schools.