Programs, Tracks and Pathways

We offer a number of programs, tracks and pathways to help residents pursue their own passions and interests. These include leadership and advocacy, basic science, clinical and translational science, primary care, global health, health education, clinical informatics and health equity and racial justice. The categorical program also offers flexibility to explore a wide variety of career options.

Tracks and Pathways


Medical school graduates enter one of our programs through the Match: Categorical, PLUS, Child Neurology, Molecular Medicine and Medical Genetics and Genomics Programs each have separate ERAS application markers and unique NRMP numbers.

Differences between the programs are described below, but all share a common core curriculum of general and subspecialty-based pediatric experiences in inpatient, ambulatory, newborn, and neonatal/pediatric intensive care settings.

Categorical Program

The goal of the Categorical Program is to provide outstanding clinical training to prepare residents to enter any field of general or subspecialty pediatrics. Residents spend one half day of each week in Continuity Clinic and augment core rotations with subspecialty experiences and electives. Residents in this program are eligible to participate in the Primary Care Track if they desire and/or one of five interest-based pathways. We encourage applications to the Categorical program from applicants who have broad interests, undifferentiated interests, and interests in primary care as well as traditional academic and subspecialty careers.

Child Neurology Program

The UCSF Child Neurology Residency Program is widely considered among the top child neurology training programs in the country. The program consistently attracts the brightest and most talented future child neurologists with the goal of training our future colleagues in the field, to become excellent clinicians, researchers and educators. The Child Neurology training program accepts a diverse array of trainees, with variable goals for their future. Our goal is to provide trainees with a breadth of experience in the field and to allow them to pursue their passions and develop into leaders in our field.

Combined Pediatrics/Medical Genetics and Genomics Program

The Combined Pediatrics/Medical Genetics Program is a 4-year program that strives to train individuals with a passion for both pediatrics and medical genetics. Residents spend their first year of training in Pediatrics. Residents alternate their time between Pediatrics and Genetics rotations during years 2-4. The resident participates in a General Pediatrics Continuity Clinic throughout years 1 & 2, and a Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism Continuity Clinic during years 3 & 4. Upon graduation from this program, the graduate will be eligible to sit for the ABP General Pediatrics and ABMGG Clinical Genetics and Genomics certifications exams. We match one resident to this program every other year and welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds.

Molecular Medicine Program

The Molecular Medicine Program is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career that emphasizes bench research in combination with the practice of medicine. The overarching goal of the program is to train the next generation of transformative laboratory-based physician-scientists. We screen all applicants to identify individuals who have demonstrated outstanding potential for a physician- scientist career. Those applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to and productivity in biomedical research are invited to consider the Molecular Medicine Program. This does not require dual MD/PhD degrees.

PLUS: Pediatric Leaders Advancing Health Equity Program

Developed from a desire to address health inequities suffered by children both in the United States and around the world, as well as the urgency to train pediatricians to lead change in the healthcare system, the UCSF Pediatrics Residency Program developed the innovative PLUS program


Primary Care Track

Residents apply to participate in the Primary Care Track after matching with UCSF, but before starting residency training. UCSF Pediatric Primary Care Track residents are trained in clinic and community-based approaches to child health. A growing model in pediatrics is the bridging of primary care with community health. Throughout their training, residents are exposed to multiple facets of primary care via “primary care days” as well as seminars, resident meetings and individually-tailored call-free elective blocks in each year of residency. During their primary care blocks, residents have time dedicated to community engagement and/or primary care research projects as well as primary care-related subspecialty experiences.


Residents in the Categorical Program have the option of applying to participate in one of our interest-specific Pathways. Pathways provide a way for residents to build on their individual interests and passions or as a way to explore new interests and passions. The central feature of most Pathways is an expectation to complete coursework and a mentored longitudinal project (for which we provide protected time during call-free blocks). Residents may apply to a Pathway before or during their first year of training.

Clinical Informatics and Data Science Pathway

The Clinical Informatics and Data Science (CI-DS) Pathway provides an opportunity for participants to learn basic concepts, principals, and skills in these fields, and serves as a resource to explore potential careers in these areas.

Clinical and Translational Science Pathway

The Clinical and Translational Science Pathway builds resident skills in clinical research design and biostatistics. This is a great option for residents considering a career in clinical research. This pathway builds on the pediatrics department’s strong relationship with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, and includes formal course work in research design as well as a cohort-based mentoring program and mentored longitudinal project. 

Global Health Pathway

The Global Health Pathway seeks applicants with a specific commitment to global health. Future plans may include clinical work, research, and program or policy development relating to global health. Participants obtain clinical experience in a developing country, join a local community of like-minded faculty and trainees from a variety of specialties and disciplines, participate in didactic curriculum specifically addressing issues of global health and complete a mentored scholarly project relating to global health.

Health Professions Education Pathway

The Health Professions Education Pathway aims to prepare residents for a career in medical education. It is integrated with the Health Professions Pathways to Discovery program in the UCSF School of Medicine. Residents complete formal coursework in medical education and curricular design, as well as complete a mentored scholarly project.

HEAR Justice Pathway

The Health Equity and Racial (HEAR) Justice Pathway engages learners in conversations, skill building, and reflection around improving health outcomes for people of color, promoting equity in the medical workforce, and actively dismantling systems of oppression that perpetuate health inequities. Learners will explore issues of race, identity, privilege and bias through discussion, experiential learning, community engagement, and critical self-reflection.