Programs, Tracks and Pathways

Vision and Overall Design

Our vision is to train residents to become outstanding clinicians and leaders who advance the health of infants, children, and adolescents throughout the world. To achieve this vision, we offer 3 separate match programs, 5 clinical tracks, and 4 pathways. The overall design is depicted in the diagram that follows.

The following flow diagram demonstrates the overall organization of the training program:

Each year we match 28 total residents into 3 programs.

  • Categorical Program (22 residents): Provides broad clinical training to prepare graduates to enter any area of primary care or sub-specialty pediatrics. In addition, residents have numerous opportunities to individualize their training through clinical tracks and pathways.
  • Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved [PLUS] Program (4 residents): Provides extensive leadership training in the context of clinical training to prepare graduates to lead transformational change to improve the health of underserved populations of children.
  • Child Neurology Program (2 residents): Provides 2 years of foundational pediatric training to prepare graduates for further training to become a child neurologist.

All program options share a common foundational curriculum of general and subspecialty-based clinical experiences in inpatient, ambulatory, newborn, and neonatal and pediatric intensive care settings. Residents learn to take on progressively increased responsibility for patient care, teaching, and leading inter-professional teams in all three programs.

TO APPLY, please click on application process for details. Note that EACH PROGRAM HAS SEPARATE ERAS APPLICATION MARKERS AND UNIQUE NRMP NUMBERS.

KEY FEATURES

Our training programs are designed to provide a wide range of training experiences to help you achieve your training goals and develop your individual passions in pediatrics. The following elements are key features:

Individualized Training Through Clinical Tracks and Pathways

As a key part of individualized training at UCSF, residents who match into the Categorical Program may choose to participate in one of 5 clinical tracks (Primary Care, Critical Care, Hospital Medicine, Subspecialty Medicine and General) and/or 4 pathways (Global Health Sciences, Clinical and Translational Science, Molecular Medicine, and Health Professions Education).

Clinical tracks are designed to allow residents to explore and build skills in a focused area of clinical pediatrics. Tracks are about career exploration and by no means represent a career commitment or destination.

Pathways provide residents an opportunity to enrich their training experience by developing a set of skills that could be useful across a broad range of clinical areas of pediatrics. We think of pathways as a way for residents pursue and build upon their individual interests and passions or as a way to explore new interests and passions.

Click on the clinical tracks or pathway links to learn more.

Longitudinal Design

In large part, our program provides longitudinal training experiences where residents are assigned to 8-12 week blocks, rather than 4-week clinical rotations. The advantaged of longitudinal experiences is that they reduce fragmentation and improve the training experience. Longitudinal training provides residents with more opportunity to integrate into clinical systems and assume greater autonomy and take on more authentic roles. Longitudinal experiences also provide residents more time with faculty supervisors, which in turn help enhance the quality of assessments and feedback.

Follow this link to see an example of a typical block schedule.

Assessment and Advising for Learning

In 2016 we redesigned our assessment and advising programs to better support the professional and career development of residents. The key elements are: (1) an assessment system that better aligns with what residents need and want to learn, and (2) an advising system that helps residents use feedback from assessments to develop meaningful and useful individual learning goals.

Assessment System

We have adopted the Pediatric Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) as the framework for assessment of residents’ skills and development. The concept is that residents work to develop a portfolio of a large number of low-stakes EPA assessments. Residents and faculty supervisors complete brief (2-3 minutes) EPA assessment together, which also serves as the framework for in-person feedback. The portfolio of EPA-based assessments serves as written feedback to assist residents with developing individual learning plans.

Advising and Mentoring System

Each resident is assigned a core faculty advisor. The role of the advisor is to meet with each of their assigned residents on a quarterly basis to review assessments and assist the resident in creating an individual development plan (IDP). The IDP consists of both learning and career-development goals. Faculty advisors also assist residents in identifying appropriate career, project, and research mentors.

PROGRAMS

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. At a minimum, residents spend one half-day each week in continuity clinic and augment core clinical training with subspecialty experiences and a broad range of electives. Residents in this program are eligible to participate in one of five clinical tracks and/or one of four interest-based pathways.

Typical block schedule

Call schedule and duty hour information

PLUS Program

The Pediatric Leadership for the UnderServed (PLUS) program was inspired by the impact of health disparities on children in the United States and around the world. In our view, there is an urgent need to train pediatricians to lead transformative change in the health care system. The vision of the PLUS program is to train and inspire future leaders in pediatrics to lead transformative change to improve the health of underserved populations of children. Follow this link to learn more about the PLUS program and curriculum.

PLUS is based at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) where all PLUS residents attend continuity clinic and work in mentored cohorts. Residents in PLUS are fully integrated into the UCSF Pediatric Residency Program and clinical training includes all components required to become an outstanding pediatrician. Although many PLUS residents do pursue careers in primary care pediatrics, many PLUS residents also go on to sub-specialty careers.

PLUS-specific program features include:

  • Protected time for conferences and seminars with local and national leaders in health care, core skill sessions (e.g. leadership skills, media training, grant writing, epidemiology),
  • PLUS activity group meetings, mentorship with experienced faculty and community leaders, journal clubs, and leadership involvement with community organizations.
  • All residents in the PLUS program are required to complete a longitudinal project with faculty and peer mentorship.

We invite applications to the PLUS Program from individuals with a demonstrated longstanding commitment to working with underserved populations of children through advocacy, health policy, research, or other ways.

To learn more about the PLUS program, application procedures and see examples of current and past projects please see the PLUS Website.

CLINICAL TRACKS

Residents who match into the Categorical Program participate in one of five clinical tracks (Primary Care, Critical Care, Hospital Medicine, Subspecialty Medicine and General). Tracks are designed to build skills unique to a particular area of clinical pediatrics. Instead, clinical tracks are about career exploration or preparation for the next stage in training. Importantly, participation in a clinical track does not imply a commitment to a particular career destiny.

Because the primary care and critical care tracks start in the first year of training, residents wishing to participate in these tracks need to apply after the match, but before starting residency training. For the Hospital Medicine or Subspecialty tracks, residents apply about midway through their first year of training. Residents who are uncertain or do not wish to participate in one of the other tracks are assigned to the General track.

Critical Care Track

The critical care track is designed for residents who are interested in exploring or preparing for careers in critical care fields of pediatrics, such as neonatology, critical care, and cardiology.

Key features and highlights include:

  • Designed for residents who want to learn more about careers in critical care medicine, neonatology, or cardiology.
  • 5-7 residents accepted per year.
  • Early exposure to the critical care units; including pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in the second half of the first year (other residents rotate in the PICU in their second year).
  • Advanced experience in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
  • Opportunities for advanced electives in areas such as ECMO service, Echocardiography, Cardiothoracic surgery operating room experience, acting fellow experiences.
  • Protected half-day seminars and evening events focusing on topics in critical care medicine and procedure skill development.
  • Opportunities for enhanced simulation training.
  • Periodic dinner seminars and journal clubs.
  • Participants in this track have sufficient time to participate in a pathway.

General Track

The General track provides robust clinical training to prepare graduates for careers in primary care, hospital or subspecialty pediatrics.

Highlights include:

  • Ideal for residents who plan to pursue subspecialty training, a hospitalist career, or who are uncertain of what area of pediatrics they want to pursue.
  • No application necessary (default track for residents who do not choose primary care or critical care track)
  • Central feature is a robust and broad clinical training that will provide a foundation for a future career in general or subspecialty pediatrics.
  • Opportunities to participate in advance elective experiences, such as acting fellow experiences.
  • Residents may participate in any pathway.

Primary Care Track

For more than 40 years, UCSF has offered applicants the opportunity to participate in a dedicated primary care experience. The primary care track is based at the UCSF Pediatric Primary Care Clinic at our Mt. Zion campus, which serves the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. The goal of the Primary Care Track is to train "community pediatricians" who understand the role of a pediatrician in both the clinic and the local community.

All residents in the primary care track attend the UCSF Pediatric Primary Care Clinic at Mt. Zion. In addition to enhanced continuity clinic time, residents have protected time for periodic "primary care days, " which provide an opportunity to explore local community health resources, participate in longitudinal outreach experiences, collaborate with community-based organizations, develop clinic-based quality improvement or medical education projects, or pursue research interests. Special primary care seminars and regular primary care meetings are also integrated into the curriculum.

In the third year of residency, primary care track residents apply their newly developed skills in community medicine, primary care quality improvement, or medical education by completing a collaborative primary care project. Graduating residents present their projects at an annual poster session held each May.

Highlights include:

  • Opportunity to achieve unique competencies in community-based approaches to improving child health.
  • 4-6 residents accepted each year.
  • Based at UCSF Pediatric Primary Care Clinic at Mt. Zion, which serves the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco.
  • Two continuity clinic sessions per week during select blocks.
  • Longitudinal seminar series that focuses on special topics in primary care.
  • Completion of a longitudinal clinic-based quality improvement or community-based primary care project is required.
  • Protected time to complete the project is provided in the form of longitudinal project half-days.
  • Possible participation in components of pathways.

To learn more about the primary care track and see examples of current and past projects, please see the Primary Care Website.

Hospital Medicine Track

The Hospital Medicine Track is designed for residents who are interested in exploring or preparing for careers in pediatric hospital medicine.

Key features and highlights include:

  • Goal is to create advanced experiences to assist residents in exploring and/or preparing for fellowship training or a career in hospital medicine.
  • Residents select from a menu of selective and elective experiences to build skills and clinical knowledge related to pediatric hospital medicine.
  • Opportunities for advanced experiences such as an acting fellow experience
  • Opportunities to take on a leadership role in a mentored quality improvement project related to inpatient pediatric medicine
  • Opportunities to complete a mentored research project related to hospital medicine

Subspecialty Medicine Track

The Subspecialty Medicine Track is designed for residents who are interested in exploring or preparing for careers in a subspecialty area of pediatrics.

Key features and highlights include:

  • Goal is to create advanced experiences to assist residents in exploring and/or preparing for fellowship training in broad range of pediatric subspecialties.
  • Residents select from a menu of selective and elective experiences to build skills and clinical knowledge to prepare for the subspecialty fellowship of choice.
  • Opportunities for advanced experiences such as an acting fellow experience
  • Opportunity to complete all or part of third year of continuity clinic in a subspecialty clinic.
  • Opportunities to take on a leadership role in a mentored quality improvement project related to a particular area of subspecialty pediatrics
  • Opportunities to complete a mentored research project related to the subspecialty field of choice

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. And the skills that residents learn can be applied all aspects of primary care and sub-specialty pediatrics.

The central feature of most Pathways is an expectation to complete coursework and a mentored project (for which we provide protected time). Where possible, our Pathways are aligned with the Pathways to Discovery Program in the UCSF School of Medicine, which allows us to take advantage of resources and course work in the School of Medicine.

Residents apply to Global Health Sciences, Clinical and Translational Science or Health Professions Education pathways about midway through the first year of training. The molecular medicine pathway is our physician scientist program. Residents are considered for this pathway during the recruiting process.

Key Highlights of Pathways

Global Health Science

  • Build skills necessary to effectively engage in international health work in developing countries.
  • Application in the winter of the first year (program occurs during 2nd and 3rd years).
  • 4-5 residents accepted each year.
  • Formal coursework through the School of Medicine's Pathways to Discovery Program during second year of training.
  • Completion of a mentored international health project is required.
  • Assistance provided to arrange international project. Formal relationships exist with a number of clinical sites in countries in Southeast Asian and Africa.
  • Additional training leading to a master's degree in global health is available (additional training time is required).
  • Cohort-based activities including seminars and mentoring.

Molecular Medicine Pathway

  • The goal of this pathway is to support and encourage the development of future pediatric physician-scientists.
  • Provides clinical training through the perspective of being a physician-scientist.
  • No formal application process. Instead, at the time of ERAS application, we screen all applicants to identify individuals who have demonstrated outstanding potential for a physician-scientist career. Those applicants who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to and productivity in biomedical research (e.g. usually, but not always, these are MD/PhD applicants) are invited to consider the molecular medicine option.
  • We support shortened general pediatric training using the Accelerated or Integrated Research pathways of the American Board of Pediatrics. However, shortened training is not guaranteed or required. The decision about shorting training is based on demonstrated clinical skill development during the first year of training.
  • Protected time to attend molecular medicine case conferences, offered jointly with Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Surgery. Conferences are designed to foster a community of physician-scientists who explore the links between clinical medicine and basic science.
  • Periodic evening seminars series focusing on broad range of science topics (Seminars include fellows and young faculty as well).

Clinical and Translational Science Pathway

  • Goal is to build skills and experience in clinical research design. A great option for residents considering a career in clinical and/or translational research.
  • Application in the winter of the first year (program occurs during 2nd and 3rd years).
  • Pathway builds on department's strong relationship with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF.
  • Formal course work in research design.
  • Periodic seminars to do works in progress presentations.
  • Completion of mentored longitudinal project required.
  • Multiple small grant opportunities to help fund projects and to fund attendance at national meetings to present project outcomes.
  • Additional training leading to a master's degree in clinical research is available (additional training time required).

Health Professional Education Pathway

  • Great choice for residents interested in exploring possible careers in medical education.
  • Integrated with the Health Professions Pathways to Discovery program in the School of Medicine.
  • Formal coursework in medical education, teaching, curricular design, assessment, etc.
  • Mentored scholarly project related to medical education.
  • Periodic works-in-progress seminars