Shaping Your Own Career

After starting residency training, it is important that you continue to think about shaping your own career and taking control of your own learning opportunities. At CHOP we have several ways to assist you with that.

Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

We ask you to complete a learning plan identifying your strengths and weaknesses. It helps you round out areas of challenge and overcome barriers that might stand in the way of your professional development. (See Mentoring section)

Individual Education Units

While the goal of our program is to provide excellent training in General Pediatrics, we have developed curricula that allow you a degree of focus along your individual interests and intended career goals. We have established four paths which the residents may choose:

  • Acute Care: for residents considering a career in neonatology, or pediatric critical care, cardiology, or emergency medicine
  • Medical Subspecialty Care:  for residents considering a career in a pediatric subspecialty other than those mentioned in the Acute Care path (e.g., gastroenterology, pulmonary, rheumatology, endocrinology, etc.)
  • Primary Care: for residents considering a career in Primary (Ambulatory) Care in a variety   of settings (e.g. urban or suburban private practice, medically underserved communities, academic centers, etc.).
  • Hospital Medicine: for residents considering a career in Pediatric Hospital Medicine.
  • Each path is made up of six blocks, or Individual Educational Units (IEUs), which are clinical   rotations aligned with a path. The 6 IEUs are spread over the PL2 and PL3 years.
  • Residents select a path over the course of the first year with plenty of guidance provided by your residency leadership, chief residents, and faculty mentors. There is flexibility in the specific rotations that make up each path as there are multiple and overlapping IEUs that could fit a given path. The IEUs are selected collaboratively between you and the program in alignment with your career direction and the overall Residency Program needs. A diagram of the paths and some of the available IEUs is presented to the left.


In addition to the IEUs, you have several blocks of elective time. Electives allow for even broader exploration of interests and can be pre-existing or self- designed experiences. Some residents use elective time for elements of the program not formally included in their rotations, e.g., toxicology, child protection, HIV care. Some use the time for research.

Some elect to experience an international health elective (see Global Health).  Some residents have constructed their own elective, e.g. a future critical care subspecialist spending mornings in the medical examiner’s office doing brain cuttings and afternoons in neuro-radiology.  A resident interested in health media spent a rotation as an ABC network intern.

Special Pathways

CHOP participates in the following American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Special Pathways:

  • Pediatrics/Medical Genetics*
  • Medicine/Pediatrics*
  • Pediatrics/Child Neurology*
  • ABP Physician Scientist Integrated Research Pathway**
  • ABP Physician Scientist Accelerated Research Pathway**

* Acceptance required through the National Residency Match Program
** Please see the Physician Scientist Program.