Dear CHOP Alumni Family,

Remember our CHOP Alumni Motto: Keep…Tradition, Keep…in Mind, Keep…in Touch!

For this column, I am starting a new tradition! I have invited our 4 chief residents to provide an update on the Residency Training Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). For those of you who trained many years ago, it might be hard to imagine that this coming year there will be 56 new interns at CHOP — how we’ve grown! A special thanks to Hunter Daigle, Michelle-Marie Peña, Diana Pontell, and Laura Robinson for their leadership and for contributing the update below.

Pediatrics Residency Program

Over the past year, remarkable changes have been made to the Pediatrics Residency Program at Children’s Hospital to help recruit and shape the next generation of superb pediatricians. We are pleased to share some highlights from this ongoing work.


During the 2017-2018 recruitment season, we received a record number of 2,200 applications and welcomed more than 360 applicants to interview. By working to strengthen the educational focus of our clinical rotations and the care for our growing population, the incoming Pediatric Residency Intern class will see an increase to 56 from last year’s 52. This group comprises diverse disciplines including our categorical and global health residents, as well as those from combined programs of pediatric-neurology, pediatric-genetics, and medicine-pediatrics. We are eager to meet the Class of 2021!

Education strategy

Recognizing that a part of CHOP’s mission is to provide quality professional education and produce world leaders in the field of Pediatrics, our Pediatrics Residency Program has laid out a blueprint for a redesign to build in more flexibility and diversity in residents’ clinical experiences. We strive to reset the balance between service and education and offer our residents customized educational experiences that prepare them for their next steps in training. Such advances will be integral to continue attracting the nation’s best trainees and prepare them for their next steps in training.

Undertaking the beginnings of this project involved a shift in culture from staffing-based models to a design that is more based in its educational value. Within a hospital operating consistently near or above 100% capacity over the past year, the Pediatrics Residency Program looked to partner with advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to strategically blend into some of our resident inpatient service teams. These integrated teams allow for more front-line provider support and more flexibility for our trainees to prioritize educational experiences. The blended, collaborative team model has seen success in our ICUs, Emergency Department, Oncology, and Cardiology units. We are excited to have fully integrated our Gastroenterology rotation this year and plan to expand to our neurology team next year. One of the great benefits has been the shared knowledge and multidisciplinary teaching that occurs by bringing together these groups with different experiences and expertise. By decreasing the time commitment dedicated to inpatient service, residents are also now available to explore new experiences, including electives focused on their own individual educational goals.

Promoting wellness

With the establishment of a Residency Wellness Committee came the growth of both in- and out-of-Hospital activities to promote support and bonding within and across our resident classes. Over the past years, we’ve seen the start of the CHOP Book Club, CHOP Running Club, intramural sports groups, and a program-wide Wellness Day with the focus on managing stress and identifying communication and support systems. With sponsorship from the CHOP Alumni Organization, the first week of March 2018 celebrated Fellow and Resident Appreciation Week, a week of activities, meals, and social gatherings of faculty and staff to show appreciation for our trainees.

We thank the CHOP Alumni Organization for its ongoing support of resident education and wellness and its support of educational conferences such as the Resident and Fellows Grand Round Lectureships series and our Appreciation Week.

Chief residents 2017-2018

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