Pediatrics

David B. Nelson, MD, Chair

During the first year of Medical School, the student has the opportunity for exposure to the discipline of Pediatrics as a consequence of exposure to preceptorships and elective courses that stress the importance of growth and development as the fundamentals of Pediatrics. 

The formal curriculum begins at the second-year level with the Pediatric/Geriatric module which focuses on the physiological principles underlying growth and development, maturational processes of organ function and their aberrations, including relevant clinical presentations. Faculty within the Department of Pediatrics participate in the course on physical diagnosis, emphasizing the techniques utilized in "pediatric" history taking and physical examination; the differences which are unique to the clinical pediatric assessment and unique from that of other disciplines are highlighted. 

The clinical clerkship in Pediatrics is a six-week externship which includes inpatient and outpatient experience using the clinical facilities at the Georgetown University Children's Medical Center, and the Georgetown Pediatric Service at Arlington Hospital. This clinical rotation exposes the student to clinical pediatrics, stresses the importance of history taking, physical examination and basic clinical procedures in addition to the importance of normal growth and development and preventive medicine. 

The clinical faculty and resident staff provide bedside teaching, didactic sessions and informal discussions with the medical students. In addition, "core lectures," formal lectures, grand rounds and intake rounds supplement the education experience. The third year clerk is provided the opportunity to present the clinical data and actively participate in the diagnostic and clinical decision-making process. During the clerkship, the medical students also have frequent exposure to, and interaction with the pediatric subspecialty faculty and staff. 

During the fourth year of medical school, a four-week ambulatory experience in pediatrics is offered; this rotation provides advanced clinical training in primary care pediatrics. It utilizes the facilities of the outpatient clinic at Georgetown University Children's Medical Center, the Arlington Hospital Georgetown Pediatric Service, the Pediatric Mobile Van and the private offices of several pediatricians in the community. The clinical faculty of the Department serve as mentors in each of these facilities. 

Fourth year pediatric electives (both inpatient and outpatient) include: acting internships, adolescent medicine, apnea, cardiology, critical care, developmental pediatrics, endocrinology, gastroenterology, genetics and metabolic disease, hematology/oncology, infectious disease, neonatology, nephrology, neurology, pulmonary disease and community pediatrics. Active research programs exist within the department in multiple areas including epidemiology, immunology, neonatology, nephrology, critical care, public health policy, oncology, transplant biology, community health and human genetics; students are encouraged to participate in these research programs. Through the four-year medical student curriculum, multiple opportunities exist for medical students to participate in these exciting research programs. 

The Department of Pediatrics has an approved three-year residency training program. Clinical fellowship programs are available in developmental pediatrics; critical care; endocrinology; and clinical, biochemical and molecular genetics; nephrology and neonatology following residency training. Several of these programs are joint programs of the Department of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health. Basic research programs in the Department include research in areas such as: the renal dopamine receptor system and hypertension, development immunology and HLA-disease associations, disorders of growth, the epidemiology of perinatal mortality in the District of Columbia, health consequences of chronic (disabilities) disease, the molecular biology of human reproduction, molecular biology of disorders of sexual development, the molecular biology of genetic diseases and models for the delivery of health care to underserved populations. 

The Georgetown Center for Children is a collaborative effort between the faculty and its community to provide all children with a unique opportunity to achieve their optimal potential and to provide advocacy for all children.