I am so excited

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I wanted you to be the first to know--we have just gotten word from the Pediatric Residency Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, that our proposed Pediatric Residency has been approved!!!

I thought you might like to hear some details about the residency program from Dr. Colleen Kraft, the program director. I recently asked her some questions, and she provided the answers that follow. My questions are in bold gray, and Dr. Kraft's answers are in blue We have just received word that the Carilion Clinic-Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine pediatric residency program has been granted provisional approval. Can you share with us the way this was developed, and how long you and your colleagues have been working on planning this residency program?

I started working on the Pediatric Residency from the time I arrived in June, 2009.  It is a long process, starting with the application to the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  The application is called the Program Information Form, and it outlines all your educational resources and plans for the residency.  Ours was 137 pages long! Next we had a site visit from the ACGME, and most recently the Pediatric Resident Review Committee met and decided that we had the faculty, facilities, and educational curriculum needed to train tomorrow’s pediatricians.

What will having a pediatric residency program mean for the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital, and for the community we serve?

Pediatric Residents are doctors who have completed medical school and are in postgraduate training in pediatrics.  A residency brings with it a new academic perspective.  Residents are enthusiastic, curious, and interested in learning everything about the care of children. Our Children’s Hospital will benefit from the questions and conferences and focus on quality improvement that residents bring to our program.  Our community will benefit from increased access to primary care that our residents will bring through their continuity clinic, and their interaction with schools, child care centers, Head Start, and other venues where children live in our community. It is a well known fact that physicians often settle and practice in the community where they trained during residency.  It is our hope that many of our Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital residents will choose to live and practice in the Roanoke Valley and throughout southwestern Virginia.

What will distinguish this pediatric residency training program from others in the State of Virginia or surrounding areas?

There are currently four pediatric residency training programs in Virginia; Inova Fairfax Hospital; Virginia Commonwealth University; Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters; and the University of Virginia.  The Carilion Clinic-Virginia Tech Carilion Pediatric Residency will be smaller (six residents per year) and will focus on Community Pediatrics.  Community Pediatrics is the study and practice of how we translate the new science of epigenetics and brain development to maximize the health and development of children. The science of early brain development and the recognition of environmental modulation of gene expression have revolutionized our understanding of the social determinants of health.  Health is both a building block and an outcome of successful development. Good health is necessary for raising resilient students and citizens; toxic psychosocial stressors induce biochemical changes in DNA, which can be correlated to adverse health outcomes.  Food insecurity, lack of health services, substandard housing, and exposure to violence contribute to the toxic stress experienced by generations of people living in poverty.  Our residents will learn how to address health disparities as they understand their role in connecting services that mitigate the effects of toxic stress and improve the life-course health trajectory of the children in their care.

Will we offer any special training they can't get elsewhere?

In addition to the traditional rotations offered to pediatric residents (inpatient, neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care, pediatric emergency medicine, and pediatric subspecialties) we will include two months of child and adolescent psychiatry in our program.  The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute boasts world class researchers in the areas of Neuroscience and Early Childhood Development, with research mentors for residents who are interested.  Our community partnerships with the Smart Beginnings Coalition, CHIP of Roanoke Valley (home visiting), and Total Action Against Poverty lend opportunities for residents to learn about the services that promote positive social/emotional development and school readiness for children. We anticipate each resident defining an individual learning plan, and the pediatric residents will direct their training toward their individual interests.  Our residents can focus on any topic, including Medical Home for Children with chronic health conditions; community/public health; pediatric global health; child advocacy; or any subspecialty or intensive care interest.

What types of students do you expect to apply to this program? How will they be evaluated?

The Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital Pediatric Residency will attract students who want education and  experiences beyond, while including, the important basics in the care of children. We anticipate students who want to learn to address child health disparities, work with other systems of care to provide comprehensive care for children, and become actively engaged in the research and advocacy efforts that promote the best environment for children’s health. Residents are evaluated by their faculty and fellow residents along what are known as the ACGME Competencies; Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Systems-based Practice, Interpersonal Communication, Professionalism, and Practice-based Learning and Improvement.

Where would an interested medical student find out more about the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital Pediatric Residency and how to apply?

Any interested student can check out the Facebook page for Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital Pediatric Residency, or contact me at cakraft@carilionclinic.org.

There will be more information in the future about our residency program, and maybe one or more of our residents will decide to join the blogging community! Our goal now is to start recruiting and interviewing prospective trainees so we can have a stellar first "class" next July.

As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, ideas and questions!

Recent Comments

That is awesome! Congrats to you and Dr. Kraft... two of the best to train up the next set of pediatricians!

We believe we have a lot to teach. Not only how to be an excellent pediatrician, but how to stay human doing it! Thanks for your comment and good wishes.

congrats for the new beginning! I had a question about the application procedure. Do u have any criteria for the applicants? like regarding scores or USCE? I will be glad to know as I intend to apply for this program.

Thanks for the question. We do require the USLME. Both parts 1 and 2 should have a score of at least 200. Obviously we need a letter from the medical school, and a transcript. Also, 2-3 letters of recommendation. If English is not your primary language, you need to take TOEFL.

You can submit your application through ERAS, or contact Dr. Kraft at her email address cakraft@carilionclinic.org

Thanks again for stopping by

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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