University of Southern California


This is the best time to confirm that pediatrics is the field that you are interested in.  You will see what it’s like to be a resident and an attending during your pediatrics rotation.  In addition, this is your first chance to shine and let people know that you are serious about pediatrics.  Work hard on this rotation and be enthusiastic!  Spend time reading about pediatric specific diagnoses and anticipatory guidance for parents.  After you admit a patient, spend some time learning about their specific medical problems before the next day.  You will not have overnight call on this rotation, so you will have time to go home and read for 10-15 minutes.

Don’t worry too much about the timing of your pediatrics rotation third year.  Ideally, this rotation will be in the first half of the year, but this is not crucial.  You can shine on this rotation anytime during the year.  Consider whether you are the type of person that likes to hit the ground running or if you’d like a few rotations to warm up before pediatrics.  In addition, remember that third year is tough.  You don’t want to burn out before a rotation you really care about.


Start thinking about letters of recommendation after your pediatrics rotation.  It is not essential that you ask someone from this rotation, but if you clicked with one of your attending physicians you should definitely ask.  If not, you will have time at the beginning of fourth year to gather these letters.


When deciding on a preceptor for your family medicine clerkship, consider if the clinician sees pediatric patients as part of his or her practice.  Since much of your third year pediatrics rotation is done in an inpatient setting, it is nice to see patients in clinic for well child care and routine pediatric needs.  Most family medicine preceptors do see pediatric patients, but some do not, so ask first.

–Overview written by Kelsey Richardson, Class of 2011, Peds