If you’ve always dreamed of taking care of children (and their families), you might be searching for the best medical schools for pediatrics—the schools that will prepare you best for this challenging specialty. There are more than 200 residency programs in pediatrics (categorical). In 2018, there were a total of 2,858 pediatrics positions offered and a total of 3,059 applicants for those positions. Only a little more than 1% of allopathic U.S. senior pediatric applicants did not match into pediatric residencies, making pediatrics less competitive based on data alone, although coveted pediatrics programs across the country are highly selective.
Pediatrics is a primary care specialty which offers multiple opportunities to further specialize in areas such as pediatric oncology and pediatric cardiology. According to U.S. News & World Report, here are some of the best medical schools that will prepare you for a pediatrics residency match.
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10. Duke University
The Duke School of Medicine is associated with the Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center, one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation, giving medical students easy access to clinical experience in pediatrics. Students have many opportunities, both curricular and extracurricular, to experience working in pediatrics. Each student is required to complete a 6-week clerkship in pediatrics, and they can also choose to participate in selectives on a variety of pediatric topics such as adolescent health, pediatric neurology, etc. There are a variety of pediatric electives and subinternships available to students in their fourth year. Duke also has a student-run, school-supported group called the Pediatric Interest Group, which provides career counseling for future pediatricians and service activities. 8 Duke medical students matched with pediatric residencies in 2019. The median GPA and MCAT score for the incoming class of 2019 was 3.86 and 518, respectively.
With its larger class size of 270 entering MDs, UW School of Medicine received more than 9,000 applications, including more than 1,000 from WWAMI, the acronym for the region comprised of the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. With a median MCAT score of 510, the entering class is made up primarily of residents of the five states the school is committed to supporting by building their physician workforce. One of the more popular specialties at UWSOM, 32 students matched into pediatrics residencies in 2018.
After internal medicine, pediatrics was the most popular residency choice for 2018 Baylor College of Medicine MDs, with almost 20 choosing to match into the specialty. The Houston, Texas medical school is made up of 85% Texas residents, and underrepresented minority groups in medicine make up 21% of the Baylor medical students, whose median GPA and MCAT scores are 3.92 and 518, well toward the far end of the bell curve. The eight-week pediatrics clerkship at Baylor is divided into four 2-week subrotations: Community Pediatrics, Neonatology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Pediatric Hospital Medicine. By rotating in both inpatient and outpatient settings, students develop strategies for pediatric health promotion, develop pediatric-specific clinical examination and problem-solving skills, acquire an understanding of the approach of pediatricians to the health care of children, and acquire the knowledge necessary for the diagnosis and management of common pediatric acute and chronic illnesses.
6. (tie) University of Colorado
With more than 180 medical students, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is the only comprehensive academic health sciences center in Colorado and the largest academic health center in the Rocky Mountain region. In 2018, 15 CU School of Medicine graduates matched into pediatrics residencies, many staying in Colorado. The school’s six-week pediatric clerkship provides clinical and educational experiences to allow students to achieve competencies in the medical care of children, ranging in age from newborn to adolescence. All students will have experiences in outpatient and either inpatient or urgent care during this third-year rotation.
6. (tie) Stanford University
Five of Stanford’s graduating MDs entered pediatrics residencies in 2018. The Core Clerkship in Pediatrics provides an eight-week introduction to a wide range of clinical problems in inpatient and ambulatory pediatrics. There is an additional unique opportunity in the Subinternship in Community Hospital Pediatrics in Watsonville Community Hospital, a 106-bed hospital that serves a semi-rural, largely migrant population in south Santa Cruz County in California. Students demonstrating readiness are given significant responsibility and autonomy. Stanford accepted students have elite scores that match the school’s reputation—3.86 median GPA and 519 median MCAT score.
UCSF’s medical school saw roughly 20 students match into various pediatrics residencies in 2018, making it one of the top choices for UCSF MDs. With the median GPA and MCAT scores sitting at 3.85 and 517, UCSF selects about 6% of applicants for interviews. Most matriculants come from California residents and about a third of the student body comes is made up of matriculants underrepresented in medicine. The traditional pediatric clerkship rotation is 6 weeks in length and comprised of a mix of outpatient primary and acute care clinics and inpatient nursery and ward experiences. In addition to that, the Education in Pediatrics across the Continuum (EPAC) is a curricular program at UCSF that allows a subset of UCSF students interested in a career in pediatrics to experience a pediatric-focused curriculum, enhanced mentorship, and longitudinal relationships. The program encompasses the range of medical training at UCSF from early in medical school through the end of UCSF Pediatric residency training.
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The Pediatrics Clerkship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore is an eight-week experience in which students care for patients in both inpatient and outpatient (ambulatory) settings. Additionally, students are required to complete a one-day rotation at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, an affiliated hospital for children with developmental disabilities and rehabilitation needs. The clerkship focuses on general pediatrics but students participate in the care of patients with subspecialty needs as well. In 2018, 14 Hopkins MDs matched into pediatrics residencies. One of the most competitive MD programs in the United States with a median GPA of 3.92 and median MCAT of 520, the school admitted only 262 of 6,300 applicants.
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine boasts a long tradition of training clinicians and leaders in biomedical research and academic medicine. With median MCAT scores and GPA at 517 and 3.84, the rigorous training program now attracts roughly half of its matriculants from outside of Ohio. Among required rotations, the pediatrics third-year clerkship is an eight-week clinical rotation designed to present the fundamentals of pediatrics, as well as to provide a foundation for those choosing to enter the specialty. Clinical experience is split between four weeks of inpatient and four weeks of outpatient medicine. Overall, 20 of the school’s students matched into pediatrics in 2018, the most popular choice.
Harvard Medical School sent more than a dozen graduates into various pediatrics residency programs in 2017. The pediatric medicine clerkship at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, one of the leading institutions in the world, offers several 4th year electives including pediatrics infectious diseases and oncology. Within Harvard’s class of 165, you’ll find that almost a quarter of students come from communities underrepresented in medicine and women make up 58% of the entering class of 2018. As you’d expect, the MD program is selective, with a median matriculant GPA of 3.92 and a median MCAT score of 519.
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The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania saw 11 students match into various pediatric residency programs. There are many opportunities for clerkships at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the oldest hospital in the United States dedicated exclusively to pediatrics. To get into UPenn, you’ll need to target top GPA and MCAT scores—the median at Perelman is 3.88 and 520 respectively. CHOP gives students exposure to the diagnosis and care of children and adolescents with rare genetic diseases through the Division of Human Genetics, along with other specialties.
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