Danbury Pediatrics

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Pediatric Unit 

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Didactic/Exams 

Peds at Danbury is 6 weeks and broken down in the following:

  • 1 week NICU

  • 2 weeks outpatient at local Danbury site

  • 2 weeks inpatient

  • 1 week outpatient at Good Samaritan Health Clinic

NICU

  • I usually got to NICU at 7:30 to pick up my scrubs, change, and have breakfast before sign out. Sign out is 9:00am in the NICU conference room. It is you, the attendings, and the PAs. DH does not have a pediatric residency program, so you assume a lot more responsibility which is really nice and essentially act on a sub-I level. After sign out, you will round on all the patients. This is a great opportunity for you to present a patient (calculating I/O, calories, progress…). After rounds, you are pretty much with the PA’s the rest of the day. As part of NICU, you go to every C-section or complicated delivery. There’s about 4-5 scheduled C-sections a day but there’s always a few unplanned and you can get really busy! As part of NICU, you are required to do one late night, where you stay till 11pm. Best advice is to pick a day that has a bunch of scheduled C-Sections or complicated cases so it’s interesting. You also have to give an oral presentation on your last day on a NICU related topic

Outpatient

  • Good Samaritan: GS is a health clinic for families without insurance or in some cases, undocumented immigrants. Families pay $70 annually for healthcare. This is where you get the most hands-on experience. You will see patients on your own and work independently. You will give vaccines and write notes. The hours vary but for the most part are 9AM-6PM.

  • Local Sites: Vary on where you are placed. For the most part, you work 9AM-5PM and work alongside a physician. You will go see patients with them, complete physicals, give vaccines, and write notes. Some physicians will have you see patients on your own and present the patient to them and then you go in together

Inpatient

  • The inpatient unit at DH is pretty small, 7 beds. We can accommodate almost anything but anything really serious is transferred to children’s hospital or Yale. The unit can be slow depending on how many patients, so hours vary. Sign out is at 7:30AM and you tend to leave around 5PM. Definitely bring study stuff incase its slow! As part of inpatient, you will for the most part work in the unit but will go along with the attendings or PA’s to the ED for any consults that come in. In addition to the unit, you cover the well-baby nursery. This was honestly my favorite part of the day. You go up and check on all the newborns, do physical exams, and assist with discharges. You will learn how to conduct the full well baby exam your first few days and then you will do the exam on each baby throughout the rotation. DH loves to teach so don’t be afraid to ask to learn how to do things or to watch procedures! I was able to learn how to do a heal stick and bilirubin levels and got to see a couple of circumcisions. Also- you can hold them! I was always asking to hold or help in any way I could. You write a lot of notes inpatient as well as medical student notes can now be used for billing.

 

Didactic/Exams

  • Grand Rounds are every Friday at 9AM. The presentations are very broad but compared to other rotations, were very interesting and related to current events. You have lectures once or twice a week in the peds conference room. Some lectures are more case based but overall really helpful and definitely was useful for the shelf. All the topics are super high yield.

  • You have to do a full write up on an interesting patient. Dr. Sampson, the clerkship director, will give you an example format to follow. Then you will do a presentation on either that case or an aspect from your differential in front of him and your other colleagues in peds. As part of a final assessment, you have a final oral exam with Dr. Sampson that assesses critical thinking, management, and overall what you learned from the rotation. He then will give you end of rotation feedback and conduct an exit interview.

Shelf

  • So, there is a rumor that Peds is the hardest shelf… I would agree with that statement. The peds shelf is challenging because it has a lot of internal medicine aka 12 weeks of information in 6 weeks. Not to mention, pediatrics is difficult because you can’t always speak to the patient directly to get more information and 90% is collateral. That being said, it’s not an impossible test. I did all the UWorld pediatrics questions, BRS Pediatrics (super high yield), Online MedEd, NBME practice exams, and Emma Holiday Review. If I could do anything different, I would probably take more NBMEs. I was only able to complete 2 out of the 4 (it was my first rotation and I was still learning how to study/manage my time).

Overall

Peds rotation is really well organized and gives you a well-rounded experience to the specialty. It can be slow at times but if you take advantage and show interest, it’s a really great rotation. You will learn a lot!

Good luck on your rotation!

Rachel Leib, MS3

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