FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Pediatric Residency Program (Answered by the Residents)
 
How does night shift work?   
There are night shift residents on all inpatient teams. From Sunday-Friday night, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., the PL-1 and a supervising PL-2 or PL-3 will handle admissions and all floor issues. As the night shift resident, you will hand off patients at 6:30 a.m., present all new patients during “intake rounds” (see PL-1 section for details), attend "chief rounds," and leave by 8:30 a.m.   
 
How many "Golden Weekends" do you have? 
Our Chief Residents try to arrange schedules so that each resident will get 1-2 free weekends per month on average.  Two “call free” months are also provided (one each for PL-2s and PL-3s)!
 
How much Q4 call do you have? 
Residents may have 3-4 blocks of Q4 call during their residency, which currently takes place in the ICU and St. Christopher’s NICU.  
 
How many months of inpatient floors do you work as an intern? 
Each intern will spend 5-6 months on the inpatient services.  
 
Are 26 residents per class too much, too little or just right? 
Just right! Having 26 residents per class is more than most programs, but not overwhelming; you'll get to know everyone relatively quickly.  Some benefits of having a large class are more flexible scheduling and having a great opportunity to meet new people.
 
What is the ancillary staff like? 
There is an IV team available 24 hours on most days, and a phlebotomy team that performs three scheduled blood draws daily. Transport techs are available to take patients and laboratory specimens to and from various hospital locations. Our child life specialists are hugely important in making the hospital experience more pleasant for our patients by providing preparation and distraction for painful procedures, company when they are homesick, and games and activities when they are bored.  
 
How flexible is scheduling?
Schedule requests are submitted in template form, so residents can choose the flow of the year that works best for them. The chief residents are extremely conscientious about making the call schedules as accommodating as possible.  On occasion, if your schedule does not look as you had hoped, our large class size is helpful in this case since it is relatively easy to find another resident to switch with you.
 
How many electives are you allotted? 
Most residents receive 9-10 electives during the course of their residency. During each of the final two years you are provided with one call free month that can be used to pursue international experiences or electives at other institutions.  
 
How does the Jeopardy System work? 
Every day there are one to two residents per class on who are on “jeopardy” call in case an emergency prevents one of your colleagues from being at work.  While it is rare that the jeopardy residents are called in, the jeopardy resident should be available to work within one hour’s notice.  If called in, the next day’s schedule may need to be adjusted by the chiefs.
 
How many NICU months do you work?
Approximately two months. During your residency, your NICU experience will take place at Hahnemann University Hospital, a Level IIIC NICU with 22 beds and a busy Labor & Delivery service, and at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, a Level IIIC NICU with 30 beds and ECMO capabilities, which serves as a regional referral center for critically ill neonates, especially those with surgical issues.  
 
Can you start or expand a family during residency?
We are very supportive of life outside of the hospital and we will do whatever we can to accommodate your needs.  In compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, we provide up to 12 weeks of leave for this purpose. Expecting residents should speak with the chief residents and our program directors as early as possible to arrange schedule changes and leave time.  
 
What is the transition from medical school to residency like? 
The transition from medical student to intern is challenging. Your free time is limited, you may feel inadequate, and people will expect you to know things that you don't. We try to ease this transition by providing an environment in which it is safe to ask any and all questions. Our residents call the hospital’s staff (fellow residents, attendings, nurses, and other employees) “the St. Chris Family” because of the supportive environment they provide.  
 
Tell me about the faculty. 
Our faculty is phenomenal. They are highly trained, approachable, effective teachers and excellent role models, many of whom are regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized for their expertise, leadership and research.
 
What types of research opportunities are available to residents? 
While our Infectious Disease, Neonatology, and Endocrinology departments have received the most notoriety for their work, there are a variety of topics actively being researched by all of our departments.  Our residents have published articles in general and subspecialty journals, as well as review journals such as Pediatrics in Review. Multiple residents each year present their research at several national conferences, including those of the Pediatric Academic Societies, Pediatric Hospital Medicine, Eastern Society of Pediatric Research, and Association of Pediatric Program Directors.  
 
What do your residents do upon completion of residency? 
Depending on the year, approximately one-half to two-thirds of our residents go into private practice while the rest go on to some of the most sought-after fellowship positions in the country.  
 
Does St. Christopher's have any religious affiliation? 
No, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is a non-sectarian institution.
 
How do you like living in Philadelphia? 
A wide array of excellent restaurants, arts and theatre, exciting night-life, beautiful parks, and of course great sports teams (or at least their efforts are great), make Philadelphia a wonderful place to live and work. There are plenty of housing options both in the downtown area and in the surrounding suburbs, all of which are within minutes of the hospital. Even better, Philadelphia is perhaps the only large east coast city where you can live comfortably on a resident salary!
 
What is your patient population like?    
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is located in North Philadelphia and serves an inner-city patient population. The majority of our resident practice and emergency room patients are Latino and African-American. Because we serve as a referral center for the entire Delaware Valley and the surrounding suburbs, we also see patients from other demographic groups.    
 
Do the residents hang out together outside of work? 
Yes...and often! We get together in both small and large groups for birthday dinners, dancing, New Year's celebrations, etc. Our social committee is responsible for organizing large-scale events such as winter and spring dinner dances.    
 
What is the best part about St. Chris? 
Almost everyone who is asked this question will respond with one of two answers: "the people" or "the friendly atmosphere." When we say "the people," we mean the residents, the faculty, and the hospital staff. There is a feeling around here that you have to experience for yourself to understand. People will smile at you for no reason!
 
As one resident put it, “It's almost like being at ‘Cheers,’ where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came...cheesy, but true.” Furthermore, many of our faculty trained at St. Christopher’s and returned after fellowship training at other institutions. This emphasizes the fact that the more time you spend here, the more you'll want to become a part of the St. Chris family