Medical school clerkship opportunities in general pediatrics

W. G. Bithoney, R. C. Samuels, M. L. Rivo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. We set out to determine the availability of ambulatory, primary care pediatric experiences and general pediatrician role models during medical schools' required and elective clinical pediatric clerkships. Design. We surveyed 233 directors of core pediatric clerkships at all 125 LCME accredited four year medical schools concerning primary care opportunities during pediatric rotations. Results. Surveys were returned by 193 (83%) of 233 directors from 118 (94%) of the 125 schools. Primary care was a required part of the core pediatric clerkship in 113 (97%) of the 117 schools. The core clerkship averaged 7 weeks, varying from 3-12 weeks. The primary care component averaged 45% (3 weeks) of the clerkship's time and varied from 0-8 weeks. Pediatrician offices and community health centers were the most common community-based teaching sites. Outside this core rotation, 98 (84%) schools offered one or more elective experiences in general pediatrics. Of these schools, 63 offered a separate elective in general pediatrics; 10 had general pediatrics integrated into an ambulatory medicine course; and 25 offered both electives. The average length of these elective rotations was 4 1/2 weeks. An estimated 38% of pediatric faculty were general pediatricians. Conclusions. General pediatrics is a required part of the curriculum at most US medical schools. However, the amount of required, ambulatory, primary care pediatrics training and exposure to general pediatrician role models varies greatly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
JournalAmbulatory Child Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • General pediatrics
  • Generalists
  • Mentorship
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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