Program Highlights

Didactics and Academic Half-Day

residents watching a presentation in a conference roomWe structure lectures in an Academic Half-Day model. The bulk of teaching is done on Tuesday afternoons, from 1 to 5 p.m. This time is completely protected; residents sign out their teams to the chiefs, faculty or advanced practice providers, who care for the patients for the rest of the afternoon.

The didactic program provides a comprehensive curriculum for the future general and subspecialty pediatrician. Teaching forums include core pediatric lectures, problem conferences, grand rounds, morning report, literature review, evidence-based medicine, research conferences, mock codes, simulations and a senior resident-run board review course. Each Academic Half-Day utilizes a combination of didactic and interactive learning techniques and is currently accessible by Zoom for those residents who are on off-site rotations or who are socially distancing from home.


two doctors posing together and smilingInova Children's Hospital, located on the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, began as part of a community hospital. As the pediatric population in Northern Virginia expanded, Inova Fairfax Hospital and Inova Children's Hospital responded to the community’s changing needs, gradually transforming into a large, thriving university-affiliated tertiary care center. The pediatric residency program has also evolved from the apprenticeship model into the competency based system.

While we maintain the rigors of an academic institution, Inova Children's Hospital has not lost the crucial mentorship aspect that sets this residency program apart from others. There is a formal mentorship program that carefully matches every first year resident to an attending. Although there are official roles and responsibilities that correspond with being a mentor, most resident-mentor relationships develop into lasting friendships. Additionally, the informal and usually impromptu mentorship opportunities are abundant. Without the presence of fellows, one-on-one teaching at the bedside or over coffee is a quite common occurrence. Likewise, the personal interest and the level of nurturing between residents, faculty, and staff create the warm family atmosphere that defines Inova Children's Hospital. 


five residents with a banner that says Welcome to White Coats on CallInova Cares Clinic for Children, located within five miles of the hospital, provides pediatric care for underserved populations in a multicultural setting. The clinic has approximately 25,000 visits annually, allowing for wide exposure to common and rare general pediatric conditions. Residents play an integral role in the care of these patients, the majority of whom have immigrated from across the globe. Every resident spends one block each year at the clinic, and approximately one-third of each class chooses to have this be their continuity clinic site.


a resident in a community clinic looking in a little boy's earIn 2019, the program established the Inova Pediatrics Advocacy and Community Collaboration Committee (IPACCC), which has a two-fold aim:

  1. Increase residents’ awareness, participation and skills in advocacy
  2. Build partnerships that improve the health of children in our community

Among the top priorities of this committee for the 2020-2021 academic year are:

  • To address food insecurity within our patient population
  • To promote diversity, anti-racism and inclusion efforts
  • To improve the health of refugee and immigrant children in our community

Clinical Experience

The clinical experience at Inova Children's Hospital is a distinguishing element of our training. There are robust patient volumes in all settings, including the emergency department, inpatient wards, outpatient clinics and the ICU. This direct exposure is invaluable for resident learning, mentorship and future career development. When residents rotate through subspecialty rotations, they often act as the fellow. This degree of exposure allows residents to develop skills and knowledge beyond what most residents are exposed to during their training, and the close relationships with the attendings results in meaningful, personal mentorships.


two residents posing next to a large research posterResidents have an active role in pediatric clinical research. Several residents have been primary authors of articles in medical journals while others have presented at national conferences, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Academic Society.

Learn more about research opportunities for Inova's pediatric residents blue arrow image