Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital > For Physicians > Pediatric Residency Program > Top 10 Reasons to Choose Inova Children's Hospital

10 Reasons to Choose the Pediatric Residency Program at Inova Children's Hospital

1. Dedicated faculty

Inova pediatric hospitalists and intensivists are dedicated teachers and excellent role models who are available in-house 24 hours a day. Pediatric subspecialty faculty representing every field are also available to residents for subspecialty electives, consultations and direct patient care guidance. Teaching rounds with the subspecialists as well as formal lectures by hospital-based and primary care faculty are scheduled throughout the week. Faculty members are enthusiastic and devoted to resident education. Many have won teaching awards and have been recognized as "Top Doctors" in the Washington, DC region.

2. Diverse patient population and variety of care settings

Inova Children's Hospital is the only children’s hospital in Northern Virginia. It provides comprehensive services to children and families from a variety of socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Proximity to Washington, DC, as well as Northern Virginia exposes residents to urban, rural and suburban populations. Residents see a variety of common, "bread-and-butter" pediatric diagnoses as well as rare medical conditions and complex tertiary care patients.

During their pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) blocks, residents are involved in the care of critically ill patients with a wide variety of diagnoses requiring tertiary care, including post-op cardiac patients as well as those on continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In the outpatient setting, residents learn to provide patient care in a variety of locations, including subspecialty clinics, Inova Cares Clinic for Children and private practices. Active participation in telemedicine has also become a prominent part of residents’ clinical experience.

3. Individualized Educational Curriculum

Here at Inova, there is a focus on the education of each individual resident. At the end of intern year, residents begin crafting their individualized educational curriculum (IEC) with close guidance from their mentor. Due to our program size, residents have the ability to rotate both through traditional electives such as pulmonology, cardiology, or nephrology as well as personalized electives such as antimicrobial stewardship, working with EMS, or the business of medicine.

4. Focus on resident needs and wellness

Continuing our theme of focusing on the individual, the program leaders understand the inherent challenges of residency and a successful career in medicine. They are focused on supporting each resident both professionally and personally.

In 2018, we established the Inova Children’s Hospital Wellness and Resiliency (WaR) Houses. Each resident is sorted into one of four houses, which are comprised of PL1, PL2 and PL3 residents as well as attending physicians representing primary care, subspecialty and hospital-based faculty. The houses are meant to provide a community-within-our-community. They provide structure for social gatherings (or, more recently, virtual happy hours), community outreach events, advocacy opportunities, and regular check-ins.

Residents are also paired with a faculty mentor with whom they meet semiannually to discuss their progress, guide their individualized curriculum and provide additional support for any issues that arise. Residents also meet with the program director, Kathleen Donnelly, MD semiannually. Our program coordinators are always around to lend a supportive ear, supply candy, and provide an extra meal card or anything else that may be needed. All interns are also assigned a "big sib" who helps them transition into the intern year.

We have a balanced call schedule due to our night float system, as opposed to taking 24-hour call every third or fourth night. For those in the hospital, catered lunch is provided during our Academic Half-Day educational series every Tuesday. Residents are also provided with meal cards for overnight work and weekend call and have access to the Medical Staff Lounge for meals and coffee at any time. The cafeteria is also open 24 hours a day. Residents have access to ample and convenient indoor parking.

To have a voice in impacting change within the program and institution, the annual pediatric resident off-site retreat provides an opportunity to provide in-depth feedback to help guide the future of the program. Residents are also well represented on GME, program-level and hospital-based committees, which provide additional opportunities to impact change at higher levels.

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5. Medium class size

The medium class size and the inclusive culture of the program create a cohesive, family-like atmosphere. Residents get to know each other well and still want to spend time together after a long day of work! Numerous social events are organized and held both at residents' homes and other locales in the Northern Virginia/DC area. The program's collegial atmosphere extends to both residents and attendings.

6. Location, location, location

Inova Children's Hospital is located in beautiful Northern Virginia, approximately ten miles west of Washington, DC, and serves one of the country's most rapidly growing and desirable areas. The proximity to Washington, DC, and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia countryside provides countless opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural outings and socializing. Our location also allows for unique opportunities to participate in both local and federal advocacy efforts.

7. Breadth of research opportunities

The diverse clinical settings at Inova Children's Hospital and accessible faculty make successful research mentorship possible for residents. Our faculty strive to conduct innovative research to improve patient care and provide residents with meaningful research opportunities.

Our Vice Chair of Research, Suchi Hourigan, MD, meets personally with each intern to help pair them with a research mentor who can help them reach their goals. She plays an active role in leading the department and encouraging resident contribution to research endeavors.

Residents participate in a year-long research curriculum focusing on how to formulate and carry out a research question. Residents are also provided extensive quality improvement (QI) research training and actively participate in QI initiatives throughout the system. Every year, multiple residents present their research at national meetings, including those hosted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, pediatric hospital medicine associations, pediatric academic societies and multiple pediatric subspecialty societies.

8. Cohesive multi-disciplinary care teams

Inova boasts excellent nursing staff, case managers, child life specialists, respiratory therapists and social workers. They are very friendly, helpful, and enhance residents' learning experience through bedside teaching and hands-on training. They serve as allies in ensuring the happiest and healthiest hospital stay for young patients.

9. Life after residency

Our graduates have been very successful in achieving their career goals. For those interested in primary care, the program has strong ties with multiple private practices in the area, and many residents have gone on to work at the practice in their continuity clinic location. For those interested in fellowship, our residents have matched to renowned programs in a variety of subspecialties throughout the country.

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10. Program leadership

The program director, Dr. Donnelly is motivated, innovative, openly receptive to feedback, and strongly advocates for resident education. The assistant program directors, Drs. Carter and Seo-Mayer, are personally invested in both resident education and well-being.