If you are a U.S. medical student and you want to be a pediatrician you will be! The field is somewhat more competitive than internal medicine and family medicine, but much less competitive than surgical subspecialties or fields with very few numbers of residency programs. Med/Peds residencies are somewhat more competitive than Peds residencies because there are fewer programs. There are other combination fields w/in Pediatrics that you might be interested in. There are fewer programs but you can find out about them via FRIEDA. They include: Peds-Derm (1 spot!), Peds-ER, Peds-Rehab, Peds-Medical Genetics, Peds-Child Psychiatric, and Pediatric Neurology.
Two letters from pediatric rotations is optimal. One is sufficient. Identify people who have worked closely with you. No letters from residents or patients or family friends! Most programs want three letters. Some programs ask for a chairman's letter. This letter is from Dr. Stapleton and you have to make an appointment to meet with him. Contact his office through the Children's operator for an appointment: 206 987-2000. You have to have a CV and personal statement before you see him. Don't wait until the last moment!
Don't freak out if you didn't get a sub internship in the summer. The most important thing is that you have additional training and an opportunity to work with pediatricians in your fourth year. Two reasons to do 4th year rotations: 1) to figure out if you want to work with kids exclusively; 2) to get a letter of recommendation Most rotations will help you figure out the first reason; you need to work closely with an attending for the second reason.
Sub-internships: this rotation is a good one to achieve both goals for 4th year rotations. It is a must if you are strongly considering the Seattle Children's program for residency training, especially if you did your 3rd year rotation at a WWAMI site. Talk to your career counselor about alternatives to the sub-internship if you didn't get one.
Away rotations are a good idea IF you really want to be at a certain program and what to see what the fit is. They also tend to help people with academic records that are not at the top of the class. The down side is that something might go wrong…then you have made a bad impression. So…talk through the reasons you want to do the rotation with your career counselor and see if it makes sense to do this. Remember, these don't have to be done in the summer unless you wanted to get a letter of recommendation.
We want you to interview at 12-15 programs. The number of programs you will apply to that will enable you to receive at least 12 interviews varies depending on your application. Below is a link to the results of a survey of residency program directors about what THEY think is important in selecting applicants Go to the section about Pediatrics or Medicine/Pediatrics and look through the information. This will help you better assess you own "competitiveness".
You should plan on ranking no fewer than 12 programs. This is slightly higher than the AVERAGE number for the 2014 match.
Make sure that you have budgeted enough time in your schedule to comfortably interview at all 12-15 programs. You cannot interview well at 3 programs in 4 days…remember you want to make a good impression. Look at your schedule now and make any adjustments. Typically students take 6-8 weeks.
This is a very personal decision. The things that are important to you may not be important to others. Things many people consider: geography, program size, special programs (MPH, global health, international travel), special populations (adolescent health, underserved, language), family/friends in the area, the "feel" of the program when you interview.
You should spend some time browsing FRIEDA; this is the best place to start. Talk to your family, friends and residents you will be working with. Discuss possibilities with your career advisor.
Here (hyperlink) are samples of personal statements with comments from one of our clerkship directors.
Career counselors (if you don't know who you are assigned to, contact Sherilyn); we will help you choose programs, read your personal statement and help you figure out how many programs to apply to.