Coronavirus Pandemic

Training Years


The PL-1 is expected to take full initiative in the workup and management of patients under the guidance of a supervising resident and attending staff physician. Interns have extensive exposure to ill children and to children of normal birth, growth, and development. During the first year, inpatient pediatrics is taught at Rady Children's Hospital. The pediatric house officer cares for children with a large variety of pediatric problems, ranging from uncomplicated illnesses to complex diseases with multi-organ involvement.

In the PL-1 year, residents also participate in the stabilization and care of the sick neonate. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UCSD Jacobs has a busy delivery service and is a Level lll nursery that receives transports of critically ill babies from around San Diego County. The first year resident also spends one month in the Newborn Nursery at UCSD learning to care for normal newborns and common problems appropriate for a general pediatrician. 

The outpatient experience is varied during the first year to expose residents to many facets of ambulatory care including general pediatrics, developmental-behavioral pediatrics, community pediatrics, and advocacy.

To gain exposure to acute care in ambulatory pediatrics, pediatric residents will spend a month in the Rady Children's Hospital emergency department. This experience is designed to provide residents with a strong knowledge base in all aspects of ambulatory medicine.

The Community Pediatrics rotation exposes the resident to the important role pediatricians play in the community. This includes interacting with local schools and child care centers (both as a consultant and on behalf of patients), advocating for child health issues and collaborating with professionals from other disciplines that also care for children. Since San Diego is home to a large culturally-diverse population – especially African, Asian, and South American refugee and immigrant populations, residents will have many opportunities to engage in culturally-appropriate community health practices.


The PL-2 year builds on the experiences of the first year with emphasis on patient management and triage of the ill child. The PL-2 resident rotates through the inpatient wards at Rady Children's Hospital and experiences increased independence and decision-making. They take an active role in the program's unique triage curriculum and learn how to quickly assess clinical status, stabilize sick patients, and take charge of the multidisciplinary inpatient team. Additionally, the second year residents rotate for one month in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Rady Children's Hospital to gain experience evaluating and managing critically-ill children. The PL-2 residents also spend an additional month in the NICU at UCSD and learn to take more of an independent role leading delivery room resuscitations and managing premature infants under the guidance of fellows and attendings.

The outpatient experience in the second year mixes general pediatrics and subspecialty training and includes a two-week rotation as the supervising resident in the academic general pediatrics clinic. The resident continues to have emergency room experience evaluating acutely ill children during the PL-2 year.

Our Hematology/Oncology Division serves patients all over Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. Through our alliance with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, PL-2 residents spend one month in inpatient/outpatient cancer care, which includes leukemia/lymphoma, solid tumor, and hematology services and also have the opportunity to manage bone-marrow transplant patients and recipients of CAR-T cell therapy. There are also three months of elective time for residents to explore various subspecialty disciplines.

During the second year, residents have dedicated time in their schedule to develop their Resident Academic Project, and then have protected half days throughout the remainder of their training to continue to work on their projects.


The PL-3 year provides each resident the opportunity to enhance skills and knowledge in a wide variety of pediatric areas. The PL-3, in close consultation with attending physicians, oversees the care of clinic patients and provides guidance and expertise in general pediatrics. PL-3 residents have the opportunity to spend a month learning adolescent medicine, both in the eating disorder unit at Rady's Children's Hospital and at the Navy Point Loma Adolescent Clinic.

A final month in the emergency room at Rady Children's enhances the senior resident's proficiency in managing acutely ill children. Additional expertise in the care and stabilization of critically ill children is provided through another rotation in the PICU in the third year and by working with the specialized pediatric transport team. The year is rounded out with 3.5 of electives months to augment each resident's education and allow residents to design a unique curriculum to prepare them for their chosen career.

Second and third year residents often use elective time to participate in international rotations in Guadalajara, Mexico, Saipan, Uganda, and others. There is one month of vacation with an additional 3-4 days off over either Christmas or New Years in each year throughout training at UCSD.

Chief Resident Year

Currently we have three chief residents who are selected during their residency to serve as leaders in the program. Our chief residents serve as instructors in the Department of Pediatrics and as representatives for the residents to the chairman of the department. They act as general pediatric consultants to the residents and to other services, and they work as attending pediatricians at the North Park Family Health Centers Pediatrics Clinic.

The chief residents organize teaching conferences at UCSD and Rady Children's Hospital. Protected time is devoted for the chief residents to pursue research, advocacy, and career development. This year is designed to continue to augment general pediatric knowledge through consultation, research, teaching and patient care.