Pediatrics Clerkship

Clerkship Goals & General Objectives

The overall desired end point is the mastery of basic core competencies that are essential for practice as a competent physician, regardless of career focus to include:

  • Acquisition of a body of knowledge and skills necessary for the diagnosis and initial management of common pediatric acute and chronic illnesses.
  • An understanding of the approach of pediatricians to the health care of children and adolescents.
  • An understanding of the influence of family, community and society on the child in health and disease.
  • Development of communication skills that will facilitate the clinical interaction with children, adolescents and their families and thus ensure that complete, accurate data are obtained.
  • Development of competency in the physical examination of infants, children and adolescents.
  • Development of clinical problem-solving skills.
  • Development of strategies for health promotion as well as disease and injury prevention.
  • Development of the attitudes and professional behaviors appropriate for clinical practice.


Core Clerkship Learner Objectives

Patient Care

Upon completion of the Pediatrics Clerkship, the student will be able to provide compassionate, effective patient care reflecting the ability to:

  • Provide age-appropriate anticipatory guidance about nutrition, behavior, immunizations, injury prevention, pubertal development, sexuality, and substance use and abuse.
  • Measure and assess growth including height/length, weight and head circumference, and body mass index in patient encounters using standard growth charts.
  • Counsel parents and children about the management of common behavioral concerns such as discipline, toilet training and eating disorders.
  • Obtain a dietary history in children ranging in age from birth to adolescence.
  • Provide age-appropriate anticipatory guidance for the following: motor vehicle safety, infant sleeping position, falls, burns, poisoning, fire safety, choking, water safety, bike safety, STI (formerly called STD), firearms and weapons.
  • Interview an adolescent patient using the HEADSS method to ask sensitive questions about lifestyle choices that affect health and safety (e.g., sexuality, drug, tobacco and alcohol use) and give appropriate counseling.
  • Conduct a physical examination of an adolescent that demonstrates respect for privacy and modesty, employing a chaperone when appropriate.
  • Conduct a pre-participation sports exam and demonstrate the key components of that exam necessary to clear an individual for participation in strenuous exercise (special senses, cardiac, pulmonary, neurological and musculoskeletal).
  • Conduct a health supervision visit for a healthy adolescent, incorporating a psychosocial interview, developmental assessment and appropriate screening and preventive measures.
  • Provide anticipatory guidance to parents of a newborn for the following issues: feeding, normal bowel and urinary elimination patterns, appropriate car seat use, SIDS prevention, disease prevention, identifying illness.
  • Perform a complete physical exam of the newborn infant.
  • Use the “ABC” assessment as a means to identify who requires immediate medical attention and intervention.


Pediatrics Knowledge

Upon completion of the clerkship the student will be able to apply their knowledge of pediatrics reflecting the ability to:

  • Assess psychosocial development, language development, physical maturation and motor development in pediatric patients using appropriate resources.
  • Identify behavioral and psychosocial problems of childhood using the medical history and physical examination.
  • Use a family history to construct a pedigree (e.g., for the evaluation of a possible genetic disorder).
  • Calculate a drug dose for a child based on body weight.
  • Write a prescription, e.g., for a common medication such as an antibiotic.
  • Negotiate a therapeutic plan with the patient and family to maximize adherence with the agreed-upon treatment regimens and assess the family’s understanding of the plan.
  • Obtain historical and physical finding information necessary to assess the hydration status of a child.
  • Calculate and write orders for intravenous maintenance fluids for a child considering daily water and electrolyte requirements.
  • Calculate and write orders for the fluid therapy for a child with severe dehydration to include “rescue” fluid to replenish circulating volume, fluid deficit and ongoing maintenance.


Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Upon completion of the clerkship the student will demonstrate interpersonal and communications skills reflecting the ability to:

  • Explain to parents how to use oral rehydration therapy for mild to moderate dehydration.
  • Provide anticipatory guidance regarding home safety and appropriate techniques to prevent accidental ingestions.
  • Elicit a complete history when evaluating an unintentional ingestion or exposure to a toxic substance (including the substance, the route of exposure, the quantity, timing and general preventive measures in the household).
  • Elicit a complete history surrounding the intentional ingestion of a toxic substance (including the substance, route of exposure, amount, timing, antecedent events and stressors).
  • Provide appropriate anticipatory guidance to prevent life-threatening conditions (e.g., infant positioning for sudden infant death syndrome, locks to prevent poisoning, and the use of car seats and bicycle helmets).


The degree of competence should be high enough for the student to be capable of doing the assessment unaided and, in the case of tests, to be able to interpret the results in relation to the patient.


Deborah Krznarich
Phone: 330.543.5131

Department Chair

Norman C. Christopher, M.D.
Phone: 330.543.8906

Department of Pediatrics

College of Medicine at NEOMED