Pediatric Clerkship

The Pediatrics Clerkship is an eight-week experience in which students care for patients in both inpatient and outpatient (ambulatory) settings. The clerkship focuses on general pediatrics but students participate in the care of patients with subspecialty needs as well.

After a three-day program of educational sessions or lectures intended to orient students to pediatrics (PRECEDE), students spend approximately four weeks rotating in an inpatient setting and four weeks rotating in an outpatient setting. Additionally, students are required to complete a one-day rotation at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, an affiliated hospital for children with developmental disabilities and rehabilitation needs.

Throughout the clerkship, there are weekly lectures presented by exceptional faculty. These serve as an aide in preparing for the National Board of Medical Examiners shelf exam in pediatrics, which is administered at the end of the clerkship.

Pediatric Clerkship Program Administration


William Christopher Golden MD

  • Medical Director, Newborn Nursery, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics

 Associate Director

Amit Kumar Pahwa MD

  • Director, Internal Medicine Sub-internship, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Clerkship Administrator

Mrs. Rebekah Reisig 
Bloomberg 8444
[email protected]


Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m.
Located in the Schaffer Auditorium
Two lectures/seminar, one hour each, lead by faculty

Reoccurring Topics: 

  • Well Child Development, Department of General Pediatrics
  • Puberty, Department of Endocrinology
  • Asthma, Department of Pulmonary Medicine
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Department of Endocrinology
  • Respiratory Infections, Department of Infectious Diseases
  • Anemia, Department of Hematology
  • Meningitis/Encephalitis, Department of Infectious Diseases
  • Congenital Heart Disease, Department of Cardiology
  • Seizures, Department of Neurology

Objectives of the Pediatrics Clerkship

Medical Knowledge

  • Demonstrate the ability to generate an age-appropriate differential diagnosis based on the interview and physical examination.
  • Describe the components of a pediatric health supervision visit, including health promotion and disease and injury prevention, the use of screening tools, and immunizations for newborns, infants, toddlers, school age children, and adolescents.
  • List the differential diagnosis for common symptoms or patient presentations. such as abdominal pain, abnormal growth pattern, ALTE, respiratory distress, jaundice, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing and seizures.
  • Describe the clinical features of common acute and chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, anemia, atopic dermatitis, AD/HD, bronchiolitis, Kawasaki disease, cellulitis, cerebral palsy, child abuse, croup, dehydration, diabetes, strep pharyngitis, meningitis, epilepsy, urinary tract infection, osteomyelitis, gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux, otitis media and viral URI. 

Clinical Care

  • Demonstrate an ability to perform an age-appropriate history and physical examination in children of all ages. 
  • Interpret the results of common diagnostic tests with an emphasis on age-related norms. 
  • Search for relevant information using data sources (textbooks, electronic searches) and critically appraise the information obtained to make evidence based decisions in patient care.  

Professional Behavior

  • Demonstrate a positive attitude and regard for education by demonstrating universal attendance, punctuality, intellectual curiosity, initiative, honesty, responsibility, dedication to being prepared, maturity in soliciting, accepting and acting on feedback. 

Communication Skills

  • Demonstrate communication skills with patients and families that convey respect, integrity, flexibility, sensitivity and compassion while avoiding use of medical jargon. 
  • Present a complete, well-organized verbal and written summary of the patient’s history and physical examination findings, including an assessment and plan modifying the presentation to fit the time constraints and educational goals of the situation.


School of Medicine students enrolled in basic clerkships are required to participate in Pre-Clerkship Education Exercises (PRECEDE) at the beginning and midpoints of each quarter. These exercises are intended to introduce students to fundamental skills and knowledge that they will utilize at their inpatient and outpatient sites. 

In cooperation with the Johns Hopkins Simulation Center, several of the sessions are hands-on based learning through the use of high- and low-fidelity simulations and standardized patients. Students have given these sessions the highest feedback, as they feel the preparation and knowledge received during this time is invaluable to their upcoming experience.

Specific to the pediatrics PRECEDE curriculum, students spend three days at the start of the clerkship and two days at the midpoint of the clerkship involved in this program. 

Examples of pediatrics PRECEDE sessions include:

  • An afternoon devoted to neonatal care. Students participate in a series of “minisessions” regarding the topics of a hip exam, common images in neonatology and common neonatal problems. They are then escorted to the nursery and given the opportunity to perform a newborn exam on a newborn patient under the instruction of a faculty preceptor.
  • A session on gathering sensitive medical and social histories from adolescents in which standardized patients portray youth in the Simulation Center exam rooms.
  • A session on otitis media in which students learn how to properly perform pneumatic otoscopy on a simulator and diagnose common problems of the ear.
  • A simulation of respiratory distress in an infant.