Core Clerkship in Pediatrics

peds center

The core clerkship in Pediatrics 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 sub-specialty needs as well.

After a three-day program of educational sessions/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 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 aid in preparing students for the National Board of Medical Examiners shelf exam in Pediatrics, which is administered at the end of the clerkship.

PRECEDE Overview

PRECEDE (Pre-Clerkship Education Exercises) sessions are intended to introduce students to fundamental skills and knowledge that they will utilize at their inpatient and outpatient sites. Students spend three days at the start of the clerkship and two days at the midpoint of the clerkship involved in this program.

A few examples of Pediatrics PRECEDE sessions include:

  • An afternoon devoted to neonatal care. Students participate in a session 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.
  • Simulations of pediatric emergencies in infants.

Learning Objectives

peds center

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 aged 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, 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.

The learning objectives are modeled after the National Pediatrics Core Curriculum, developed by the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics.

Clerkship Director

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


Kermitta Amet
Medical Training Program Administrator
Email: [email protected]

Time Commitment and Clerkship Length

The clerkship runs for eight weeks.

Clinical Site for this Clerkship



  • East Baltimore Medical Center - View map
  • Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital - View map
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department - View map
  • Sinai Hospital - View map
  • Harriet Lane Clinic - View map
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center - View map
  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians at Remington
  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians at Odenton/Meade
  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians at Water's Edge - View Map
  • The Pediatric Center, Columbia

Inpatient/Outpatient Combined

More on Pediatrics

Learn more about the medical student/clerkship program in Pediatrics