Welcome from Program Director

Dr. VaradeThe University of Rochester Pediatric Residency Program offers a flexible, well-balanced, supportive yet rigorous training program that provides an excellent foundation for entering primary care or a subspecialty fellowship. We serve a culturally and economically diverse population, and we have a unique, horizontally integrated system of pediatric care for the region. We also have an excellent relationship with community physicians, all of whom are members of our faculty. Many are also graduates of our program. At the same time, all of the subspecialties are well represented by an exceptionally strong faculty that is committed to the very best in resident education.

Since its inception, The University of Rochester Medical Center has been known for its excellence in primary care teaching, and this strength continues in our department. Concurrently, we are an established national leader in community pediatrics and advocacy and have pioneered important research activities in fields such as health care delivery, health sciences research, immunocompromised hosts, obesity, asthma, and autism, to name a few. Residents are invited and encouraged to participate in research activities during their training.

During the second and third years of training, residents may elect to enter a Primary Care Track with a second clinic usually in a community pediatric office, but unique second clinics such as sports medicine, international medicine, and other self-selected venues are also available. Other tracks in the program include the Community Health and Advocacy Residency Education Track—with an emphasis on advocacy, serving the underserved, public policy, and addressing the new morbidities such as violence—and a Resident Research Track. The Global CARE Track focuses on the health of children and communities worldwide and the new Refugee CARE Track serves refugee families in the Rochester area by facilitating resettlement and working to meet the many needs of these children and parents. Approximately 15% of our residents publish a peer-reviewed article or a chapter or present original material at a national meeting each year.

We truly view the residents as adult learners and empower them to identify and work in new educational venues to enhance their training. We have a very active peer-selected House Staff Committee that continuously examines all phases of the resident experience and advises the program about necessary changes and enhancements. Innovative programs that have resulted from our continuous quality improvement activities include a unique two-week Skills Block experience that covers multiple aspects of practicing modern pediatrics—communication, evaluation and feedback, teaching, malpractice, contracts and negotiations, and a very strong foundation in evidence-based medicine—as well as a mini-clinical symposia and life issues such as finances and balancing work with relationships. Our program is family friendly with an emphasis on stress reduction during training. For example, for each year of training, meetings are held outside the hospital with a trained facilitator to provide an additional sounding board for any problems encountered during training. Recommendations for improvement or change are passed on to the program directors after these sessions.

Regarding our training outcomes, slightly more than half of our residents enter primary care and one half of these graduates remain in our area. The remainder enter excellent fellowships, half here in Rochester and the other half at prestigious fellowship programs around the country. The residents have an excellent first-time pass rate on the Pediatric Board Examination, and the residency office continuously receives glowing reports about the care provided by our graduates in multiple settings. 

In summary, I believe we have an outstanding training program. Our major strengths are the quality of our residents, the warmth of their interactions, and the excellence of the care they deliver in a congenial, supportive, and academically challenging educational environment.

William Varade, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Residency Training Program