Student Learning Experiences

Please click on each student learning experience below to learn more.

  • The pediatric clerkship is an introduction to the care of children and emphasizes those aspects of pediatrics that should be understood and mastered by all physicians, regardless of ultimate career goals. Second year Vanderbilt medical students will develop an understanding of the growth and development of children and implement knowledge they obtain to care for common childhood conditions and diseases. Students will also work with children and families to develop an understanding of the importance of preventive medicine and how social and environmental factors affect children.

    Goals of the Pediatric Clerkship:

    • Acquisition of basic knowledge of growth and development (physical, physiologic and pyschosocial) and of its clinical application from birth through adolescence
    • Acquisition of the knowledge and clinical problem solving 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 strategies for health promotion as well as disease and injury prevention

    • Development of the attitudes and professional behaviors appropriate for clinical practice

    Logistics of the Pediatric Clerkship

    The Pediatric Clerkship consists of 6 weeks of Pediatric focused activities over an 8 week period (with a 2 week VUMC wide elective mixed in). The 6 weeks consist of 2 weeks on a subspecialty service, 2 weeks of outpatient primary pediatrics, 1 week of inpatient pediatric hospitalist medicine, and 1 week of newborn nursery. Sample student schedules are provided below.

    Sample Pediatric Clerkship Schedules

    Weeks 1-2

    Weeks 3-4

    Weeks 5-6

    Weeks 7-8

    Pediatric Cardiology

    VUMC Elective



    Outpatient: Green Hills

    VUMC Elective

    Outpatient: Meharry

    Pediatric GI




    Learning Activities:

    In addition to clinical learning, students on the Pediatric Clerkship will participate in numerous learning activities including, student run morning report case conferences, noon lectures from residents and faculty, physical exam findings scavenger hunts, interactive flipped-classroom learning experiences, emergency simulation experiences, study questions, and more! Additionally, the morning report and noon conference lectures are both live streamed to increase student connectivity and recorded for asynchronous learning and review.

    Master Clinical Teachers:

    Medical students will participate in the 3 sessions with Master Clinical Teachers. This program is directed by Dr. Travis Crook. These experience place students alongside a faculty member with exceptional bedside teaching skills to observe the student performing a history and physical examination, provide direct bedside feedback, and discuss assessment, differential diagnosis, and diagnostic plans. Emphasis is placed on watching to what extent the student can perform independently and on providing direct, at-the-bedside feedback to the student regarding clinical skills. The Pediatric Master Clinical Teachers are Uchenna Anani, MD, Dena Ibrahim, MD, Diana Metropulos, MD, MS, and Merranda Holmes, MD (Immersion Phase).


    The Pediatric Clerkship is Pass/Fail. Assessments and feedback are provided by residents and faculty regarding milestone performance in key clinical and professional development domains. At the end of the clerkship, all students will take the NBME Pediatric Shelf Examination and must pass the examination in order to successfully complete the clerkship.

  • Advanced Clinical Electives:

    Medical students in their third and fourth year have the opportunity to participate in deeper, more immersive learning experiences in pediatric subspecialties.  These month long courses not only enrich the students’ understanding of pediatric illnesses and management, but promote student autonomy of patient care.  Below is a list of the ACEs available.

    • Adolescent Medicine
    • Child Abuse
    • Developmental Pediatrics and Genetics
    • Pediatric Cardiology
    • Pediatric Critical Care
    • Pediatric Emergency Medicine
    • Pediatric Endocrinology
    • Pediatric Epilepsy
    • Pediatric Gastroenterology
    • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    • Pediatric Infectious Diseases
    • Pediatric Nephrology
    • Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine
    • Pediatric Radiology
    • Pediatric Rheumatology
    • Spanish Language Pediatric Clinic

    For more information, please contact the Enrollment Services.

  • The Department of Pediatrics offers two different Acting Internships: Hospital Medicine and Neonatology. The Pediatric Acting Internship is a course designed to give students a more robust experience of serving as an active member of the inpatient pediatric ward teams. Students will assume intern responsibilities with the supervision and countersignature of notes and orders by upper level residents, as well as participate in daily teaching conferences. Students will be assigned a number of long day shifts and a series of night shifts, with a maximum of four days off during the four week period. Patient assignments will be at the level of a census closer to that of an intern to provide increased responsibility and ensure readiness for residency. In order to ensure the strong clinical experience which characterizes this course, each position is built into the pediatrics house staff rotational schedule and each acting intern will be assigned their own pager. Therefore, the pediatric service relies heavily on each student who is accepted into this course. We ask that each student consider his/her enrollment as a strong commitment to serve; add/drops will not be permitted.

    For more information, please contact the course director, Dr. Travis Crook, at

  • Vanderbilt welcomes visiting students to participate in clinical learning activities, space permitting. Students must be fourth year medical students at accredited medical schools, have passed the USMLE Step 1, and have either BLS or ACLS training that has not expired. Visiting students may participate in any of the electives noted in the Advanced Clinical Electives section.

    For more information, a list of full requirements, and to enroll, please see the Visiting Students information page.

    For more information on the URiM Visiting Scholar Program, please visit the program homepage here.

    For any general information or questions, please contact Dr. Travis Crook at

  • The Department of Pediatrics welcomes prospective medical students who would like to get information about the clinical experience of being a pediatrician or any pediatric subspecialty.

    If you are interested in shadowing, please visit

    After contacting Vanderbilt Observational Services, please contact Dr. Travis Crook at for further information and scheduling.

  • The Pediatric Interest Group (PIG) is comprised of medical students of all experience levels from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College who express an interest and passion for child health care. The organization strives to provide a connection and bond for like-minded students while also providing more exposure and activities to enhance their understanding of their future career possibilities.

    Three senior medical students are selected to serve as student leaders. These leaders organize social events, mock interviews for residency, dinner with a pediatrician events, research symposiums, residency match advice, service projects, and more. All interested students are welcome!

    For more information, please contact Dr. Maya Neeley at or Dr. Travis Crook at