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Undergraduate Program/Medical Education

Department of Pediatric Undergraduate Medical Education
Montreal Children's Hospital - MUHC
2300 Tupper Street, C-429
Montreal, Quebec, H3H 1P3

Program Director
preetha [dot] krishnamoorthy [at] muhc [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Preetha Krishnamoorthy) MD
Director, Undergraduate Medical Education
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Tel: (514) 412-4400 ext: 24308

Program Administrative Coordinator
judy [dot] browning [at] muhc [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Judy Browning)
Montreal Children's Hospital - MUHC
Room C-429
Tel: (514) 412-4400 ext:24308

Undergraduate Program

The Department of Pediatrics has the responsibility of teaching all McGill medical students in the discipline of Pediatrics. We see the students at two phases in the curriculum for their core training in pediatrics. Just prior to the clerkship, in the third year of the medical curriculum, there is a course entitled Introduction to Pediatrics. This is a lecture/small group course which introduces the student to the world of Peds. This is followed by the Pediatric clerkship, which is of 8 weeks' duration. In addition, the students can take many electives in Pediatrics throughout the latter years of their training.


Medical Students

Introduction to Pediatrics

This is a five-week course which takes place just preceding the clerkship experience, and we have the students for 6 afternoons during this time period. Each session starts with two lectures in sequence, followed by a small group tutorial with a pediatrician. The same faculty member has the same group throughout the program. Each group has 10-11 students and the discussion is based on a case related to the lecture material. Students are provided with the cases at the beginning of the course and they come to the small groups prepared to discuss the issues. The course covers some very basic topics in Pediatrics and provides the students with the beginnings of a pediatric data base prior to starting their clerkship.

Clinical Clerkship

This is an 8-week clinical clerkship taken by every student in the third year of the curriculum. All students follow the same core program and over the course of the year we see approximately 160 students. At any one time we have 24-26 students in the clerkship. Each student spends 4 weeks on a general pediatric ward, 2 weeks in the ambulatory department, and 2 weeks in a perinatal unit.

During their time on the ward, the students function as key members of the clinical teaching unit, and are given and expected to take considerable responsibility. Under supervision they carry a patient load of 2-7 patients and provide comprehensive care to these patients. They do the admission history and physical, communicate daily with the families, write daily progress notes, chase down results, communicate with consultants and outside physicians, and write discharge summaries. On daily rounds, they report on their patients and management is discussed and planned. Most students are able to function at a very high level and they are perceived as important members of the health care team by the patients, their families and by the residents. Students carry pagers and are on call at night and on weekends on a rotational basis. This rotation functions as a true clerkship where students learn primarily by taking care of patients and dealing with real illness.

In the ambulatory component of the clerkship the students work in the emergency departments of the hospital, both medical and surgical, and in some of the clinic areas, e.g., asthma centre and dermatology clinic.

In addition there are many teaching sessions in small group format. Also in the outpatient setting, the students have first contact with the patients and present their findings and plans to the supervising attending staff. Because the emergency department is so busy and there are many patients who are not acutely ill, there are huge numbers of appropriate patients for junior trainees.

Students do the newborn rotation either at the Royal Victoria Hospital or at the Jewish General Hospital, both of which have very busy perinatal units. Here also the student becomes an important member of the team. They have classroom experience, responsibilities in the normal nursery, and primary roles in the neonatal intensive care nurseries. There is a considerable amount of both formal and informal teaching in this area as well.

Throughout the clerkship there are daily lectures for the students and the students are freed from their clinical responsibilities in order to attend the lectures. In addition they are encouraged to attend any and all other lectures, seminars and rounds taking place at the hospital.


The Department provides 4-week elective experiences for McGill students in many different areas and approximately 35 students per year take advantage of the opportunities. In addition, we allow non-McGill medical students to do electives here as long as they meet the Faculty requirements for doing so.

For more information see the Faculty of Medicine web site.

In summary, the Department of Pediatrics and the Montreal Children's Hospital provide the teachers and the clinical setting for training approximately 260 undergraduate medical students per year.