The Department of Pediatrics teaches all McGill medical students in the discipline of Pediatrics, and sees MDCM students at two phases in the curriculum for their core training in pediatrics.
- During the Transition to Clinical Practice in the second year of the MDCM program, students complete the course PAED 301 - Introduction to Pediatrics
- Second, during the Clerkship in the third year of MDCM program, students complete the course PAED 401 - Pediatrics Clerkship.
In addition, students may take electives in Pediatrics throughout the latter years of their training.
During the second year of medical school, students complete the Transition to Clinical Practice (TCP) in the MDCM program which forms part of the Comprehensive and Consultative Health Block (alongside Neurology and Family Medicine). This is an 8-week block which takes place just preceding the clerkship experience. Two weeks are dedicated to pediatrics during which students will participate in 4 modules and attend 4 clinics. The modules target some basic pediatric topics. Students work through clinical vignettes under the guidance of a module leader. During the 4 clinics, students are exposed to a variety of pediatric patients and have to opportunity to practice focused history taking and/or physical exam skills with children. During the entire 8-week block students receive 6 lectures on pediatric topics and are expected to complete online cases and podcasts.
This is a 6-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 180 students. At any one time we have 18-20 students in the clerkship. Each student spends 4 weeks on a general pediatric ward working 2 weeks on days and 2 weeks consisting of a combination of evenings and nights. Another 2 weeks is spent in a pediatric subspecialty (NICU, Adolescent Medicine, Hematology-Oncology, Medical Day Hospital, Pediatric Consultation Centre, Private Clinic).
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. This rotation functions as a true clerkship where students learn primarily by taking care of patients and dealing with real illness.
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 2-4 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.