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FAQs about the Primary Care Track


Why should I choose the Primary Care Track?

“The opportunity to have my own patients that I really feel responsible for along with the rest of the clinic team, to have a substantial block of time in the clinic, and to work in such a great clinic setting with such great teaching as a resident was what really drew me to the program.”



The Primary Care Track is a good choice if you enjoy close mentorship relationships, learning, and providing care in one setting for a longer period of time than the typical one-month rotation, and being part of a smaller learning community within a larger program. The track provides a unique opportunity to experience the responsibilities of a practicing pediatrician under the guidance of experienced clinicians.


What am I trading in if I am in the Primary Care Track instead of the Community Track or the Categorical Track? Five-month blocks in the second and third year sound like a big chunk of time.

Primary Care Track residents do the same amount of neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit rotations, and only one to two months less of inpatient rotations compared to residents in the other tracks. Rotations on subspecialty inpatient services are similar between all three tracks. For the most part, you are trading other outpatient experiences for the concentrated block of time at CP&A.

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What other experience will I get in the primary care track?
  • Attend visual diagnosis conference weekly
  • As PL-3, participate in telephone triage night call with the other pediatricians in the practice
  • As a PL-2, participate in a Community Health Experience at a local clinic
  • Participate in weekly behavior and mental health conferences that include units on childhood development and child psychiatry
  • See adolescents in weekly adolescent clinic, in addition to the regular flow of adolescent patients throughout the week
  • Meet with an individual mentor weekly to review your own clinical questions that arise in the course of patient care
  • Develop teaching skills by preparing and giving conferences (including the popular Pediatric Intensive Care/Primary Care conference)
  • Utilize a fully implemented and integrated electronic health record for patient care, research, and learning

What if I decide I want to do a fellowship or don’t want to pursue a career in primary care after all? Will I be limiting my post-residency choices by choosing the Primary Care Track?

“The Primary Care Track is a good choice if you enjoy close mentorship relationships, learning, and providing care in one setting for a longer period of time than the typical one-month rotation, and being part of a smaller learning community within a larger program. The track provides a unique opportunity to experience the responsibilities of a practicing pediatrician under the guidance of experienced clinicians.”



No! Nearly half of our graduates enter careers outside primary care. Many choose to do fellowships (adolescent medicine, child advocacy and developmental pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, cardiology, neonatology, and critical care). The primary care training in no way limits your post-residency choices.


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What does a typical week look like? (See sample schedule)

A typical week at CP&A during your 5-month block includes:
  • Direct patient care 4 days/week
  • Morning of conferences (primary care pediatrics, adolescent, and behavioral/mental health)
  • Half-day work in a community health experience in PL2 year
  • Half-day of adolescent continuity practice combining didactic education and patient care
  • Full day of elective/REACH

What do residents use their weekly elective time for?

Residents have pursued child advocacy projects, such as working on Capitol Hill with legislators or the executive branch of the federal government, developing and delivering health education models at public schools, working in a law school on a child protection project, and writing and receiving grants to provide outreach services in needy communities. Some residents have chosen to focus on improving care in our practice. One example is a resident project that involved researching office emergency preparedness and updating our code cart and emergency procedures. Residents also have chosen to use the time to attend outpatient subspecialty clinics at Children’s National such as Orthopaedics, Otolaryngology, Allergy and Immunology, and Dermatology. Other residents chose to work on global health projects during this time. Those residents who do a REACH project use elective time to build on work they have already started.

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What is the application process?

Four residency positions are designated as primary care positions each year. Residency applicants interested in being considered for a primary care position should check off the appropriate Primary Care Track box in ERAS. Those selected for interview are preferentially given one of the interviews at a CP&A practice when feasible. However, checking the box does not obligate an applicant to rank the Primary Care Track.

Since the categorical, Community Track, and Primary Care Track have separate match numbers, Primary Care Track applicants may rank any of the tracks at Children’s National for which they have interviewed.


Where can I get more information?

Edward Sepe, MD
Director of Primary Care Track
2141 K Street, NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20037
esepe@childrensnational.org
202-833-2076 desk


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