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FAQs about the Categorical Track

What am I choosing and what am I trading in if I am in the Categorical Track instead of the Primary Care Track or the Community Health Track?

“One of our strengths is the exposure to different cases, and the availability of highly experienced subspecialists.”

The Primary Care Track and Community Health Track are for residents with particular interest in primary care pediatrics or advocacy and community pediatrics, respectively. Each of these tracks offer special rotations, seminars, and extramural activities to augment training within the tracks, however many of those activities are open to residents of all tracks. For example, Categorical Track residents can take the Health Policy and Global Health electives, and those who are interested in primary care or community health can benefit from the mentorship available from faculty in the other tracks. Residents from the Categorical Track also may choose to participate in the Advocacy Rotation. The advantage of the Categorical Track, therefore, is the flexibility through the use of elective time to capitalize on the many special educational opportunities available to residents at Children’s National.

What are my options for continuity clinic in the Categorical Track?

Categorical Track residents have the unique option of choosing among more than a dozen sites for continuity clinic. About two-thirds of the Categorical Track residents have weekly continuity clinic at Children’s Health Center (CHC), where they work closely with faculty in the model of primary care in a tertiary care setting. Each clinic session begins with didactic teaching, led by an attending or third-year resident. Residents at Children’s Health Center speak highly of the autonomy they are given there, with preceptors easily accessible for guidance.

The other continuity clinic sites for Categorical residents include community health centers, Latino neighborhood health centers, the Mobile Health Van, and private suburban pediatric offices.

During ambulatory block time, Categorical residents rotate through Children’s Dental clinic, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program, and Generations (teen parents) clinic. Categorical residents also act as Teaching Resident for two weeks during their third-year Children’s Health Center rotation, during which they precept medical students and give morning lectures to the students. Two weeks during the PL-2 and PL-3 years are spent as an urgent care resident, where residents see sick visits and follow-up on parent phone calls received by the on-call physician the night before.

Am I expected to become a specialist if I choose the Categorical Track?

“The strengths of this program include the variety and volume of patients you are exposed to at a tertiary care center with an international population.”

Categorical Track graduates enter into a wide variety of careers. Many decide to specialize, while others become hospitalists, go into primary care, pursue Master’s degrees in public health, or follow alternative career paths in health policy. The options are wide open to residents, and our faculty provides the mentorship needed to make these decisions.

What is the application process?

Children’s National offers 26 designated Categorical Track residency positions each year. Since the Categorical, Community Health, and Primary Care Tracks have separate match numbers, Categorical Track applicants may rank one or all three of the tracks at Children’s National.

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