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Medical Student & Resident Education

The Division of Pediatric Critical Care built its educational emphases around its diverse trainees – medical students, pediatric residents, and members of the fully accredited fellowship program. While most educational activities focus on physicians in various stages of training, Division faculty also work with students including pediatric nurse practitioners, staff nurses, and respiratory care practitioners.

Medical Students

We offer elective opportunities for fourth-year medical students from UT Southwestern and outside institutions to rotate through our general medical/surgical, trauma/neurosurgical, and cardiac intensive care units

Prerequisites include:

  • Acceptable academic standing at the student's current medical institution
  • Successful completion of a third-year pediatric clerkship

Outside rotators must provide a letter of recommendation from their residency program director to confirm that they satisfied these prerequisites.

Acute Care Rotation in PICU

Medical students who select the PICU to fulfill their acute care rotation requirements gain experience with a variety of patients in different units. You become integral to our multidisciplinary team of residents, fellows, and faculty. The rotation emphasizes patient-based learning, giving you primary responsibility for one or two patients and focusing on their conditions as you learn through a combination of didactic and self-directed study. Other elective opportunities allow you to learn about critically injured patients in a trauma/neurosurgical setting or about children recovering from cardiovascular surgery to correct congenital or acquired heart disease.


You rotate through the PICU one month each year of a residency. At distinct phases of your training, the three-year experience presents residents with a broad spectrum of critically ill children. Faculty and fellows provide formal didactic teaching on pertinent critical care topics during the noon conference lecture series each year.

From interns seeing patients for the first time in their careers, to second-year residents and resident team leaders responsible for many critically ill patients, all residents develop increasing confidence in their ability to recognize and stabilize a critically ill child. Over time you also gain a profound sense of humility, which remains essential when dealing with diseases and injuries that can so suddenly take a child from a family.

Other specialty training programs requiring critical care experience also rotate residents through the PICUs, including:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Pain Management
  • Emergency Medicine

Individual experience levels determine your experience, but pediatric teams typically welcome the perspective of residents with knowledge gained from working with adult patients.

Outpatient Training:

Residents from other specialties have the option to participate in elective rotations such as:

  • Multidisciplinary medical surgical
  • Trauma/neurosurgical
  • Cardiovascular ICUs

PICU Rotation Description