Welcome from the Program Director
We are thrilled that you are interested in our Pediatric Residency Program at the University of Illinois college of Medicine at Peoria. We received a class complement increase and starting with the 2022 NRMP Match, we will be recruiting twelve residents a year. Our mid-sized program offers outstanding training in Pediatrics, and prepares our residents to deliver excellent care dedicated to the health and well-being of all children.
Our hospital, OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois, is the third largest children’s hospital in Illinois. Our program has a long-standing tradition of excellence in pediatric education since 1958. The training you receive will prepare you for a future in both primary care Pediatrics and Subspecialty training. Our faculty is strongly committed to providing an outstanding educational experience, and our program size fosters a collegial and family friendly atmosphere. You will experience a wide range and depth of patient pathology during your training, especially given our large referral base that spans over half of Illinois. We have a state-of-the-art simulation center, Jump Simulation, where residents get hands-on training and experience using high fidelity simulation. This is an excellent way to train residents in improving patient safety, efficiency in medical systems, procedural competency, and translation of these skills to the patient bedside. We are also home to one of the larger combined Internal Medicine/Pediatric residency programs in the nation and as our sister program they complement us well in size. Although this makes us larger, you will never get lost in the crowd!
Our educational curriculum is designed by our Associate Program Director and covers relevant clinical and exam content. Our faculty are dedicated to your education to provide high impact learning opportunities in general pedantic medicine as well as the subspecialties to complement what you are learning in the clinical setting. We have dedicated conference time to teach American Board of Pediatrics board content topics that are taught by our Assistant Program Director who also provides one-on-one mentoring support towards your study plan to assure your success in the Pediatric certifying examination.
Our residents take part in curricula in evidence based medicine, patient safety, quality improvement, and high value care under the direction of our Safety Champion. We have education in these topics at both the residency level and the Graduate Medical Education level, enabling a multidisciplinary learning environment and fostering our connection across all residencies and fellowships at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria. Training in quality and safety begins during the intern year, with online material through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Key concepts and material are reinforced via ongoing interactive didactics for senior residents. All residents take part in meaningful QI projects with a small group of classmates, projects which are resident-driven and overseen by dedicated faculty.
We have an Assistant Program Director dedicated to Population Health under whose guidance we have participated in many community endeavors such as fundraising for local community partners, school physical programs, and community health scholarly projects. As Pediatricians, we are leaders in advocacy and community health. We would like to help our residents focus on building knowledge and skills around addressing social determinants of health, becoming advocates for children and developing into community leaders.
Our residents complete a mentored scholarly project by the end of their training. Historically, their work has been nationally recognized. Trainees may choose to do either novel research, innovative quality improvement, or community health projects to match their career goals and passions. The work is informed by lectures/workshops on research methodology, evidence-based medicine, and quality improvement. Works in progress are discussed during monthly learning collaboratives that provide a forum to receive input from and offer support to peers.
Our residency program is an excellent blend of a strong curriculum, outstanding training in all aspects of pediatrics, and potential for exponential academic growth. We will help develop you into an outstanding general Pediatrician or a Pediatric Subspecialist. Our residents get their continuity experience at two ambulatory sites: our resident-run clinic and private practices in the community. Our resident clinic is moving to a new location this summer and will be the site for multiple subspecialties to best serve our patients. We also started a new clinic structure this academic year where residents have clinic months alternating with non-clinic months so as to preserve patient continuity, decreased resident burnout, and boost resident wellbeing. We have received approval to establish three fellowships: Pediatric Hospital Medicine, Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine, and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, and will be starting these soon.
Our program is very committed to resident well-being. Stress and burnout are not unfamiliar situations during one’s medical training. The rigors of residency have one working up to 80 hours per week in highly stressful situations, with little time for personal health and families. We offer a wellness noon conference (free hour) every month, monthly wellness lunches, and fun resident retreats. We have other wellness-oriented activities such as paid Les Mills classes, cookie baking, pumpkin decorating, Valentine exchanges, a resident golf outing, Christmas parties, to name a few. Covered parking attached to the medical center is offered for free and food is free to our residents, with our cafeteria being open round the clock. Our residents also have access to formal wellness resources such as CBCT® (Cognitively Based Compassion Training), a practice to cultivate compassion through contemplative practices. The CBCT® course helps one gain better knowledge on cultivating self-compassion, developing sound stress relief techniques, and developing stability of the mind, to help handle or overcome stressful situations in their day-to-day life. A little practice goes a long way and we have certified CBCT® instructors on site to teach the curriculum to our residents. In addition, we also have trained teachers to teach CEB (Cultivating Emotional Balance) and B.R.E.A.T.H.E (Bringing Resilience and Emotional Awareness To Healthcare Education). We incorporate a lot of other resources into our residency such as the supportive care group, SAFER series for sleep education, and free on-site wellness visits by a licensed counselor specializing in caring for those in the medical field.
If you are seeking a program that has a strong educational curriculum, cutting edge technology, and training in a wide range of patient experience, our program is the right fit for you. If you are looking for a program with a personal touch, where you will be part of the team and enjoy excellent working relationships with your fellow residents and faculty, you have come to the right place! I trained here as well, and I speak from personal experience when I tell you that there is no place better to do your Pediatric training than the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria. Even though it means we get to meet you virtually this recruitment season, we are very excited all the same!
Bhavana Kandikattu, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Residency Program Director