Pediatrics Residency Match and Pediatrics Residency Programs 2020-2021
Learning about the specialty
Pediatrics is a specialty in which all medical students rotate during the third year of medical school. If you suspect pediatrics might interest you as a possible career choice, we recommend trying to schedule this core pediatrics rotation as early in the third year as possible. Since many medical students often have choices about where to rotate, we suggest completing this rotation at the student’s home or primary institution as opposed to an affiliate hospital. If your medical school has a dedicated pediatric hospital, completing rotations there would be ideal. By the same token, it is important to schedule your pediatrics sub-internship early in the fourth year and also at your medical school’s most prestigious hospital/site.
Pediatrics residency starts in the PGY1 year and is three years in total. Many pediatrics residents, however, do further subspecialty training. The top pediatrics programs are very competitive so it is important to understand what your target programs will be. The vast majority of U.S. allopathic seniors match in pediatrics, but, the specialty remains competitive, but not the most competitive, for international and osteopathic applicants.
What criteria are most important to match in pediatrics?
Understanding what criteria are most important to pediatrics program directors and admissions committees will allow you to position yourself as well as possible to match in the specialty. It is crucial to know how competitive you are for pediatrics by reviewing data published by the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). This data includes the Program Director’s Survey and Charting Outcomes in the Match for all three applicant types (allopathic students, osteopathic student and international students). By summarizing this data, together with our own knowledge of what makes a successful applicant, we will outline what you should do to match!
Pediatrics Residency Match
In 2018, there were a total of 2,858 pediatrics positions offered in the NRMP match and a total of 3,059 applicants for those positions.
Pediatrics Elective/Audition Rotations
Pediatrics is a specialty in which audition electives can be influential. In 2018, 75% of program directors surveyed felt this was an important factor when deciding whom to interview. Some program directors at more competitive programs recommend audition electives as a way to gain exposure to another institution, prove yourself on another “turf” and to have letters of reference from somewhere other than your home institution. Where to complete audition electives will largely depend on your competitiveness as an applicant and geographic preferences. Ideally, audition electives should be completed by October of the application year. It is important to discuss the possibility of doing audition rotations with an advisor or mentor from your home medical school since, for many medical students, away rotations are not necessary regardless of where you hope to match. Pediatrics is a specialty that relies heavily on USMLE Step 1/COMLEX Level 1 score when deciding whom to interview.
Pediatric Letters of Reference
Letters of reference from academic pediatricians with whom you have worked directly are the most important letters in your profile. If possible, strong letters of reference from leaders within an academic pediatrics department, such as a chair, program director, or clerkship director will also bolster your overall candidacy. If you have done any pediatrics or subspecialty research, a letter of reference from the principal investigator with whom you worked is equally valuable. We recommend a minimum of two letters from academic pediatricians, but, if it’s possible to obtain three or four letters of reference from academic pediatricians, that is considered ideal but certainly not necessary to match well.
Pediatrics Residency Match Statistics
Allopathic US Senior Medical Students:
Cumulatively, 3,059 applicants applied for 2,858 pediatric residency positions in 2018. Of those 3,059 applicants, 1,769 were U.S. senior medical students. A mere 21 U.S. senior pediatric applicants did not match in to pediatrics residencies last year. Therefore, only 1.2% of allopathic U.S. senior pediatric applicants did not match making pediatrics one of the least competitive specialties based on the data. Keep in mind, however, that the most desirable pediatrics programs are extremely competitive.
This is the data for those U.S. senior medical students who matched successfully:
- Mean number of contiguous ranks: 12.5
- Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.0
- Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 227
- Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 243
- Mean number of research experiences: 2.8
- Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 4.1
- Mean number of work experiences: 3.1
- Mean number of volunteer experiences: 8.3
- Percentage who are AOA members: 14.6
- Percentage who graduated from one of the 40 U.S. medical schools with the highest NIH funding: 29.8
- Percentage who have Ph.D. degree: 3.1
- Percentage who have another graduate degree: 14.7
Osteopathic Medical Students
Cumulatively, 3,059 applicants applied for 2,858 pediatric residency positions in 2018. There were 444 osteopathic applicants. Of those, 394 matched. Therefore, 88.7% of osteopathic medical student pediatric applicants matched in pediatrics.
The data for those osteopathic students who matched successfully:
- Mean number of contiguous ranks: 10.1
- Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.1
- Mean COMLEX-USA Level 1 score: 526
- Mean COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE score: 564
- Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 223
- Mean USMLE Step 2 CK score: 239
- Mean number of research experiences: 1.6
- Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 2.4
- Mean number of work experiences: 3.0
- Mean number of volunteer experiences: 7.9
- Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 0.0
- Percentage who have another graduate degree: 20.8
Pediatrics is one of the less competitive specialties for osteopathic medicine students. It is important to be honest about your competitiveness and to apply to programs that historically have matched osteopathic medical students. Keep in mind that osteopathic medical students can also apply to AOA-approved pediatric residencies if they are also accredited by the ACGME. As more osteopathic programs are ACGME approved, the matching rates of osteopathic students could shift.
United States International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data
Cumulatively, 3,059 applicants applied for 2,858 pediatric residency positions in 2018. There were 298 U.S. IMGs who applied for pediatrics. A total of 208 matched. Therefore, 70% of U.S. IMG pediatrics applicants matched.
Below is the data for those US IMG applicants who matched successfully:
- Mean number of contiguous ranks: 7.9
- Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.4
- Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 221
- Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 232
- Mean number of research experiences: 1.6
- Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 1.8
- Mean number of work experiences: 3.9
- Mean number of volunteer experiences: 5.2
- Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 0.6
- Percentage who have another graduate degree: 21.0
- Even though pediatrics is one of the least competitive specialties for U.S. international medical students, we suggest applying as broadly as possible and being honest about how competitive you are. When reviewing Doximity residency rankings on Doximity Residency Navigator, pay attention to “feeder” schools for each program and be sure to apply to all programs that have accepted students from international medical schools that consist of mostly U.S. citizens.
IMG Pediatrics Residency Match
Non-US International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data:
Cumulatively, 3,059 applicants applied for 2,858 pediatric residency positions in 2018. A total of 491 non-US IMGs applied and 309 matched. Therefore, a total of 63% of non-US IMG pediatric applicants matched in pediatrics.
Below is the data for those non-US IMG applicants who matched successfully:
- Mean number of contiguous ranks: 5.3
- Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.4
- Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 230
- Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 238
- Mean number of research experiences: 2.1
- Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 4.1
- Mean number of work experiences: 5.1
- Mean number of volunteer experiences: 3.7
- Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 2.2
- Percentage who have another graduate degree: 21.6
- Based on the data, pediatrics is one of the least competitive specialties for non-US citizen IMGs. However, we suggest applying as broadly as possible and being honest about how competitive you are. When reviewing Doximity residency rankings on Doximity Residency Navigator, pay attention to “feeder” schools for each program. Apply to every program that has historically matched non-US citizen IMGs.
Looking for the raw residency match data? Be sure you click below:
Pediatrics Residency Match 2019
Pediatrics Residency Interview: Who is invited?
Based on the 2018 Program Director’s Survey published by the NRMP, there are many factors that are important in deciding whom to invite for a pediatrics residency interview. What is most interesting about pediatrics is that standardized test scores are one of the most important factors with regards to who receives an interview invitation. Below are the factors considered most important in selecting applicants to interview:
1) USMLE Step 1/COMLEX Level 1 score
It is a fact of life that your performance on Step 1 or COMLEX 1 will impact the likelihood that your application is “screened in” and that you will be invited for an interview. A whopping 95% of program directors considered this an important factor when deciding whom to interview. However, only 40% of programs indicate they want to see a “target score” and 56% of programs indicate they require a “pass only” on the USMLE Step 1. The average “target score” is also relatively low, averaging 205. A large number of programs (79%) “seldom consider” applicants who have failed either Step 1 or Step 2 CK.
Your score on Step 2 CK/COMLEX Level 2 CE score is also very important for program directors when deciding whom to interview. Therefore we suggest that most applicants take these exams early in the fourth year.
Your score on Step 3 (if you have already graduated from medical school) really doesn’t influence much as 97% of programs don’t use this score.
2) Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE/Dean’s Letter)
The specialty of pediatrics, in contrast to many other specialties, pays close attention to your MSPE. Program directors want to see excellent narratives and descriptions about who you are. Your class ranking/quartile is also valuable.
3) Grades in required clerkships, audition elective/rotation, personal statement, pediatric letters of recommendation.
Letters of recommendation from academic pediatricians who know you well are of the utmost importance and was considered one of the most important factors in deciding whom to interview. By the same token, grades in pediatrics rotations and required clerkships will influence your chances of receiving an interview. As stated earlier, program directors consider electives/audition rotations in his or her department to be valuable. The personal statement is also critical to those program directors surveyed who want to know more about who you are and why pediatrics interests you.
Pediatrics Residency Application
When should you apply?
37% of programs extend interviews prior to October 1st and 45% of programs extend pediatrics interviews in October. Therefore, it is important to send your ERAS application in early!
Now, assuming you are selected for an interview, what factors influence how (and if) you are ranked?
Here’s the list:
- Interactions with faculty during interview and visit
- Interpersonal skills
- Interactions with housestaff during interview and visit
- Feedback from residents
- USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 score
As you can see, after the interview, it is your “interview performance,” interpersonal qualities, and how you are perceived by anyone and everyone you meet that will influence how you are ranked (and even if you are ranked) the most. This is why, no matter how strong an applicant you are, it is important to be comfortable with the interview process. It is also valuable to know yourself; are you an introvert or more of an extrovert? What types of social situations make you comfortable or uncomfortable? During residency interviews you will be meeting many new people and having numerous conversations with strangers. In contrast to some specialties, pediatrics also relies on feedback from current residents in deciding how to rank applicants. If you have any “night before the interview” meet and greets, be on your best behavior!
Even after the interview, pediatrics still considers your USMLE/COMLEX scores as key factors in deciding how you will be ranked.
What if you don’t match or you feel you need personalized help?
Applicants often feel lost, confused and overwhelmed by the residency application process. This is where MedEdits can help. We have helped hundreds of applicants match successfully. Whether you need a fourth year planning strategy, help with your personal statement, mock interviews, or any other guidance related to the residency match, we will make sure you are positioned as well as possible to match well!
Looking for an Pediatrics Residency program?
Check out our state by state list below.
Top Pediatrics Residency Programs 2018-2019
|Phoenix Children’s Hospital Program|
|University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson Program|
|Children’s National Medical Center Program|
|MedStar Health/Georgetown University Hospital Program|
|Broward Health Medical Center Program|
|University of Florida Program|
|Memorial Healthcare System (Hollywood, Florida) Program|
|University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville Program|
|Palm Beach Consortium for Graduate Medical Education Program|
|Jackson Memorial Hospital/Jackson Health System Program|
|Miami Children’s Health System/Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Program|
|Florida Hospital Medical Center Program|
|Nemours Children’s Hospital Program|
|University of Florida (Orlando) Program|
|University of Florida (Pensacola) Program|
|Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Program|
|University of South Florida Morsani Program|
|Emory University School of Medicine Program|
|Morehouse School of Medicine Program|
|Medical College of Georgia Program|
|Medical Center of Central Georgia/Mercer University School of Medicine Program|
|Memorial Health-University Medical Center/Mercer University School of Medicine (Savannah) Program|
|Central Iowa Health System (Iowa Methodist Medical Center) Program|
|University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Program|
|Indiana University School of Medicine Program|
|St Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center Program|
|University of Kansas School of Medicine Program|
|University of Kansas (Wichita) Program|
|University of Kentucky College of Medicine Program|
|University of Louisville School of Medicine Program|
|Our Lady of The Lake Program|
|Tulane University Program|
|Louisiana State University Program|
|Louisiana State University (Shreveport) Program|
|Children’s Hospital/Boston Medical Center Program|
|Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School Program|
|Tufts Medical Center Program|
|University of Massachusetts Program|
|Johns Hopkins University Program|
|Sinai Hospital of Baltimore Program|
|University of Maryland Program|
|University of Michigan Health System Program|
|Children’s Hospital of Michigan Program|
|Detroit Wayne County Health Authority (Authority Health) GME Consortium Program|
|Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University Program|
|St John Hospital and Medical Center Program|
|Hurley Medical Center/Michigan State University Program|
|Spectrum Health/Michigan State University/Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Program|
|Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine Program|
|Michigan State University Program|
|Beaumont Health (Royal Oak) Program|
|University of Minnesota Program|
|Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science (Rochester) Program|
|University of Missouri-Columbia Program|
|Children’s Mercy Hospital Program|
|St Louis University School of Medicine Program|
|Washington University/B-JH/SLCH Consortium Program|
|University of North Carolina Hospitals Program|
|Carolinas Medical Center Program|
|Duke University Hospital Program|
|Vidant Medical Center/East Carolina University Program|
|Wake Forest University School of Medicine Program|
|University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Program|
|Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Program|
|Osteopathic Medical Education Consortium of Oklahoma, Inc. (OMECO) Program|
|University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine (Tulsa) Program|
|Puerto Rico Children’s Hospital Program|
|Hospital Episcopal San Lucas/Ponce School of Medicine Program|
|University of Puerto Rico Program|
|San Juan City Hospital Program|
|Medical University of South Carolina Program|
|Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina School of Medicine Program|
|Greenville Health System/University of South Carolina Program|
|University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga Program|
|East Tennessee State University Program|
|University of Tennessee Program|
|Vanderbilt University Medical Center Program|
|University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Program|
|Marshfield Clinic Program|
|Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals Program|