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Training the Next Generation of Pediatricians

Pediatric medicine is entering a new era, looking ahead to genetic, genomic, regenerative and technological advances that could curb and cure diseases in millions of children before they gain a foothold. However, the workforce continues to face shortages that, if unaddressed, could compromise care.

To that end, the American Academy of Pediatrics underscores the critical importance of new residency positions for future pediatricians to keep pace with growing demand, including pediatric subspecialties.   

A study conducted by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) in 2020 found that while access to pediatric providers has improved in recent decades, 1 million to 39 million children (up to 53%) still lived 80 miles or more from a pediatric subspecialist, and 11 subspecialties had an average of 1 or fewer providers per 100,000 children. Current estimates suggest that by the year 2032, there will be major workforce shortages in the pediatric primary care disciplines, as well.

With a new Pediatric Residency Training Program launching in 2024, Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s plans to build the next class of pediatricians to meet those evolving needs and shape children’s health for decades to come. The impact will reverberate throughout Southern California, as each class of eight pediatric residents will serve diverse children across the Los Angeles region and around the globe, training under world-class pediatric leaders and supporting their groundbreaking clinical research.

“We are so excited to develop the next generation of pediatric physicians,” said Arthur Cho, MD, director of the Pediatric Residency Training Program at Guerin Children’s. “There are significant healthcare needs in our community and beyond, and Guerin Children’s is rising to the occasion to lead the way in advancing the health and wellbeing of children.”


Launching a New Residency Program

The three-year program aims to recruit high-caliber pediatric trainees from a wide variety of backgrounds. These residents will ultimately pursue a range of pediatric careers, including primary care and subspecialties such as surgery and emergency medicine.

Residents will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at a time when Guerin Children’s is rapidly growing and expanding. New physicians and programs continue to be added to the system-wide network of services provided by the pediatric enterprise. Led by Executive Director Ophir Klein, MD, PhD—who is also vice dean of Children’s Services and holds the David and Meredith Kaplan Distinguished Chair in Children’s Health—Guerin Children’s has already built a foundation of leading pediatric experts in gastroenterology, orthopaedics, neurology, pulmonology, neonatology and cardiac care, including congenital heart disease. New recruits are also joining the team in the next few months in the areas of developmental pediatrics, hematology-oncology and epilepsy.

The Pediatric Residency Training Program joins 14 other Cedars-Sinai graduate medical education programs, with a combined total of 329 current residents. Guerin Children’s faculty also offer medical education for premedical students, UCLA medical students, fourth-year medical students and residents from outside training programs, and fellows from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and other Cedars-Sinai programs. Residents will collaborate with these trainees while learning from and being mentored by pediatric faculty.

Collectively, the initiatives are building a pipeline of pediatricians and researchers for the future. According to the American Board of Pediatrics, pediatric residents are on the rise, growing by 11% between 2012 to 2022. In time, Guerin Children’s leaders hope to develop pediatric fellowships, as well.

“The development and expansion of Guerin Children’s creates an enriching training environment for pediatric residents to flourish,” Cho said. “Future physicians will train in the diverse disciplines of pediatric medicine and later take their places at its forefront, filling national needs and building on our vision as leaders in pediatric care.”


Well-Rounded Curriculum

Trainees will complete 13 blocks in a clinical base year, followed by 36 blocks of medical training that prepare and qualify students for the ABP examination.

Inpatient education will include rounds on general pediatric wards, including learning how to care for common or chronic childhood illnesses as well as the most medically complex patients. Residents will also train in the hospital’s Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (45 beds) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (14 beds), treating life-threatening cases for some of the hospital’s smallest patients. In addition, they will aid outpatient specialists in fields such as pediatric endocrinology, nephrology, surgery and infectious diseases.

In the community, pediatric residents will provide whole-person care to largely uninsured and underserved patients at the Saban Community Clinic, a federally qualified health center and Level 3 patient-centered medical home. Another outpatient round at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will expose residents to pediatric emergency medicine at the Los Angeles County Level II pediatric trauma center—a site treating over 20,000 critically ill or injured children each year.

Additionally, residents will be able to tailor their coursework to personalized career interests through optional clinical electives, a senior-year continuity clinic in a chosen outpatient specialty, new or faculty-driven biomedical research, and local and global health experiences.

Applications for the 2023-2024 application season will be reviewed starting in October and will remain open until December 15. Residency leadership will conduct virtual interviews with selected applicants between November 6, 2023, and January 31, 2024. Trainees are encouraged to apply early, with interview slots filling quickly.

Visit our website to learn more about the Pediatric Residency Training Program at Cedars-Sinai, or for more information, contact