Pediatrics Residency Program
Our program’s South Florida location between urban West Palm Beach and the agricultural communities of South-Central Florida assures a diverse patient population with an interesting mix of pathology. Despite the region’s reputation for being a retirement community, the population served by Palms West Hospital averages 33 years of age. Given the anticipated growth west of Palms West Hospital, the population in our catchment area will increase by about 80,000 people over the next few years bringing more young families to the area. In anticipation of this growth, Palms West Hospital will increase pediatric services to care for the larger population. With the increase in services, patient acuity will likely increase as well. To accommodate the increases in services and acuity, a new women and children’s tower is planned on the current hospital campus.
Our mission is to educate competent general pediatricians who by virtue of their training have career flexibility and can take advantage of multiple professional opportunities including general pediatric practice, subspecialty fellowship training, or career in academic medicine. While a lofty goal, the program has the resources, the faculty, and the participants with the potential to fulfill it. Our trainees develop expertise through clinical experience, the systematic study of core pediatric material, a didactic curriculum, and self-study. We believe that studying to prepare a lecture is a valuable learning opportunity. While our core material review is faculty led, our curriculum includes faculty and resident presentations.
Our residents work with a dedicated group of general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists who model the best traits of care delivery and lifelong learning. During each clinical experience, residents focus on education and training not simply service. Our educational philosophy recognizes service is an aspect of residency training, but service is not the focus of residency training.
Each of our residents completes an annual scholarly project. In the third year of training, graduating residents submit a manuscript for publication to a professional journal. Most interns produce a poster of a case report for presentation at the annual Nova Southeastern University Scientific Poster Competition. It is my view that residents and their faculty mentors should select cases that explain or demonstrate an important clinical issue. Focus, a bit of study, and “elbow grease” will mature that case report into an abstract worthy of presentation at a larger regional or national meeting during the second year of training. With a little more work, a manuscript written from the abstract satisfies the requirement for submission during the third year. Our program is lucky in that we have a research director and a research coordinator who assist residents and faculty mentors with project design and compliance with the scholarly requirement.
Our residents have performed well on board certifying examinations and we design our curriculum to maintain a high level of success. As mentioned earlier, our curriculum takes advantage of core material that emphasizes developmental physiology, the pathophysiology of disease, diagnosis of disease and treatment. We use the American Board of Pediatrics General Content Outline and performance on annual in-service training exams to guide curriculum development. In addition to group study, each resident works with a mentor to develop an individual learning plan to guide personal study.
Work-life balance is an important aspect of any employment. Given the stressors unique to medicine, it is important for residency programs to be flexible enough to accommodate needs unique to individuals. While we do not change schedules and work assignments on a whim, the leadership in the program is sensitive to stressors that adversely affect our residents. We have practices and policies in place to limit clinical load so that learning remains a focus. Managing fatigue and promoting wellness are important goals that we take seriously. Our senior residents and attending faculty attempt to prevent clinical activities from becoming over burdensome. On occasion, life gets ahead of all of us. For these situations, the consortium makes resources available to assist residents either by referral or providing a confidential ear.
While seeking a place to make the transition from student to physician, consider our program. I think you will find this a good place to grow among caring people. Thank you again for your interest and I look forward to meeting you to discuss the opportunities we offer.
Anthony L. Pearson-Shaver, MD, MHSA, FAAP, FCCM
Pediatric Residency Program Director
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Nova Southeastern University
Professor Emeritus, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Palms West Hospital
For more information about the residency, contact: