A roadmap for the student pursuing a career in pediatric emergency medicine

Aaron N. Leetch, Joshua A. Glasser, Dale P. Woolridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Three pathways are available to students considering a pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) career: pediatric residency followed by PEM fellowship (Peds-PEM); emergency medicine residency followed by PEM fellowship (EM-PEM); and combined EM and pediatrics residency (EMPeds). Questions regarding differences between the training pathways are common among medical students. We present a comparative analysis of training pathways highlighting major curricular differences to aid in students understanding of these training options. Methods: All currently credentialed training programs for each pathway with curricula published on their websites were included. We analyzed dedicated educational units (EU) core to all three pathways: emergency department (ED), pediatric-only ED, critical care, and research. Minimum requirements for primary residencies were assumed for fellowship trainees. Results: Of the 75 Peds-PEM, 34 EM-PEM, and 4 EMPeds programs screened, 85% of Peds- PEM and EM-PEM and all EMPeds program curricula were available for analysis. Average Peds-PEM EUs were 20.4 EM, 20.1 pediatric-only EM, 5.8 critical care, and 9.0 research. Average EM-PEM EUs were 33.2 EM, 18.3 pediatric-only EM, 6.5 critical care, and 3.3 research. Average EMPeds EUs were 26.1 EM, 8.0 pediatric-only EM, 10.0 critical care, and 0.3 research. Conclusion: All three pathways exceed pediatric-focused training required for EM or pediatric residency. Peds-PEM has the most research EUs, EM-PEM the most EM EUs, and EMPeds the most critical care EUs. All prepare graduates for a pediatric emergency medicine career. Understanding the difference in emphasis between pathways can inform students to select the best pathway for their own careers. [West J Emerg Med. 2020;21(1):12-17.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalWestern Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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