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Pediatrics Education Program


Undergraduate Clinical Courses

Ped 872 Third Year Pediatric Clerkship
Ped 974 Primary Care Selective in Pediatrics
Ped 976 Pediatric Electives



Undergraduate Clinical Courses

Ped 872 -Third Year Pediatric Clerkship
Report to: Yvonne Blasini, MD, Undergraduate Coordinator/Clerkship Director, Maria Aranda, MD, HESL Site Coordinator,  Wilson Franqui, MD, Yauco Site Coordinator

Course Overview
The purpose of this clerkship is to provide a solid core of pediatric knowledge and skills, an appreciation of the spectrum of growth and development, and a logical approach to the care of children in both illness and health, which can be applied in whatever field of medicine you enter.

The Third Year Pediatric Clerkship is a forty days (approx. eight weeks) rotation. This takes place at two main sites: Hospital Episcopal San Lucas - Ponce and in Tito Mattei Metropolitan Hospital in Yauco. Two groups of six to eight students alternate in each site during the eight weeks rotation. Each group rotates for 4 weeks in each site. The rotation in Hospital Episcopal San Lucas will focus on the inpatient care of pediatric patients. The Tito Mattei Hospital rotation will focus on outpatient care of pediatric patients. Students will also have an emergency room and well baby nursery department experience while rotating in both sites.

The Pediatric Clerkship emphasize in normal growth and development, in principles of health promotion, disease and lesion prevention. An essential skill for success as a clinician and life long learner is clinical problem solving. The process of going from a patient’s chief complaint to the creation of an appropriate differential diagnosis and the formulation of a diagnostic therapeutic plan is the core of clinical pediatric medicine. Skills essential for competent medical care to be acquired through the clinical experience are:

            • the ability to conduct a pediatric interview
            • perform a complete pediatric physical exam
            • interpretation of medical data
            • communicate oral and written information
            • integrate basic science knowledge
            • search and read the literature critically
            • provide patient education

The care of individual patients requires the application of all these skills. The student is expected to recognize and manage common pediatric acute and chronic health problems.
Also, skills in record documentation and writing prescriptions must be developed.
A student must have well developed interpersonal skills that facilitate communication, and must also demonstrate attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that serve to promote the patient’s best interest.



Ped 974 - Primary Care Selective in Pediatrics
: Four Weeks; No. of Students: One; Availability: Throughout the year (consultation with course coordinator required);

Location: Hospital Metropolitano Tito Matei at Yauco, PSM Practice Group, CDT La Playa; Site Coordinatosr: Wilson Franqui, MD, Ivonne E. Galarza MD, Jenny Melero, MD

Course Description: This elective allows the student to participate in the care of pediatric patients in a setting where primary care pediatrics is practiced. Students will assume the care of pediatric patients in the ambulatory and inpatient settings of primary and secondary community hospitals, under the supervision of an academic physician.
Health promotion and disease prevention strategies are emphasized. Experiences in the care of acute and chronic pediatrics problems are provided with opportunities for continuity of care between inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. The elective also provides opportunities to perform pediatric procedures such as venipunctures, suprapubic taps and lumbar punctures.


Ped 976 - Pediatrics Electives(Fourth Year Electives)
Pediatric Sub-Internship
(Hospital Episcopal San Lucas/ PSM Consortium Pediatric residency program [HESL]).

: Four weeks

Report to
: Luisa Alvarado, MD, Residency Director, Maria Aranda, MD, HESL

Pre-requisite: Third Year Pediatric Clerkship

Months Offered: All, by arrangement; Course Coordinator: Maria Aranda, MD

No. of Students: 1-2

Course Description: The Department of Pediatrics at HESL provides medical students with an opportunity to experience a full range of inpatient pediatric activity in the setting of a community hospital. The facilities include pediatric general and specialty ambulatory services, children and adolescent inpatient units, pediatric intensive care unit, and a neonatal intensive care unit. The students will interact with teaching staff and Pediatric residents at HESL. The full-time teaching faculty is complemented by pediatric sub-specialists based in HESL. A wide range of clinical problems is derived from the large population base of varied socioeconomic status that the Department serves.

Fourth-year medical student who select the sub-internship, acquire and apply medical knowledge and skills that lead to the diagnosis and management of relevant pediatric illnesses within the hospital setting. In doing so, the students are supervised by faculty and residents who encourage and assure the provision of the best possible medical care, and promote the development of professional attitudes and behaviors expected of a competent and sensitive physician. Fourth year students taking elective sub-internships in pediatrics are given direct patient care responsibilities under supervision of senior residents and attending pediatrician.



Emergency Pediatrics Elective
Duration: Four Weeks

No. of Students: One

Availability: Academic Year by Arrangement

Location: Hospital Episcopal San Lucas Pediatric Residency Program

Course Coordinator: ER Pediatric Attending

Course Description: The student will be assigned to the Pediatric Emergency Room (ER), where the student will have the opportunity to evaluate and manage children with acute medical problems. In the ER the student will be able to diagnose and initiate treatment under the supervision of the ER Pediatric Attending. The student will obtain medical histories and perform focused physical examinations on the assigned patients, and will assist or perform diagnostic/therapeutic procedures under supervision.



Pediatric Subspecialty Office-Based
Duration: Four Weeks

No. of Students: One

Availability: By arrangement, needs approval by Pediatric Chairperson.

Location: By arrangement, needs approval by Pediatric Chairperson;

Course Coordinator: Sub-specialist

Course Description:
This course offers in-depth exposure to pediatric subspecialties by providing clinical experiences in the practice settings of qualified Pediatric sub -specialist. The student will observe and participate in the care of children with complex medical problems that require subspecialty care in outpatient and hospital settings. The student will expand his/her knowledge of the subspecialty field and will become aware of the needs of children with chronic and complex medical problems.



Child Advocacy
Duration: Four Weeks

No. of Students: One

Availability: By arrangement with Pediatric Chairperson

Location: Community Site Department of Pediatrics Ponce School of Medicine

Course Coordinator: Lillian Rivera, MD, FAAP

Course Description: This course is designed to develop and nurture medical students with interest in Pediatrics, to become child advocates on behalf of children at risk. The course is comprised of clinical experiences at community sites, review and in-depth discussion of relevant literature, and the development of a “community advocacy project."



Neonatal Intensive Care
Duration: Four Weeks

No. of Students: One

Availability: Throughout the academic year

Location: HESL,// Damas Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Course Coordinator: Dr. Isabel Cabrera/ Dr. José Ortiz,// Jose Rodriguez

Course Description: The student will be exposed to critically ill newborn infants, especially premature babies in a tertiary nursery, and will have the opportunity to work as part of a neonatal care team. He/she will diagnose and treat critical neonatal problems under the supervision of a staff neonatologist.



Pediatrics Respiratory and Allergic Diseases
Duration: Four Weeks

No. of Students: One

Availability: Throughout the academic year (consultation with course coordinator required)

Location: HESL; Course Coordinator: Dr. Vylma Velázquez

Course Description: The student will be exposed to and have the opportunity to care for patients with acute and chronic respiratory and allergic conditions in a variety of ambulatory and inpatient settings, including critically ill patients with diverse clinical conditions admitted to a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.



Critical Care
Duration: By arrangement of course coordinator

Course Coordinatotor:


Pediatric Residency Program at Hospital Episcopal San Lucas - Ponce
Our Pediatric Residency Program is sponsored by the Hospital Episcopal San Lucas and Ponce School of Medicine Consortium and accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education. Its main goal is to develop pediatricians with advanced pediatric knowledge and skills, capable of providing high quality health care and advocating for children and families.

Our Program provides a well balanced curriculum in General Pediatrics and Subspecialties through a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient experiences and a diverse patient population. Our teaching staff is composed of qualified primary care pediatricians and subspecialists with a strong commitment to graduate medical education. The teaching staff is readily available, stimulating and caring. Clinical experiences are enriched by an active program of didactic activities, opportunities for research and community advocacy. As a result our graduates are well prepared for general pediatric practice or subsequent subspecialty training.

Each year the program recruits six residents. Our main teaching facility is Hospital Episcopal San Lucas (HESL), a 324 bed secondary and tertiary facility in the city of Ponce, located in the southern area of Puerto Rico. HESL has accredited residency programs in Transitional Year, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. It also serves as the main clinical teaching institution for Ponce School of Medicine students.

The core teaching staff is composed of the following members:
  • Luisa I Alvarado, MD Program Director
  • Vylma Velazquez, MD Program Coordinator
  • Ivonne Galarza, MD
  • Jenaro Scarano, MD
  • Lydia Irizarry, MD
  • Alicia Serrano, MD

In addition to many sub specialists and community based faculty
Research: The program’s faculty and residents are actively involved in clinical research activities and presentations at the local, regional and national levels. Research interests are diverse and recent projects have investigated important aspects of pediatric health in Puerto Rico, such as the Dengue Fever epidemic and the serious public health problem of prematurity.

Community Advocacy and Quality Improvement: Pediatric residents and faculty are involved in may community advocacy activities and have been recipients of grants from the American Academy of Pediatrics (CATCH Program) and the Reach Out and Read Program. The residents participate in institutional quality improvement initiatives and perform their own quality improvement projects on a yearly basis.

Accreditation Status: Full accreditation by the ACGME

Application Process: Applications are received through ERAS and selection is made through the National Resident Matching Program

Resident Benefits and Stipends: Pediatric Residents are employees of the Puerto Rico Department of Health and have the following benefits:

  • A $2,115 monthly salary during the first year of training, $2,160 during the second year, and $2,260 during the third year.
  • Christmas bonus
  • Medical insurance for the resident with an option for additional coverage for his/her family
  • Breakfast and lunch meals while on duty in the hospital
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Employment disability insurance
    through the State Insurance Fund
  • Modern sleeping and lounge facilities
  • Maternal and paternal leave
  • Life insurance
  • Modern general facilities in Hospital Episcopal San Lucas


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