Residency Curriculum

Jessica Donhauser, Kathryn Keenan and Nisha Shah.

Pediatrics faculty member Jessica Donhauser, MD, with pediatrics resident Kathryn Keenan, MD, and combined medicine-pediatrics resident Nisha Shah, DO.

Our residents have diverse backgrounds, and their efforts to work together in the common pursuit of knowledge, training and expertise in the care of children creates a bond that is evident.

Residency Levels

House officers are appointed for a one-year term beginning in July. There are 47 pediatric house officers: an average of 15 per year plus two chief residents. In addition to the pediatric residents, a variety of family practice, combined internal medicine/pediatrics, and emergency medicine rotate through the Pediatric Residency Program at Oishei Children’s Hospital to gain exposure in pediatric medicine. PL-1 positions are offered through the National Resident Matching Program.

Our house staff come from well-known medical schools, and a significant number of the finest graduates from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences elect to stay here in Buffalo. Yearly retreats are held for each level, tailored to the needs of that particular stage of resident development.

In the past 15 years, about 50 percent of our program’s graduates have pursued primary care careers.

PL-1 Year

The first-year resident has the primary responsibility of providing total care for the pediatric/adolescent patient. Supervision by senior residents and the attending staff is augmented by consultations with subspecialty services. The first-year resident receives exposure to a variety of pediatric patients while rotating through:

  • Newborn Nursery: 4 weeks
  • NICU (total: 12 weeks): 4-8 weeks
  • Emergency Room (total: 12 weeks): 4-8 weeks
  • Elective: 4 weeks
  • Inpatient Wards: 20-24 weeks
  • Ambulatory Week: Continuity Clinic every 5th week

PL-2 & PL-3 Years

The second and third year residents accept more supervisory responsibilities as floor seniors. In addition, they rotate through the PICU and sub-specialties.

  • NICU (total: 12 weeks): 4-8 weeks
  • PICU: 4-8 weeks
  • Emergency Room: 4-8 weeks
  • Inpatient Wards: 4-8 weeks
  • Pediatrics Subspecialty/Elective Rotations (see below)
  • Ambulatory Week: Continuity Clinic every 5th week

Chief Residents

Each year, two outstanding residents are chosen as chief residents.

These individuals are responsible for the administrative and educational organization of the residency program. They assist the chair of the Department of Pediatrics and the director of the Pediatric Residency Program in organizing the residents’ rotations, medical student experiences and teaching conferences, and they participate in research projects and special programs.

Chief residents are chosen for excellence in clinical performance, organizational abilities and leadership qualities. They have an appointment as junior clinical faculty members in the Department of Pediatrics.


  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Allergy/Immunology
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Developmental Pediatrics & Rehabilitation
  • Endocrinology/Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics/Dysmorphology
  • Global Health
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Pulmonology
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
  • Teaching

You also have the option to build a custom elective rotation based on your research and career interests.

Advocacy Curriculum and Advocacy Track

Child advocacy is at the heart of pediatric medicine and an important part of training for all pediatricians. Advocacy education and training in incorporated into our residency curriculum for all residents in the form of formal lectures, small group training sessions and community involvement.

The advocacy track is an optional adjunct to our ediatric residency advocacy curriculum, for those who are passionate about advocacy and would like additional advocacy training during their residency.

At the beginning of the track, we will assist you in brainstorming and picking an advocacy project idea that you are passionate about.

Over the course of the academic year, advocacy training sessions take place as a half day every ambulatory (+Y) week. During that time, you are provided protected time to work on your advocacy projects.

Our dedicated advocacy faculty leaders, Sarah Ventre, MD, MPH, and Fred Archer, MD, will help you along the way and check in regularly to make sure your project is progressing well.

You will also learn about local advocacy efforts with a rotation at the local child advocacy center in Buffalo. At the end of your residency, you will present your advocacy projects and receive a certificate in advocacy training.

Quality Improvement (QI) Curriculum

Quality improvement (QI) training is an important part of physician development and a required ACGME component of resident training.

Lead by Keith Cross, MD, residents receive formal QI training throughout their residency in the form of lectures, small group sessions and completing official certifications from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

All residents are required to participate in at least one QI project throughout their 3 years of residency. On-going resident QI projects are listed on our resident research and QI project page

Work Hours

  • We follow ACGME and New York State Guidelines.
  • House staff work fewer than 80 hours per week, in compliance with the New York State Health Code Section 405 regulations.
  • A night-shift/day-shift rotation system is in place for all residents.
  • Our schedule has been refined over the years and is well received by the house staff.