Pediatric Clerkship Table of Contents and Information

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The pediatric clerkship should foster in the student:

  1. Acquisition of basic knowledge of growth and development (physical, physiologic, and psychosocial) and of its clinical application from birth through adolescence.
  2. Development of communication skills that will facilitate the clinical interaction with children, adolescents and their families and thus ensure that complete, accurate data are obtained.
  3. Development of competency in the physical examination of infants, children, and adolescents.
  4. Acquisition of the knowledge necessary for the diagnosis and initial management of common acute and chronic illnesses.
  5. Development of clinical problem solving skills.
  6. An understanding of the influences of family, community and society on the child in health and disease.
  7. Development of strategies for health promotion as well as disease and injury prevention.
  8. Development of the attitudes and professional behaviors appropriate for clinical practice.
  9. An understanding of the approach of pediatricians to the health of children and adolescents.
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The pediatric clerkship is roughly divided into two sections: one month of in-patient experience and one month of out-patient experience. While on the in-patient month the student will become an integral part of the in-patient ward team, consisting of the attending(s), supervising resident(s), interns and other students. Students will be responsible for writing H&Ps/progress notes and caring for all patients assigned to them.

The ambulatory rotation will be spent rotating through general pediatric and sub-specialty clinics evaluating patients and presenting to supervising residents or faculty.


This is a misnomer since there is no specifically recommended text in Pediatrics. If the student is already sure that he/she will be going into Pediatrics as a career then the more expensive comprehensive text would be most appropriate. However, for simple general review, the less expensive review texts are adequate with no one particular book having any more advantage over the others. The text should therefore be selected for ease of reading and the style that suits the student.

A. Comprehensive Reference Texts (~ $110):

  1. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics (Behrman and Vaughn)
  2. Rudolph's Pediatrics (Rudolph, Hoffman and Rudolph)

B. Fairly Thorough Texts (~ $70):

  1. Principles and Practices of Pediatrics (Oski et al.)
  2. Comprehensive Pediatrics (Summitt)

C. "Meat and Potato" Text (~$42):

  1. Essentials of Pediatrics (Behrman and Kleigman)
  2. Handbook of Pediatrics (Merenstein, Kaplan and Rosenberg)

D. Miscellaneous Texts (~ $25):

  1. Annotated Clinical Problems in Pediatrics
  2. Current Pediatric Diagnosis and Treatment (Kempe)
  3. Manual of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis (Barness)
  4. The Harriet Lane Handbook (Greene)

E. Most Popular Adjunct Texts:

  1. Case Files- Pediatrics (Toy et al, Lange)
  2. NMS Pediatrics (Dworkin, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)
  3. Blueprints- Pediatrics (Marino and Fine, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)


Inpatient Rotation 50%
Ambulatory Pass / Low Pass/ Fail

Newborn Nursery
Exam #1 = 3%; Exam #2 = 7%

Shelf Exam 35%

IN-PATIENT ROTATION: (50% of total grade)

This grade is determined by your attending(s) and supervising resident with input from your interns based on patient work-ups, daily progress notes, participation in rounds, presentations, etc. To give you an idea of how you are performing, your attending physician(s) and/or supervising resident will provide written mid-month feedback during your in-patient month. If the faculty fails to provide this feedback, the student is expected to ask the attending for the current evaluation.

Please, carefully review the evaluation form included in your packet. Note the types of attributes that your attending and residents will be evaluating during your rotation. Listen carefully to the explanation given during orientation concerning how a numerical grade is calculated using these forms.


This grade is determined by:

  1. The ambulatory faculty with input from the supervising residents, private pediatrician preceptors and subspecialty physicians through whose clinics you will rotate. Once again you are evaluated on patient work-ups, physical examination skills, participation, and preparation prior to the clinic, etc.
  2. Out-patient Examination. At the end of the two month rotation an out-patient exam will be given and the score counts: Exam #1 = 3% and Exam #2 = 7% of the clerkship grade. This test may either be oral or computerized.
  3. Case Conference Sessions: Students will be given cases to prepare for problem solving sessions with faculty each week. Details are provided in the out-patient orientation. These sessions are both instructional and evaluative, so be prepared.
  4. CLIPP cases -The Computer-assisted Learning in Pediatrics Project (CLIPP) is a comprehensive Internet-based learning program for use by third-year medical students during their pediatric clerkship. CLIPP's 31 interactive cases are designed to cover all of the core content of the curriculum of the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP). It is expected that each CLIPP case will take a student approximately 45 minutes to complete. To access the CLIPP cases go to the CLIPP home Page. There is also a link in the Clerkship Home Page Table of Contents. See directions below for registering.

CLIPP cases to study corresponding with SLIDE Exams

  • #1: 2,5,8,9,11,19,23,25,29
  • #2: 1,3,4,6,7,10,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,20,21,22,24,26,27,28,30,31

SLIDE Exams during the 2 month rotation are normally on the 3rd and 6th week. (more instructions).

Registering and Logging in

Once you have registered, you can log into the CLIPP cases using your new login and password. Note: please register only once!

Registering to use CLIPP

  1. Access the CLIPP home page (
  2. On left side of screen, Click GO TO CASES;
  3. Click the REGISTRATION link, which appears after the question, "You are a new user?":
    You are a new user?
    Please click here to register
  4. The CLIPP registration window will open
  5. In the top box, type your medical school email address (i.e.,, your first name and your last name. Enter your status in the last field.
  6. Read the CLIPP Site User Terms and Conditions in the bottom box.
  7. Click Accept or Decline, then click OK.
  8. If you clicked Accept, the system immediately will send you a login and Password (a randomly generated 6-digit number) in two e-mail messages. The e-mail messages come from Be sure to save the login and password for future use. Your login name cannot be changed. (To edit your password, see the instructions for "Changing your Password.")

Logging into CLIPP after you register

  1. Go to
  2. Click GO TO CASES in the left frame
  3. On the Login page, type your login and password.
  4. Click Login. The Case Selection page opens
  5. On the Case Selection page, click the name of the desired case (or click Open the right of the name). The case will open.

Additional directions are available on the CLIPP home page.


Pass- requires documentation of experience and participation in clinic

Fail - 2 or more unexcused absences or serious concerns expressed by various residents or faculty concerning students' performance during the ambulatory rotation.

Low Pass - Multiple concerns expressed by various residents or faculty concerning students' performance during the ambulatory rotation.

Comments from faculty and house staff gathered during the out-patient month will be included in the pediatric evaluation that will be sent to Academic Affairs for inclusion in the Dean’s Letter.

The Clerkship Director retains the right to discuss with the attendings any serious infraction, extenuating circumstances or positive behavior not previously known to the attendings and may advise the attendings to alter the student’s grade accordingly.


In contrast to the first two years of medical school where much of a student’s grade is based on objective criteria obtained through written testing, the second two years base much of the grade on subjective evaluation. Perusal of the evaluation form reveals that at least forty percent of the grade is based on evaluation of professional and personal attributes. Physicians-in-training must possess certain necessary attitudes and interpersonal skills. Some of these are inherent, but much can be cultivated particularly in an environment filled with the appropriate role models. The administration of the University of Tennessee feels strongly about this and has published guidelines for Professional Behavior and Conduct in the Centerscope reproduced here.

WRITTEN EXAMINATION: (35% of total grade)

At the end of the clerkship the students will take the National Board of Medical Examiners Pediatric Shelf Exam.

Important Notes

A score of less than 65 on this test requires repeat testing. The NBME shelf exam is used as the written re-exam.

Re-examination must occur as follows: if failed during Block 5/6, 7/8, or 9/10 you must retake the exam before the beginning of Block 1 of your M3 year; if failed during Block 11/12, 1/2, or 3/4 you must retake the Shelf exam before September 1 of your senior year.

Failure to be re-examined will result in a failing grade for the rotation. The original test score will be averaged into the final overall grade. Failure of the re-exam, failure of any portion of the clerkship or an overall D for the clerkship, requires that the entire rotation be repeated. Failure of the first exam, or any segment of the evaluation, negates the ability to receive an “A” as a final grade no matter in what the ultimate grade average results.

Students who fail the written Shelf exam are required to retake the exam at the regularly scheduled times of the exam at the end of the Pediatrics Clerkship rotation. If a student desires to retake the Shelf exam other than at the regularly scheduled time, 4 weeks advance notice must be given.

All portions of the pediatrics clerkship including clinics, exams, etc. must be completed and passed within one (1) year of starting the pediatrics clerkship or by September of the senior year, whichever comes first.


The following scale will be used to assign final grades for the clerkship. Grades will not be curved or rounded.

  • A: 90-100
  • B: 80-89.99
  • C: 70-79.99
  • F: 69.99 or lower

The standard deviation for final grades is historically very small. Therefore, a difference as small as 0.2 points is significant and will not be curved or adjusted upwards.

Additional Grading Information

You will be notified by email when grades are ready and have been posted. If the grades are not posted, it means that they are not ready. Please, do not call the office to find out your grade. No grades will be given out over the phone.

Any student who feels he/she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact Student Academic Support Services (SASS) to self-disclose and officially request accommodations. All requests for accommodations must be submitted with supporting documentation and the SASS Self-Disclosure and Accommodation Request Forms. Although students may register for services at any time, please attempt to make arrangements within the first two weeks of the semester as it does take time to process the request and review documentation. For additional information, contact the SASS Disability Coordinator at or 901-448-1452.

Student Academic Support Services (SASS) - Any special testing accommodations need to be arranged at the beginning of the rotation. If not it may not be possible to honor requests (i.e. testing in the SASS office, etc.). NO special accommodations will be given for the SLIDE exams.

Students failing to complete and turn in their Pediatric Patient Log cards (white clinic cards), their H&P Card and their Night Call card (all with appropriate signatures) will receive a failing grade for the rotation. Cards are required to be submitted the Wednesday before the Pediatrics Shelf exam. There will be no guarantee that card documentation will be satisfied if cards are submitted at any other time other than the Wednesday before the exam.

Each student is required to complete a Hall Tackett evaluation. These evaluations must be completed before student grades can be turned into the registrar's office. If you do not complete your Hall Tackett by the time grades are being reported, an “I” will be submitted for your grade and you will have 30 days from that point to complete it. If you fail to complete your Hall Tackett by the end of the 30 days, you will receive an “F” for the rotation.


Dress Code

During the week, proper hospital attire is expected.

Daily dress should be business casual (men - trousers, shirts, ties are preferred but optional depending on the attending; women - skirts/slacks, blouses or dresses). No provocative clothing (call me if you don’t know what that means). Scrubs may only be worn after 4pm on call days. You may wear your scrubs post-call and on weekends, however, they should be clean. T-shirts may be worn with your scrubs, however, shirts with holes, dirt, blood stains, and advertisements are not acceptable.

Scrubs are acceptable in these areas.

Daily dress is business casual. Scrubs should never be worn in the outpatient clinic.

Athletic shoes may be worn if clean and not excessively worn. No open-toed shows may be worn. On weekends, jeans and other casual attire as well as scrubs may be worn provided they are clean and without holes, free from inappropriate graffiti or blood-staining, etc. Students MUST wear white coats and ID badges at all times.

V. Attendance at Conferences

  1. Neurosurgery Rounds: PICU Rounds: Chief Resident Rounds: required, not optional. See monthly calendar.
  2. Jeopardy: While participation is mandatory, the experience is meant strictly for fun and intellectual stimulation.
  3. Noon Conference: All in-patient students are expected to attend every day.
  4. Grand Rounds: Mandatory attendance is required of ALL students.
  5. Clerkship Conference Sessions: On Wednesday and Friday afternoons students are required to attend one-two learning conferences. A schedule is on our web site.
  6. Bio-Ethics Rounds: All in-patient students are expected to attend.
  7. Professor’s Rounds and M&M: All in-patient students are expected to attend.
  8. Morning Report: All in-patient students are expected to attend every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Conferences meet on Wednesday and Friday afternoons: A Schedule is in your orientation packet and on our web site ( All seminar times are 3:30 – 5 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays (only exception is 1:00 seminars for Dr. Wall). Students are expected to read and be prepared to discuss vignettes pertaining to the conference topic. Students are allowed time from 1:30 – 3:00 to accomplish this preparation. Case Conference reading materials are no longer printed and handed out at orientation, see the list below for reading. A password is required for each topic. The password will be given to you during orientation.

Case Conference Readings


These will be presented by Ms. Wilson in a separate orientation.

Out-patient Rotation Orientation- (See calendar for specific date and location)

Keep in mind that focused exams are only appropriate if you have reviewed the patient’s chart in detail or know the patient well. Otherwise, a more comprehensive evaluation is required so that you can give a complete and accurate presentation to your supervising resident or ambulatory faculty. Remember to develop your assessment, differential diagnosis and management plan before discussing with the supervisor.



During normal working hours on weekdays students must park in their university-assigned parking places.

Lounge Use

For brief periods of relaxation, M-3 students are authorized to use the student medical staff lounge located on the 6th floor of the Children's Foundation Research Building. They should refrain from using the resident staff lounge particularly during “sign-out”. Students are allowed to play video games but are warned that too much playtime could effect their subjective evaluation detrimentally.

Things To Remember

Peds is different . Medical students will experience decidedly less autonomy when dealing with pediatric patients when compared to other clerkships. This should not be taken personally. All efforts are made to limit the procedures performed on children so that painful, frightening intervention is kept to a bare minimum. Students are also advised to make every attempt to attend as many other procedures as possible, such as surgical or radiologic procedures performed on their patients.

Students will be excused from routine duties to be able to attend these procedures provided this privilege is not abused.

The purpose of this rotation is to facilitate the student’s learning about the medicine of Pediatrics, not necessarily to make future pediatricians. If the students have any problems or suggestions on how we can help them learn, they are instructed to call the clerkship director as soon as possible.

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