Pursuing a career in pediatric medicine can be a rewarding experience. The highest ranked medical schools that specialize in pediatrics were rated by “U.S. News & World Report” in 2013. These top schools provide medical students and resident doctors with extensive research and clinical care experiences through residencies and fellowships located in children’s hospitals throughout the country. Pediatric medical school rankings were based on surveys, questionnaires and nominations from expert faculty and school officials.

University of Pennsylvania, Perelman

Located in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania has remained the top ranking medical school for pediatrics by “U.S. News & World Report” for more than 10 years. Their three-year residency and fellowship programs focus on clinical care and education and supports key areas of research through their creation of nine research affinity groups. A five-year residency program with combined specializations in pediatrics and genetics leading to board eligibility in both disciplines is also an option for students to pursue.

Harvard University

Ranked as having the second best pediatric medical program in the country, Harvard University offers a competitive program in which resident doctors serve in the department of medicine at Mass General Hospital and Mass General Hospital for Children. Throughout the four-year program, resident doctors rotate every six months between internal medicine and pediatrics. Supervisory roles are assigned during the second year as invasive procedures are practiced and performed with intensive care, emergency room and ward protocols. These experiences prepare resident doctors to act as senior consultants during their fourth year.

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University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati’s pediatric medical program has been recognized as one of the most rigorous and competitive programs in the country. Resident doctors in this program build cohesive and long-lasting bonds and relationships with each other, as they remain together throughout the duration of the four-year program. Beginning with internal medicine, rotations are every four months and a mandatory ambulatory block-time is built into the program. Resident doctors also gain experiences in child development and outpatient adolescent medicine. In addition, strong faculty mentorships are geared toward helping residents accomplish their clinical, research and career goals spanning the program.

John Hopkins University

The John Hopkins Children’s Center is home to the country’s fourth highest ranking pediatric medical program. Specialized programs include general community pediatrics and general academic pediatrics. Medical students at John Hopkins University meet with their assigned faculty adviser every six months to discuss their individualized learning plan, review evaluations and discuss career planning. The overall learning focus is geared toward gaining foundational knowledge in clinical skills, decision-making and evidence-based medical research. The initial year of the program allows residents the opportunity to perform physical exams and provide input into treatment plans. Throughout the remainder of the program, medical students work directly with resident doctors and faculty members to develop and enhance clinical, teaching and leadership skills, as well as becoming actively involved with decision-making concerning patient care.

About the Author

Keri Meredith has worked as an educator in inner-city schools for more than 14 years. Her certifications include educational leadership, special education, English as a Second Language and general education. She holds a Master of Education from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Hampton University.