Frequently Asked Questions for the Pediatric Residency Program–Spokane


 An ideal candidate for our program is a student who is hard working, independent, mature, and self-motivated but also is a contributing member of a team. As a small program, each resident will help us develop the program and also impact the culture that we create. As the Leadership Team, we are looking for hard-working students who enjoy new experiences and contribute towards a growing and changing program. Our program stresses active learning where residents are involved with didactics and teaching alongside faculty and contribute and enjoy a longitudinal training structure. Medical students have undertaken a tremendous amount of education, but none is as important or applicable as the 3 years spent in residency. Students who recognize this and take advantage of each opportunity every day will be most successful. 

 As a newer program, we hope to have residents who embrace change, contribute, and participate in the development of the program. 

As a smaller community-based program, we are able to be adaptable with a focus on providing high quality and individualized training. The program structure includes 1:1 training between experienced pediatricians and residents. Most importantly, this is a program and environment where pediatric residents are wanted, valued and appreciated. Pediatricians in the community have persisted for many years to bring this program to fruition! This will be a great program for residents who want to be actively involved and integrated into the program and community. 


 Although there are variations of how pediatric residency programs structure their experiences, all programs including ours ensure that residents meet requirements set by the ACGME. This includes standard inpatient experiences will occur, such as Inpatient pediatrics, NICU, PICU, and Term Newborn Care. The ACGME requires rotations in Behavior and Development as well as Adolescent medicine. Our requirements beyond this are Hem/Onc, Cardiology, Neurology, Psychiatry, as well as combined rotations in Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonology and Nephrology. Residents in our program will also rotate at the Shriner’s hospital in Spokane, which will provide a multidisciplinary experience. Our program also includes individualized curriculum experiences which allows residents to expand on the experiences listed above and other elective opportunities to tailor their education and learning plan. 

Spokane is a mid-sized city with a small-town feel, and as the largest city in eastern Washington, includes all the needed pediatric specialties to provide care to a large encatchment area. Residents in the program will have access to a significant number of specialties without expectation of needing to leave Spokane. 

Primary care is one of the most important aspects to our program and we have chosen to establish primary care experiences that exceed the minimum numbers set by the ACGME. We believe that regardless of what you want to do after completing residency a strong foundation in primary care pediatrics is essential for residents in their future careers. 

The program curriculum/structure provides a good balance between inpatient and outpatient. We do more than the minimum requirements because we believe it is essential to the foundation of pediatrics to be well rounded. 

Didactic sessions will average about 4-5 hours per week with conferences held from 12:00-1:00 PM 4 days per week and Grand Rounds every other Wednesday at 7:00 AM. The program will also have a separate morning curriculum for residents in primary care rotations. Most didactic sessions will be in-person, live lectures with virtual availability for faculty or residents who are off-site. The didactic training will cover all pediatric and subspecialty topics through Grand Rounds, Medical and Trauma Morbidity and Mortality type conferences, Balint Group, Journal Club, Resident Forums, Yale Curriculum, Board Review Questions, and Independent Study.

When the program reaches its full complement of residents, the inpatient day team (service) will include the attending, senior pediatric resident (PGY2), a first-year pediatric resident (PGY1), and non-pediatric residents such as family medicine, Psychiatry and others. Medical students will also be included. Only pediatric residents will have a leadership role within this team. Expectations are higher for pediatric residents who will not have to leave for clinic but will not be rotating into the night schedule. In the PGY3 year, senior pediatric residents will have increased autonomy through night float rotations in their final year. They will lead a similar team of non-pediatric residents and students. There is a hospitalist attending in-house until late in the evening as well as ED and ICU attendings to discuss care and promote a learning environment. 

Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital has served as a teaching hospital for a long time, including training of medical students and residents from other programs. The inaugural PGY1 class will have a similar experience and structure as mentioned above while part of inpatient team, with the exception that there would not be a PGY2 pediatric resident helping to lead the team with the attending. 

Primarily most of the rotation experiences are structured as one-on-one experiences with the resident and precepting faculty. For example, these experiences include: PICU, NICU, and Term Newborn. 

There is no call or night float during the NICU (PGY1), PICU (PGY2), or Term nursery (PGY3) rotation experiences. We expect these rotations will be challenging as they will be some of the busiest rotations with long shifts but will allow for many teaching/learning opportunities. 

Training/Clinical Sites

We believe in the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child or in this case a medical community to produce a great pediatrician. We are pleased to say that we have a great relationship with many community partners who see the importance of this program. In addition to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, residents will be going to Kaiser, MultiCare, and Providence outpatient pediatric clinics amongst others for Continuity Clinic. Residents will also have ambulatory care clinics at CHAS. Child advocacy will have many different exposures including time at Partner’s with Families and Children, The Child Advocacy center in Spokane. Shriners Childrens Hospital is going to provide a multidisciplinary rotation during the first year among other community partners who will provide learning opportunities essential to pediatric training. 

All rotations are currently planned to be in Spokane. The program, however, is supportive based on individual interests and goals to pursue a rotation outside the area provided it meets educational criteria. 

Supervision and Faculty

Resident’s will primarily be supervised one-to-one with their attending. The level of autonomy for a resident will increase gradually based on their experience and level of training. While on the inpatient teaching service, residents are supervised by their senior resident, and an attending who is available in-person or by phone. There is always supervision (24 hours a day) by attendings in the ED and PICU. 

We believe residents and faculty need feedback regularly to support their growth and development. The program will be using New Innovations to help facilitate evaluations, so they are regularly distributed and visible to residents. In addition, the program will be utilizing short, quick evaluation tools to get feedback to residents on a more frequent basis. At minimum residents will receive feedback at the end of each rotation and at least every 3 months for longitudinal experiences. In addition, each resident will have regular meetings with their mentor and receive formal feedback from the program director at least semi-annually. 

Starting a New Residency Program

Spokane, including Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital (primary clinical training site) has been teaching and training medical students and residents for many years. The hospital and medical community have been working on starting a pediatric residency for 14+ years! As a result, the community has been hugely supportive of having residents in the hospital and various pediatric clinics. This has also meant that the program has had a tremendous about of time to plan, develop and coordinate a structure that will smoothly integrate pediatric residents (with support) into the hospital. Although the program is “new”, training residents in Spokane has been a long-established tradition. 

Washington State University (WSU) College of Medicine is also located in Spokane, and as the residency program’s Sponsoring Institution, it is very experienced with starting new residency programs. WSU has a GME Office and team of program administrators and coordinators who support the onboarding of new residents, orientation, wellbeing activities, scheduling, evaluation and assessment, and overall support for helping residents through their residency training. 

Very experienced! Medical students and residents have been training in Spokane for a long time, including with the pediatric faculty. Both inpatient and outpatient pediatric rotations have been highly “sought after” opportunities from medical students and residents from other specialties. The pediatric community has been preparing for a pediatric residency program for many years! With the start of the residency program, the pediatric units and clinics have been preparing for residents to start training in July 2024. 

Maybe! We are looking forward to the benefits of providing a close-knit, small pediatric training experience. However, we have the clinical opportunities to support a larger program with more residents. 

Application Process

Yes. We require applicants to have graduated medical School no more than 18 months prior to applying for the program through ERAS. 

Yes! We encourage all qualified applicants to apply through the ERAS system. 

Yes, we accept IMG applicants and no, an observership or clinical experience in the US is not required. 

We will communicate with other programs in Spokane if we see applicants who are couples matching. 

International graduates are encouraged to apply. If a visa is needed for work eligibility in the US, only a J-1 visa is allowable.

We use a Holistic review Process when reviewing applicants, interviewing, and creating a rank list to help eliminate bias and to support a holistic and inclusive process. The program wants to create a culture of inclusivity from staff, residents, faculty, and administration. 

Life Outside of Residency

Spokane is a wonderful place to live, and many people return to Spokane to raise a family. Although Spokane is a mid-sized city (and the largest city in eastern Washington) it doesn’t have some of the hassles and challenges that are often found in large cities. We think residents will find that commuting to the hospital and clinical sites will not be a concern, and the cost of living for Washington State is very reasonable. Spokane has a vibrant community with easy access to the outdoors, restaurants, shopping, art and culture, parks, sports, and also quick day trip opportunities! The easy access airport in Spokane also provides a lot of direct flights and connections. There is no state income tax in Washington! 

In full disclosure, we do not receive any reimbursement for this answer! They are all great and depend on where exactly you choose to live and what you are looking for. There are six (6) ski resorts within a day’s drive, some slightly longer than others again depending on where you live. Mount Spokane is the closest with 49 Degrees North, Silver and Lookout being a slightly further drive, but also a little bigger. Schweitzer and Red Mountain are the biggest, and I would say have the most challenge but are furthest although still very accessible for a weekend get-away. 

Wellbeing is important and valued by Washington State University (WSU) for residents, staff and faculty. Resources are available through the primary clinical site (Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital) to help support resident wellbeing. In addition, as the sponsoring institution, WSU ensures all residents have access to wellbeing resources including free, confidential counseling, an organized resident-led wellbeing committee, retreats, and activities. WSU has a resident-led approach to wellbeing, to ensure that recommendations and ideas come from residents and aren’t determined by program leadership or the GME Office. 

Residents in other programs take advantage of the many hiking and biking trails, golf, water recreation, winter recreation including downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and skating. Not an outdoor enthusiast or needing a break then check out the many other activities like gyms, restaurants, bars and pubs, movie theaters, symphony and collegiate sporting events. 

Currently, we do not support moonlighting. The ACGME has gone through great lengths to protect residents’ wellbeing and ensure patient safety. In terms of resident stipend and benefits, WSU ensures that they are reviewed on an annual basis. WSU strives to offer competitive stipends and benefits to residents in all their programs. 

Research and Community Outreach

Community pediatrics and child advocacy are critical components of the curriculum to help prepare residents to take an active role in their communities. The program has a partnership with a community clinic that will provide an ambulatory and multidisciplinary advocacy experience. This includes partnership with the local Child Advocacy Center, and resident participation with advocacy projects. 

Yes! Residents in the program will complete a scholarly activity project (at least 1 if not more) with the guidance of faculty. WSU as an academic institution offers a tremendous amount of support and resources for residents and faculty pursuing research projects. For residents pursuing fellowship training, the program includes faculty in all the pediatric subspecialty areas. As a result, residents will have access to faculty mentors and contacts to further support their career goals.