We are one of four schools participating in an exciting new pilot project called Education for Pediatrics Across the Continuum (EPAC). This program admits students entering year 3 of medical school for specialized competency-based clinical training in pediatrics.
It is an ideal option for students that already know they wish to become pediatricians to receive extensive hands-on training in their desired specialty. Once the students have met certain benchmarks, they can begin their residency training. This has the potential to lengthen or shorten their time as an undergraduate medical student. Residency slots are predetermined and guaranteed through the program called Education for Pediatrics Across the Continuum (EPAC), it allows students who have finished their first two years of medical school to progress through a specially designed curriculum, most of which will be focused on pediatrics. For example, they’ll do their emergency medicine, surgery and psychiatry rotations in a children’s hospital. They also will work with a preceptor in a pediatrics clinic and build a panel of patients, whom they will care for over the course of their training.
Once the students have proved they are competent in certain areas—for example, that they can do a physical exam, take a complete history from a child’s parent or develop a treatment plan that makes good sense to their preceptor—they can begin residency. (The participating schools have guaranteed those students slots in their pediatrics residency programs.) “It will all be done without a time boundary,” says Powell, who currently teaches in the medical schools’ laboratory medicine and pathology program.