Electives | Page 1


Child advocacy is the work of pleading, defending, publicly recommending, or raising your voice on behalf of children and their families in order to improve their health and well-being. At the University of Virginia, advocating for patients − whether on an individual basis, within the community, or to the legislature − is an integral part of patient care and our residency training program. There are many opportunities available. For more information, see the Child Advocacy site.


The allergy elective includes evaluating patients in field clinics and will give you first-hand experience seeing children referred for:

  • Asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis, and recurrent ear and sinus infections
  • Allergic conjunctivitis, chronic urticaria, and atopic dermatitis
  • Food allergies, insect venom allergies and drug allergens

Working with pediatric anesthesiologists, this elective will allow you to:

  • Gain experience in the preoperative, operative, and postoperative management of pediatric patients undergoing surgery
  • Understand the needs and care of the pediatric surgical patient in the operating room setting.

Focusing on ambulatory care, the cardiology elective features daily outpatient clinics and several busy field clinics. You will learn to:

  • Evaluate children with murmurs, syncope, chest pain, and pediatric ECGs
  • Recognize and treat endocarditis, congestive heart failure, Kawasaki disease, and acute rheumatic fever
  • Recognize common pediatric arrhythmias
  • Develop an approach to cyanotic heart disease and operations associated with congenital heart disease
Children’s Rehabilitation Center Clinics

You may choose to spend some of your elective time at one of the twenty-two outpatient clinics. There you will participate in the evaluation and treatment of children from birth to age twenty-one, who have developmental disabilities, traumatic injuries, or chronic illness. The 10,000 children seen annually are given care for a wide variety of conditions, including autistic spectrum disorder, spinal cord injuries, and genetic syndromes.


The endocrinology elective is primarily outpatient focused, and there are a number of robust field clinics as well as clinics at the Primary Care Center and at the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center. You will see:

  • Infants, children and adolescents with disorder of the endocrine glands (pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal, and gonads)
  • Children with abnormal growth and/or sexual development
  • Children with abnormalities of carbohydrate homeostasis (hypoglycemia and/or diabetes mellitus)

Work as a gastroenterologist in outpatient and inpatient settings while you:

  • Learn to evaluate and manage common gastrointestinal and nutritional complaints seen in general pediatric practice including constipation, encopresis, recurrent abdominal pain, recurrent vomiting, gastroesophageal reflux, and chronic diarrhea
  • Assist during common endoscopic procedures including diagnostic upper and lower endoscopy
  • Gain a good understanding of the evaluation and management of children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome, acute and chronic liver disease, and a variety of feeding and nutritional disorders
General Practice

Two nearby general practice clinics offer an opportunity for an additional general practice experience as an elective. The Northridge Clinic is located about three miles west of the University and serves about 13,000 patients each year. All pediatricians at Northridge are Department of Pediatrics faculty members.

The Orange Clinic, in the historic town of Orange, Virginia, about fifteen miles from the University, serves approximately 11,000 patients annually in a pleasant rural setting.


The genetics division supervises a full range of diagnostic genetics laboratories, and selects and evaluates appropriate genetic testing in patient evaluations and family counseling. The elective provides training in genetics appropriate for practice as a primary care pediatrician. It includes:

  • Weekly genetics clinic at the Primary Care Center
  • Seeing all genetics inpatient consultations
  • Participation in six satellite genetics clinic held monthly throughout the western portion of Virginia
Global Health

Each year many of our residents choose to do a month-long elective in global health. Through this elective you will:

  • Identify current global health issues such as resource allocation, health systems management, and ethical standards for international development and research
  • Gain an understanding of the epidemiology, diagnosis and management of common illnesses and tropical diseases affecting children in developing countries
  • Learn to practice medicine with humility, professionalism and cultural sensitivity in a cultural context outside of your own

The outpatient hematology/oncology elective is focused on seeing patients in the ambulatory setting. You will:

  • See patients with cancer, sickle cell anemia, and inherited bleeding disorders (of whom some are receiving scheduled therapies)
  • Become the first referral physician of contact for ambulatory referrals
  • Participate in evaluations of anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, lymphadenopathy, and some genetic disorders