Department of Pediatrics

Pediatric Education Frequently Asked Questions


How do I arrange an elective at Baylor College of Medicine?

Medical Student Electives: All medical student electives at Baylor, including those for visiting students, must be arranged through the registrar's office. You may find more information on the Office of the Registrar, Elective Program web page.

Resident Electives: Approval must be obtained from the subspecialty area of interest. Each pediatric subspecialty division maintains a web site, view the divisions on the pediatrics departmental web site.

How do I arrange an observership or externship at Baylor College of Medicine?

At this time, only students enrolled at the Baylor College of Medicine can apply for clinical observerships. A variety of legal, regulatory, and educational considerations greatly constrain our ability to offer observership experiences. Limited opportunities are made available. Please contact Dr. Gordon Schutze ( for more information.

Observers are strictly limited to observing the activities of the regular medical staff. They may not be involved in "hands-on" patient care activities, such as performing history and physical examinations. Externships (i.e. experiences that include patient care) are not permitted under Texas state law.

How do I arrange a research experience at Baylor College of Medicine?

Opportunities for research for those not enrolled in Baylor or its affiliated residency programs are very limited. New requests will have to be submitted on your behalf using the Research and Education Visitor System that will help streamline visitor requests, approvals, communication and documentation. For additional information, requirements, and steps for requesting and onboarding research, please contact Andre Hite (, manager of research compliance.

How do I Apply for a Pediatric Residency at Baylor College of Medicine?

See detailed information about application submission, instructions, interview invitations and more.

How do I find a person (a doctor, researcher, or staff person) at Baylor College of Medicine?

Search for a doctor (or person, or information) using the "I want to find" box on the upper-right corner of any Baylor College of Medicine website page!

Where can I get clinical/medical advice?

Please visit the pediatrics sub-specialty pages to find more information and contact phone numbers and addresses.

How can I become a pediatrician?

Becoming a pediatrician is a multi-step process. The most common training sequence is as follows:

College or University Training (Undergraduate School)
After completion of high school, individuals enroll in college or university. Some undergraduate schools have a specific pre-med major. However, it is not necessary that an individual pursue any particular degree in order to apply to medical school. In fact, many successful medical school applicants have degrees in fields other than science. Each medical school establishes its own prerequisites, but typical requirements are completion of a minimum number of semester hours, including certain specified courses. Although most medical schools do not require completion of an undergraduate degree, the large majority of applicants have done so. For admissions information specific to Baylor College of Medicine, please consult the M.D. Program Admissions Process web site.

Medical School (Graduate School)
Most medical schools are four years in duration. Traditionally, the first two years primarily consist of basic science courses and the last two years are spent in clinical rotations (i.e. caring for patients). Many medical schools now integrate clinical experience throughout the entire four years of school. At the completion of medical school, students receive a medical degree (M.D.).

Residency Training (Post-Doctoral Training)
After medical school, training continues in a specialty area (e.g. pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery) chosen by the medical school graduate. Pediatric residency training is three years in duration. During training, the learning primarily occurs in the context of providing patient care under the supervision of faculty physicians. This experience is augmented by lectures, case discussions, and other educational opportunities. Residents receive increasing autonomy as they demonstrate competence in patient care. At the completion of training, residents may sit for an examination conducted by the American Board of Pediatrics. If they successfully complete the examination, they are Board Certified in general pediatrics. Many physicians enter the practice of general pediatrics upon completion of pediatric residency training.

Fellowship Training
Residents wishing to sub-specialize (pediatric cardiology, pediatric nephrology, etc.) continue their training as sub-specialty residents (more commonly referred to as fellows). Most pediatric fellowships are three years in duration. Fellowship training consists of additional clinical training in a specific subspecialty area. In addition, substantial time is typically devoted to learning and practicing the skills of research. After successful completion of fellowship training, the fellow may take a subspecialty examination and become Board Certified in the subspecialty area.

Baylor College of Medicine does not have an undergraduate school so applicants must first complete their college or university training elsewhere. Application to medical school most commonly occurs during the senior year of undergraduate school.