Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

Certificate Programs

The Pediatric Residency Program at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago offers to all its residents the opportunity for a broad educational experience.  The schedule combines both subspecialty training on inpatient services with interaction in a wide range of general pediatric outpatient settings in an outstanding fashion designed to train excellent .  Recognizing, however, that some trainees have specific passions and career paths in mind, we have developed four unique Areas of Focus, which offer special events and focused mentoring in particular pathways.  

Our current offerings are Advocacy & Population Health, Global Health, Medical Education, and Primary Care & Community Health.  See the tabs below more a complete description of each pathway.

Opportunities for all Certificate Programs include journal clubs, career development talks, special elective experiences, and mentored research projects.  Interested residents may participate in sessions from any number of the Areas; those who wish to commit firmly to a particular Area of Focus will do so usually midway through the PL-2 year.  At the end of training, participants will receive a certificate designating the completion of this pathway.

The Advocacy and Population Health Area of Focus is a unique, hands-on opportunity to learn about the social determinants of child health, gain the skills necessary to be an effective physician-advocate, and complete an individualized advocacy project that makes an impact upon the community.

Specific Aims

  • Provide residents who have an interest in child advocacy & population health with the opportunity to explore this area of pediatrics in greater depth
  • Provide experiential training opportunities in advocacy & populations health, including both legislative advocacy/health policy as well as community advocacy/underserved populations
  • Provide faculty-mentored research opportunities in advocacy/population health
  • Provide career counseling for residents, allowing them to explore the ways in which advocacy/population health can be incorporated into the practice of general or subspecialty pediatrics


  • Residents who complete the Area of Focus will receive a certificate and designation upon graduation.
  • Networking exposure to Chicago area individuals and organizations concerned with population health.
  • Individualized advocacy project may lead to journal publication, conference presentations and continuation of pursuits beyond residency.
  • Launch a career as a physician-advocate and discover your own “niche.”


  • Core Curriculum Components(elements required of all residents)
    • Community Medicine and Advocacy Rotation (PGY-2 year)
    • Continuity Clinic Quality Improvement Project (longitudinal)
    • Take Action publication contribution
    • Chicago Youth Programs (CYP) (visit 2x during PGY-1 year outpatient rotation)
  • Pathway-Specific Educational Components
    • AAP online curriculum: independent self-study modules
    • Journal clubs (approximately 3x/year) with other advocacy pathway residents and faculty.
    • Individualized education on research skills by faculty mentor
  • Individualized Advocacy Project
    • A mentored longitudinal effort, plus 2-3 months of dedicated elective time in PGY-3 year
    • May take the form of the Resident Senior Project, or be in addition to it
    • Presentation at annual hospital-based Advocacy Day
    • Opportunities to submit for publication, if desired
  • Experiential Opportunities
    (selected from an a la carte list)

Certificate Program Co-Directors

The Global Health Area of Focus is a unique opportunity for residents to learn more about global health issues, receive extensive pre-travel training, participate in an international elective, and complete a scholarly project.

Specific Aims

  • Offer an ACGME competency-based global health certificate program to McGaw trainees that will train them in clinical care delivery in resource-limited settings worldwide
  • Provide an education in core concepts in global health for trainees across specialties
  • Provide high-quality global health training experiences
  • Mentor residents through global health-focused scholarly projects


  • Residents who complete the certificate program will receive a certificate and designation upon graduation
  • Participants will gain exposure to a wide variety of multidisciplinary global health topics
  • Participants will have the opportunity to work and learn alongside residents and attendings from various subspecialties


  • Must submit signed mentor-mentee agreement after meeting with one of the program co-directors
  • Must complete all program requirements as detailed below, including attendance at core lectures, participation in simulation sessions and global health electives, and completion of a scholarly project

Certificate Program Co-Directors

The Medical Education Area of Focus is a unique, collaborative opportunity to learn about the various aspects of medical education, develop mentorship and networking connections with other medical educators, improve skills in clinical teaching, and develop an individualized education portfolio.

Specific Aims

  • Provide residents who have an interest in medical education with the opportunity to receive more information in how to achieve this career path and increased opportunities to grow as an educator
  • Provide experiential opportunities in a variety of medical education formats, including clinical teaching, administration, educational research, curriculum design and assessment
  • Provide career mentorship to residents interested in medical education
  • Promote faculty-mentored scholarly activity in medical education for residents


  • Residents who complete the Area of Focus will receive a certificate and designation upon graduation.
  • Residents have the opportunity to attend workshops and presentations by local experts in medical education on topics encompassing clinical teaching, curricular design, learner assessment, administration and educational research.
  • Residents may network with medical educators and individual mentors to help with both career guidance and development of a portable education portfolio 
  • Individualized educational project may lead to journal publication, conference presentations and continuation of pursuits beyond residency
  • Residents become part of a larger community of trainees and faculty dedicated to education.


  • Core Curriculum Components(elements required of ALL residents – not only those in the Area of Focus)
    • Presentation of Continuity Clinic talks – PGY1, PGY2, PGY3 year
    • Cooper Colloquium presentations, including chief resident mentoring and program director assessment – PGY2, PGY3 year
    • Residents as Teachers and Leaders required web-based education – PGY1, PGY2, PGY3 year
    • Residents as Teachers and Leaders required workshop – PGY2 year
    • Teaching Senior week on General Medicine rotation
  • Area of Focus Specific Components
    • Conduct a scholarly senior project in education 
    • Complete curriculum delivered through monthly seminars and workshops, or web-based content.  Residents must attend ten sessions prior to graduation.  They must attend a minimum of three sessions on learning theory, three on teaching skills, two on career guidance and two on educational research.   These sessions will be provided as monthly seminars held during evening hours.
    • Participate in Clinical Educator elective, as well as a second month-long elective with an education focus that should be approved the co-directors of the Area of Focus
    • Participate in at least five educational experiences with reflection and feedback
    • Development of an education portfolio describing those medical education experiences, including reflection and evaluations.
  • Scholarship
    • Participate in a senior project in an area of medical education, which might include curriculum development or educational research
    • Involvement in annual Feinberg School of Medicine Medical Education Day
    • Opportunities for attendance/participation at regional/national meetings
  • Medical Education Experiences
    • Residents will be expected to participate in a variety of educational experiences ranging from large group to individual sessions and working with learners at different levels, including at the medical school and their co-residents.  They will also participate in peer feedback, observation by expert educators and mentors and self-reflection during some of these sessions.  The directors for the area of focus will maintain a list of available educational experiences as a reference for the residents.
    • Residents must document five teaching experiences in their education portfolio
    • Residents must include feedback in their portfolio on all of these five experiences, and this must include learner, self-evaluation, peer and expert feedback
    • Residents must document teaching experiences of at least three different types
  • Mentorship
    • A key component of this Area of Focus will include mentorship for residents, both for their scholarly projects, and for career mentorship. 
    • Residents will be matched with an educator in the department of pediatrics to serve as a mentor throughout their time in residency.  The mentor will also take primary responsibility for reviewing their education portfolio and developing an individualized plan for the area of focus. 
    • In addition to this relationship, career guidance will be a key topic during group meetings and a specific component to the core curriculum.

Certificate Program Co-Directors

Associate Faculty

The Primary Care and Community Health Area of Focus enhances your general education in primary care by integrating experiences in clinical practice and/or community health systems, and a mentored primary care/community health centered project, to explore aspects of primary care, health care delivery, social determinants, and community health, tailored to your interests.

Specific Aims

  • Provide residents with an interest in primary care and community health with opportunities to explore and achieve competency beyond the general pediatric resident experience
  • Provide experiences and research mentorship in areas of community practice and primary care
  • Provide residents with career counseling over the span of their resident training


  • Residents who complete the Area of Focus will receive a certificate and designation upon graduation.
  • Networking exposure to Chicago area individuals, practices and organizations concerned with pediatric primary care and/or community health.
  • Opportunities for robust primary care & community health-related mentorship and research projects which may lead to journal publication, conference presentations and continuation of mentoring and pursuits beyond residency.
  • Opportunities for hands-on experience with advocacy in primary care.
  • Preparation to be an excellent clinician, academic primary care or community health leader.


  • Core Curriculum Components(Required of ALL residents)
    • Primary Care Outpatient Rotation, includes Project DOCC experience with medically Complex and Chicago Youth Program visit
    • Community Medicine and Child Advocacy Rotation, involving both site experiences and a month long project on public health and social determinants
    • Continuity Clinic Quality Improvement Project
    • Continuity Clinic 1x/week during all three years of resident training
    • Cooper Colloquium Primary Care Talks
  • Pathway-Specific Educational Components
    • Bi-monthly journal club
    • Primary Care noon conferences, and 3x/year Primary Care Focus Faculty lectures
    • On-line Curriculum: AAP and CATCH funded curriculum on Primary care topics
    • Medico-Legal Partnership educational opportunities
    • Primary Care Elective: This flexible elective will be developed by the resident to meet their goals with guidance from medical Education and the Primary Care Section mentor. Depending on interest, it will focus more on private practice or community health. A product is required at the end of the rotation.
  • Individualized Project
    • A mentored longitudinal effort, plus 2-3 months of dedicated elective time in PGY-3 year
    • May take the form of the Resident Senior Project, or be in addition to it
    • This longitudinal primary care project may be oriented toward research, advocacy (community or policy), or quality improvement project with measured outcomes.
    • Presentation and/or publication will be strongly encouraged.
  • Experiential Opportunities(Selected from a list based on individual areas of interest)
    • Continuity Clinic at Uptown
    • Private Practice Experiences
    • Elective in Surgical, Ancillary and Community Care Services: Residents may choose areas of audiology, speech, Early Intervention, Lurie's program of mental Health in the Schools, Almost Home KIDS, Psychiatry and motivational Interviewing
    • Child with Medical Complexity Elective
    • Hospital Based Committees & Programs

Certificate Program Director

The McGaw Bioethics Scholars Program is a two-year program and is co-sponsored by the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities and McGaw Medical Center.

Program Structure & Expectations.  Participants will be asked to complete the following within 2 academic years: 


  • Attend Program Orientation held in September  
  • Attend 10 Core Didactics/Workshops lectures given by faculty
  • Attend 12 Specialty Didactics/Workshops Offered through departments at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Center for Bioethics and Humanities, Master of Arts in Medical Humanities & Bioethics

Complete Asynchronous Learning

  • Read 1 core reference book related to clinical ethics Read 2 books related to bioethics and submit comments/reflections  
  • Participate in Practical Experience and Simulation Skills Practicum Attend and observe 2 Ethics Committee meetings Attend and observe 1 IRB committees meeting Participate in a 1-day ethics simulation module

Develop an Education Portfolio

  • Trainees will build an education portfolio that includes their reflections from workshops, readings, learner evaluations   
  • Mentors will review the portfolio and provide feedback on the content

Complete a Scholarly Project

Examples:  Conceptual paper, narrative or summative review of literature, case report, empirical research, or specialty curriculum development (workshops, lectures, modules) The project should result in a poser presentation, peer-reviewed publication, or curriculum development materials  


  • Trainees will be paired with a Bioethics mentor
  • Trainees will be required to find a scholarly project mentor from an available list of faculty based on their interest.   
  • Trainees are also required to attend two administrative meetings per year with program

For more information as well as the application, please see the link below: