If the diverse, international nature of Washington DC appeals to you, then completing the Georgetown pediatric residency may be for you. Working and studying in the nation’s capital is only one of the many benefits of getting into the Georgetown Pediatrics program. If you’re interested in research, then you’re steps away from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and other important centers for scientific discovery. If direct patient care and experience is what you want for you residency, you’ll spend up to 40% of your first year in outpatient settings that can range from underserved areas to the tonier parts of the Capitol. This article will go more into detail about what makes Georgetown Pediatrics a premiere pediatric residency program and tell you what you need to get in. 

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Article Contents
12 min read

Georgetown Pediatrics: At a Glance Georgetown Pediatrics: Program Overview Georgetown Pediatrics: Application Process Selection Factors Georgetown Pediatrics: Curriculum How to Get Matched at Georgetown Pediatrics Conclusion FAQs

Georgetown Pediatrics: At a Glance

Match Rate: 100%

Resident Positions: 11

Length of Program: 3 years

Salary Range: $65,700 - $73,000

Georgetown Pediatrics: Program Overview

Georgetown Pediatrics is associated with Georgetown Medical School, but its residency training program works in collaboration with MedStar Health, the school’s private healthcare partner. Your main clinical training site will be based out of the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital located near the fabled Georgetown campus on historic Reservoir Road. But you will also train at sites outside of Washington, such as Annandale, Virginia or Rockville, Maryland that will take you to more underserved areas.

The residency program has several different tracks that you can enter in your first year, which include:

  • Clinical Research
  • Medical Education
  • Patient Safety/Quality Improvement
  • Community Pediatrics/Advocacy
  • Global Health Track

Community pediatrics figures heavily in the program’s curriculum, as well as within the program’s overall mission to serve children and families who have trouble accessing primary care. If you choose the Community Pediatrics track, or as one of your electives, then you’ll participate in many of the initiatives Georgetown Pediatrics has created to serve this purpose.

You’ll either rotate through the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, which is an internationally-renowned center for pediatric behavioral health and child development. There is also the option to join the Georgetown Collaborative for Research and Education to Advance Children’s Health (GC-REACH), which is a research-based, faculty collective that specializes in pediatric research and advocacy.

Yet another option open to you is the KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic, which is a doctor’s office on wheels that goes into areas around metro Washington DC that have been designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) by the federal government. You’ll see patients and their families in a 300-square-foot converted tractor trailer and provide services from giving out vaccinations and treating chronic conditions to providing mental health support and laboratory testing.

Beyond this, Georgetown Pediatrics and MedStar Health have also created school-based clinics, where you can meet and interact with adolescent patients. The program operates two of these school-based health centers (SBHCs) in Washington DC-area public high schools so you won’t only be seeing patients in hospitals or clinics, but also within their communities, including schools.

Despite the program’s focus on helping underserved communities, the educational focus does not cross the urban vs rural residency divide, so if you have an interest in exploring other facets of pediatric care within remote settings, you should think about a pediatric program that has a specific rural track or component. However, the other tracks, including the Global Health Track, will help you develop the knowledge to focus on the specifics of delivering pediatric care within disadvantaged communities. 

Want to learn what are the most competitive and least competitive residencies? Watch this video:

Georgetown Pediatrics: Application Process

Georgetown Pediatrics has only 11 resident positions, and they are filled every application cycle, so it is one of the most competitive residencies out there. The small number of positions is unique to Georgetown. As a comparison, the Children’s National Medical Center Program, also based in Washington DC and one of the best pediatric residency programs in the US, has 43 PGY-1 positions, so getting into Georgetown Pediatrics is no small feat.

The program uses the ERAS service to accept applications from US medical school graduates, as well as international medical graduates. Over 30% of the residents accepted into the program are foreign-trained doctors, so Georgetown Pediatrics is one of the most IMG-friendly residency programs in the US. There are no additional admission requirements beyond the standard ones including submitting:

Aside from submitting a complete ERAS application, you will also have to interview for the position. The program regularly interviews over 200 candidates every year, and holds almost 17 interviews per resident position, so your interview performance is an important factor in the application process. The program does not use MMI, nor does it ask for CASPer scores or any other situational-judgement test, but it does use a specific line of questioning in its interview known as behavioral interviewing.

We’ll get into the specifics of what behavioral interviewing is and how to prepare for residency interview, but for now, we’ll talk more about how to get into Georgetown Pediatrics. If you think a residency program’s mission and values do not figure into who they select, then you’re mistaken. Georgetown Pediatrics is upfront about what they look for in applicants and it has a lot to do with whether you have background in community service, as well as helping the underserved.

Selection Factors

Personal Background/History

Many medical schools and residency programs create their curriculum or mission around the communities where they are located and Georgetown Pediatrics is no different. We spent a lot of time outlining the ways the program goes into the community directly because removing barriers and increasing access to care is central to Georgetown Pediatrics’ philosophy. Given its location, the program has an extremely diverse patient population, which can range from treating children in low-income neighborhoods to the children of politicians, ambassadors and other international dignitaries.

With this in mind, the program looks for applicants who have experience in treating diverse patient populations, but who have also gone into the community through service-work or during their clinical rotations in medical school. This means you should have participated in activities, whether through your extracurriculars for medical school or during your gap year before residency, similar to those offered by the program to its patients, such as working in community care clinics or volunteering at a non-profit (preferably that involve children, women and families) as well as international rotations where you were immersed in a totally foreign treatment environment.

But your personal background will also figure heavily in the application process. This means that applicants from disadvantaged communities or people who have overcome socio-economic, health-related or other personal obstacles will be viewed more favorably than those who have not. However, that is not to suggest that you will not be admitted if you do not have this type of background. Only that the program places a premium on applicants who have either had personal or professional experience in helping children or who have had to overcome these obstacles themselves.

Interview Format

Your personal and professional experiences figure heavily not only during the application process, but also during your interview since you will be asked residency behavioral interview questions that will force you to go into detail about what you did in specific situations. This line of questioning is distinct from the more typical residency interview questions, such as “why should we choose you?” or “what do you hope to gain from our residency program?” 

Behavioral interview questions are more focused on what you did specifically in a general or unique situation, whether it be a time that you failed, worked with a team or something that you are proud of. The best way to answer these types of questions is to create a mini-short story that reveals all the major details but in a succinct and concise way.

You can employ the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to answer these questions. If they are personal questions, you can mention details of the situation (time, place, people), what the challenge or inciting incident was, the role you had or the actions you took, and what happened in the end, whether good or bad. If you are asked situational or scenario questions (what would you do...?) listen and think carefully about what kind of situation you are being asked about and who exactly loses, benefits or is the most vulnerable, so you can give the right answer.

If you are asked about failure, which is a common residency interview question, you can also add any lessons you learned or how you changed or developed because of the failure. While the STAR method is a good blueprint to apply to answer behavioral interview questions, you can also use the strategies used in MMI or other situational judgement test to answer these questions. The STAR and other methods can also be helpful when writing your ERAS personal statements for other residency programs, or any other type of essay either for residency or fellowships. Interviews at Georgetown Pediatrics are held both virtually and in-person, so you can decide on the format that best suits you.

Georgetown Pediatrics: Curriculum

The Georgetown Pediatrics program is a fully categorical residency that lasts for three years. You do not need to do a transitional year residency as a prerequisite to getting matched. We mentioned that Georgetown Pediatrics has five distinct tracks that you can apply for when you are matched into the program. But the program also aims to give every resident as many opportunities to pursue their own research interests as well as having a variety of different elective options to choose from so you can get the most well-rounded training in pediatric medicine possible.

However, you are only allotted a single, four-week block in your first year for an elective, while the rest of the first year is given over to complete your required rotations, which span every specialty and sub-specialty within pediatrics. During your first year, you’ll also be given a half-block Individualized Learning Curriculum rotation where you can explore a specific specialty or sub-specialty within pediatrics or an off-service rotation in anything from a family medicine residency or emergency medicine residency.

You will have to complete 16 different rotations throughout the three years at Georgetown Pediatrics five training sites. The 16 rotations run through every aspect of pediatric medicine, starting with infancy all the way to adolescence. But your first rotations will be in general medicine. You will dive right in to meeting with patients at either the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital or the Inova Fairfax Hospital.

As you progress, you will then enter into pediatric sub-specialties such as:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Developmental Pediatrics
  • Newborn Health

Georgetown Pediatrics is also a hub for pediatric care within the DC-area, so you can expect to treat patients from other cities and states. To help treat the most critically-ill young patients, Georgetown Pediatrics has some of the most advanced, state-of-the-art facilities available in the region.

It has a 24/7 Neonatal and Perinatal Transport Service unit that can help transport children and their families to the MedStar Georgetown University Hosptial, while the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit handles the most serious cases, from pediatric epilepsy surgery to children who have been placed on ventilators.

However, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is a rotation you will do in your second or third year. This is by design, as the unit is absent of chief residents, so, you will have to decide on the treatment plans for these patients on your own. By the second year, you will be expected to have the necessary knowledge and training to treat these patients effectively without any supervision or guidance from senior residents or faculty.

Some of other rotations you can expect in your first year include:

  • Hematology-Oncology
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Community Pediatrics and Advocacy
  • Sedation Rotation

In the subsequent resident years, you will be exposed to the more complicated and multidisciplinary features of pediatrics through rotations in pediatric cardiology, emergency medicine, pediatric GI and renal care, and child or adolescent psychiatry. Your final year is when you’ll be able to present a capstone project at the Annual Pediatric Resident Research Day, as well as various other conferences.

Rotation Schedule

In your first year at Georgetown Pediatrics, you can expect to work about 60 hours/week, which includes all your main responsibilities such as patient care, night float, research, and didactic learning. But the program is also mindful of helping you find a balance between your rotation schedule and personal time, so you will never be asked to work more than 24 hours, while also getting one day off per week where you will not even be on-call.

We mentioned in the beginning that you will spend up to 40% of your time in outpatient settings, meaning at facilities outside of the main MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. But the rest of your time will be taken up by in-person didactic classes given by any of the 80 full-time, physician teachers who work at Georgetown Pediatrics. The small number of resident positions means that you will benefit from personalized instruction, as the program has a very low faculty-to-student ratio (2.5 to 1).

Resident Support and Wellness

One unique feature about Georgetown Pediatrics is its partnership with MedStar Health, which means that you will have several wellness resources available to you to help avoid burnout. You’ll have access to the same benefits that other employees (medical and non-medical) of MedStar Health have, which include access to an Employee Assistance Program, and other counselling support.

One of these programs is Wellness Rounds, where mental health professionals go to you to perform check-ins to see how you’re doing. But you can also ask to meet with Resilience Coaches (also with training in mental health, specifically for caregivers) who can help you create coping mechanisms and solutions to bring balance to your schedule and life. As a resident, you will also be given four-weeks of paid vacation time ever year, which will be split into two-week blocks that you can chose to take whenever you want.

Rotation Sites

  • MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
  • Virginia Hospital Center
  • Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital
  • Children’s National Hospital
  • Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

How to Get Matched at Georgetown Pediatrics

1. Prove that Pediatrics is Your First Choice

One thing that all residency program directors look for is your commitment to their particular specialty. For pediatrics, you can do that in any number of ways, but one would be to take added electives in medical school (pediatrics is a universally required rotation in medical school) that are adjacent to pediatrics. Remember that every medical specialty has a pediatric version – pediatric immunology; pediatric gastroenterology; child or adolescent psychiatry – so you can rotate through these sub-specialties to bolster your application. You can also pursue non-academic pursuits that help demonstrate your passion for children and young people through having the right set of extracurriculars that put you in leadership and mentorship positions, such as being involved in Boys and Girls Clubs of America, or the Scouts.

2. Get the Right Extracurriculars

Georgetown Pediatrics emphasizes that you have some experience or a background in community service, especially with organizations and non-profits dedicated to helping children of all ages and their families. But this does not necessarily have to be within the realm of medicine. For example, the director of Georgetown Pediatrics is also his children’s basketball coach, which is a perfect example of something non-medical but involves the care, training, mentorship and leadership of children. Helping out at a food bank, emergency shelter for women and children escaping domestic abuse, or being an advocate for children by helping raise awareness to obstacles children face (lack of housing, bullying or loss of a parent or caregiver) are all excellent ways to prepare you for the challenges you’ll face in Georgetown Pediatrics, and also fulfill the unofficial requirement that you have experience helping marginalized communities.

3. Get Good Letters of Recommendation

Getting involved in extracurriculars centered around children or families is important for a variety of reasons. You’ll get the requisite experience to thrive as a resident doctor at Georgetown Pediatrics and be an overall more attractive candidate, but you’ll also forge new relationships that can prove beneficial when it comes time to ask for ERAS letters of recommendation. Fortunately, Georgetown Pediatrics does not have hard requirements for who your letter writers should be, so you have a wide-range of people to ask. But you should only ask people you know will give you a glowing recommendation and who will be unequivocal in their support. This means you should only ask people with whom you have worked with closely (excluding friends and family), which can be your former instructors in medical school, as well people you’ve worked under either professionally or as a volunteer.

4. Do Quality Interview Prep

The residency interview is a crucial part of getting matched into any residency, so you need to make sure that you’re ready. We talked about how to approach the interview style that Georgetown Pediatrics uses (behavioral interview questions) and you should read over other behavioral interview questions, rather than focusing on general ones, such as the ubiquitous “tell me about yourself” question.

You should also focus on doing residency mock interviews that will help give you the confidence to answer without faltering or having to spend too much time thinking of an answer. There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to arrange and organize your answer, but you don’t want to overdo it and create an awkward silence.


Georgetown Pediatrics is widely-hailed as one of the best residency programs in the US for its compassionate and in-depth approach to pediatric medicine. The program has been fine-tuned for decades so that its scope involves both the medical science side of pediatrics, but also the economics of health care systems that could affect children and their families positively or adversely. The program’s location is also another key feature, as it aims is to treat children across the socio-economic spectrum through its various community outreach and engagement programs.


1. How many resident positions are there at Georgetown Pediatrics?

Georgetown Pediatrics has kept the number of resident positions at 11 for at least five years. 

2. Where is Georgetown Pediatrics located?

The program is based out of the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC, but has training sites in Virginia and Maryland. 

3. What are the other benefits of joining Georgetown Pediatrics?

Aside from the annual stipend and wellness benefits, as a resident, you’ll also receive health insurance from MedStar Health for you and your family, free meals, paid certification programs (i.e., PALS - Pediatric Advanced Life Support), medical training licenses, and childcare. 

4. How can I get into Georgetown Pediatrics?

The length, breadth and variety of extracurriculars for medical school matters a lot when it comes to getting into Georgetown Pediatrics. Theses extracurriculars do not have to be medicine- or child-related, but you can focus on any community service project where you are serving or helping others. These experiences can also help you during your interview, as you will be asked how you distinguished yourself during these commitments. 

5. Do I need to have minimum USMLE or COMLEX scores?

No, Georgetown Pediatrics does not require you to have a minimum USMLE Step 1 score nor a COMLEX Level 1 score for DO applicants. But you must have taken either test and submit your scores to be considered. 

6. How long is the Georgetown Pediatrics program?

The entire program runs for three years. 

7. Is Georgetown Pediatrics hard to get into?

Yes, given the limited number of positions and the reputation of the program (it receives up to 200 applications every year) Georgetown Pediatrics is a very competitive program so you need to make sure your personal statement, letters of recommendation and interview performance are flawless. 

8. What is the curriculum like at Georgetown Pediatrics?

You’ll begin as an intern in your first year, and then move to being a resident doctor in the final two years, so your first rotations will be in general medicine, and then you’ll be exposed to pediatric sub-specialties in the remaining years. There are 16 different rotations so you will spend only at least one or two blocks in each to complete the entire program, along with taking time off, performing research and presenting at pediatric conferences. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Disclaimer: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions and match information changes frequently. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, residency programs, or test administrators and vice versa. 

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