Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Program and Hospital Specifics: 

What Is The Size Of The Program?

We have 10 residents per year with a total of 30 residents. There are 2 Chief residents who can be PGY-3 or PGY4. To us, this size is the right amount for our program. It gives our faculty and nursing staff the chance to get to know everyone well, but large enough to cover multiple services.


What Is The Patient Population Like?

Cooper University Hospital is a regional pediatric center and Level 1 trauma center for South New Jersey. We have the opportunity to serve the population of Camden, surrounding regions of NJ and Philadelphia. Our patient population encompasses a multitude of cultural, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. We have the opportunity to help urban, suburban, recent immigrants, refugees, economically disadvantaged and privileged patients. Residents will be exposed to a diversity of pathology and learn how to manage the challenges that our diverse patients encounter.


What Type Of Outpatient Experiences Do Residents Get To Experience?

PGY1 and PGY2 residents will have the opportunity to do 2 ambulatory outpatient months each year at the Camden site. Third year residents will have the opportunity to do 1 month in their third year. Residents will also get to rotate in Cooper-affiliated satellite clinic sites during specific electives throughout South Jersey. Residents will be able to conduct well visits, acute sick visits, hospital follow ups and more! We also have Vaccine Boot Camp in which residents will get to practice providing immunizations to patients directly. 

Primary Care-specific residents (Non-categorical) have more exposure to the outpatient setting  in which 6 of the 12 months is spent in multiple outpatient specialties. 


What Is Continuity Clinic?

All of the residents have a weekly panel of patients in our Camden Pediatric Clinic. It is a great opportunity to build your own panel with patient’s that you have developed a good relationship with. Clinic is one-half day per week and occurs every week all year, regardless of your monthly rotation. 


What is the Primary Care Track? How is the experience for residents on the Primary Care track different from categorical residents?  

The Primary Care Track residents have more exposure to outpatient medicine and prioritize continuity experiences. Primary Care Track differs from Categorical Track primarily in the organization of scheduling, the amount of inpatient, intensive care and outpatient time and the participation in the Patient Centered Medical Home. 

Primary care track residents spend roughly 6 months in the hospital and 6 months outpatient, as opposed to the categorical track which is closer to 8-9 months or inpatient time and 3 months of outpatient time. The primary care track provides a commitment to our outpatient population through strong continuity with patients. 

Upon graduation, residents from the primary care track may still apply to any and all pediatric fellowships and are fully prepared to sit for their general pediatric board exams. While many of our primary care graduates have gone on to be primary care physicians, some are board certified pediatric hospitalists while others have pursued fellowships in palliative medicine. 


What is your fellowship match rate? 

Approximately 35% of our graduates pursue careers in the pediatric subspecialties. This past year, we had a 100% fellowship match with residents matching in pediatric endocrinology at UNC Chapel Hill and Neonatology at both Hackensack Meridian and University of Albany. Other recent fellowship matches include Pediatric Intensive Care at Nemours, Pediatric Emergency at St. Louis, and Pediatric GI at the University of Maryland. 


Do you have fellows? 

There is are neonatology fellows in our NICU as well as a child abuse fellow during our child abuse rotation. Otherwise, there are no pediatric fellows working with our residents. 

We find this to be a great strength of our program, as residents in our PICU and ED (for example) are directly caring for patients, completing procedures, and working closely with the sub specialists in the of these patients. Our fellows  in NICU add to the resident experience by teaching and helping residents to complete procedures. 


What if I’m interested in pursuing pediatric oncology? 

While Cooper does not have a dedicated pediatric oncology unit, our pediatric hematologist/oncologist is available for consultations. Our goal at Cooper is to give residents a strong primary care basis to understand symptoms of pediatric oncologic processes and make an initial diagnosis of malignancy if need be. 

Our pediatric hematologist/oncologist has a strong dedication to residents and will go out of her way to provide research opportunities and clinical experiences for our residents. Also through our partnership with Nemours, we are able to facilitate away rotations on their pediatric hematology/oncology inpatient floors. We are proud to have matched a resident is a hematology/oncology fellowship at MD Anderson after his Cooper experience!  


What do you residents do after residency? 

In addition to our fellowship match, many other residents decide to stay in the area as primary care physicians or as pediatric hospitalists in the surrounding area.. We have residents working at multiple Advocare practices in the South Jersey area, PICU hospitalist at CHOP, and inpatient hospitalist at CHOP/Virtua. Many residents choose to stay on as teaching faculty at Cooper with alumni working both in the inpatient and outpatient settings! 


What Opportunities Are There To Do Research?

There are multiple opportunities to participate in ongoing clinical research in our institution. All faculty members are involved in QI projects or research and often act as mentors for research. We encourage our residents to present their research to the annual Cooper Research Day, Camden Scholars, AAP, and other national conferences.  


What Is The Relationship Between The Hospital Staff And The Residents?

The Children’s Hospital at Cooper University Hospital has a very experienced nursing staff. Our faculty and residents have a wonderful working relationship with our nurses. Everyone works well  to provide the best care for our patients. 


What Kind Of Ancillary Services Do You Have?

Phlebotomy is available daily. IVs are done by the nurses. Residents have the opportunity to perform blood draws and IV placements when requested. Transport services are available to take patients to radiology, OR, and other areas of the hospital. We also have our specialized Child Life staff who provide distraction therapy during procedures, art, music and play therapy, and toys and games to hospitalized patients. 


What Electronic Medical Records (Emr) Do You Use?

We use EPIC in both the inpatient and outpatient services.


About The Schedule: 

How Many Inpatient Months Do Residents Complete In The First Year?

Interns typically spend four months on the inpatient unit.


How Many Months Do Residents Work In The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?

There is one month of NICU in the first year and two months in the second year. Our NICU is Level III with 36 beds and a busy labor and delivery service, as well as a high-risk perinatal service. The NICU serves as a regional center for critically ill neonates in South Jersey. PGY-3s interested in pursuing a career in neonatology may do an elective in the NICU or MFM. For more information, please explore NICU at Cooper.


How Many Months Do Residents Work In The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)?

There are two required months of service in the PICU in your second year of training. You can choose to do a third month in PICU in your third. PGY-2 and PGY-3 will partake in weekend calls in the PICU year round. 


Is Scheduling Flexible?

Yes. Our chief residents make every attempt to honor requests. Schedules are made in two to three months in advance. Residents are permitted to request switches upon approval from the chiefs.


How Often Is An Intern On Call In The First Year? How Does Weekend Call Work?

Interns are required to do weekend inpatient floor calls during their first year of training. 1 intern will be paired with 1 senior resident during each call. Call shifts are a cumulative 24-hour period consisting of a Friday night 12-hour shift and Sunday day 12-hour shift or a Saturday 24-hour shift. Interns will typically have a inpatient floor call once every 2 weeks or 12*** cumulatively over their first year. During weekend calls, interns will round with their senior and attending physicians. They will also get to admit patients from the Emergency department. 

While in the NICU and nursery, interns are required to do 2 12-hour day shift weekend calls in the NICU. 


How Often Are Senior (Second And Third Year) Residents On Call?

PGY-2 residents are required to complete 12.5 weekend calls and PGY-3 residents are required to complete 13.5 weekend calls over 1 year. Weekend calls can be a 24 hour shift in the inpatient floor or PICU. PGY-2 and PGY-3 senior residents can also be on weekend nursery service in which they will round on newborn infants from 6am to 12pm on both Saturday and Sunday. 


How Does Night Float Work?

During the inpatient floor month, interns will complete 1-2 weeks of night float with the remainder of the month on day-time inpatient service. During the weekday, night shift begins with sign out at 6pm and ends with morning sign out to day team at 7am. Interns also are required to complete 1 week of night float during their NICU month. 

PGY-2 residents will not have any inpatient night shifts. They are required to complete 2 weeks of night float on each of their 2 PICU months. They will also be required to complete 1 week of night float on each of their 2 NICU months. 

PGY-3 residents will have 3 2-week long night floats on the inpatient service. Seniors will have the opportunity to partake in answering phone calls on the Mommy-call hotline while on the inpatient service. If PGY-3 resident choose to do a PICU month, they will also do an additional 2 weeks of night float on this service. 

Residents who are on night shift are typically excused from physically attending morning lecture and can go home directly after signout, but are expected to log in to conferences virtually. 


How Does The Back-Up System Work?

There is typically one senior resident and one intern resident on back up per day. The individuals who are on backup can be asked to take over a service in case of an emergency or for NICU transport from another hospital. 



Where Do We Park And How Much Is Parking?

Parking is available for all residents in the Sheridan Pavilion - Three Cooper Plaza Garage. Parking is free for all residents! 


Is There A Stipend For Food?

Yes. Residents are provided an additional $90 per month directly into their paycheck for use in our hospital cafeteria, hospital smoothie shop, hospital cafe, and hospital Starbucks. 


Is There Funding For Educational Expenses?

Yes. 1st and 2nd year residents receive a yearly stipend of $750 to be used on educational expenses. 3rd year residents receive an stipend of $1500. Most of our residents use this money to pay for USMLE step 3, the ABP Pediatric board exams, and board prep materials. This money can be used for books, educational tools, attendance at academic conferences, and dues for professional memberships. 


Is Housing Available For Residents?

Cooper currently does not offer hospital-subsidized housing for residents.