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 Pediatrics Frequently Asked Questions

Resident meets with young patient


What makes Marshfield special?

Marshfield has all the advantages of big city medicine with a small town lifestyle. We practice cutting-edge medicine in state-of-the-art facilities (including our extensively funded Research Foundation) and have outstanding faculty and staff. When combined with a friendly community where outdoor activities abound, residency life here is very attractive. No long commutes to work, parking problems or safety concerns. Cultural opportunities abound in not-so-far away Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago.

There is also no sense of being unimportant. Here, great medical care is a team effort. You will be treated as an integral part of the team and enjoy close working relationships with faculty. Many residents even participate in leisure activities with faculty and staff members. Attendings are approachable and are available for teaching and consultation.

With the entire medical center under one roof, it’s easy to shift from hospital to clinic or library, catch a hallway consultation or schedule one of your continuity patients for a same-day sick visit. According to our residents, continuity clinics are one of the best parts of the pediatric experience.

What makes learning and living in Marshfield different?

Friendly people with an unbeatable attitude and work ethic make the difference! Midwesterners are generally hard working, honest people who are genuinely fun to be with, even at work! Employees at every level in our system are committed to doing the best job they can and take pride in their efforts and contributions to the medical center and community. People feel they are part of a large family that works well together. Although we train residents, we do not have pediatric subspecialty fellowships. Thus the subspecialists work with residents one on one and our residents have robust opportunities for procedures.

Will I be able to get a fellowship?

Our graduates have recently been accepted to prestigious fellowships at Mayo Clinic, University of California San Diego, University of Texas San Antonio, Tufts University in Boston, University Children's Hospital in New Orleans, Detroit Children's Hospital, and George Washington University. We have had graduates pursue fellowships in adolescent medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology, infectious disease, intensive care, neonatology, neurology, and emergency medicine. Our Marshfield subspecialists have been trained at top programs around the country, and are very willing to assist you in your plan to pursue a fellowship. Residents generally match in their top choice.

How do graduates prepare for the American Board of Pediatrics exams?

Residents who perform well on the yearly intraining exam (ITE) generally do well on the Board Exam. Residents who do not perform well on the ITE are required to complete PREP board-style questions in a effort to maximize board preparation and help build test taking skills. 

Residents going into general pediatric practice or fellowships uniformly tell us they feel very confident and well trained upon entering the next phase of their professional careers.

How can a small program in a rural location provide a broad spectrum of diseases and pathology?

We have more than the required number of patients per resident on inpatient and outpatient services​. We draw from over 3 million people. Marshfield Clinic Health System is the largest private group medical practice in Wisconsin and one of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the United States.

Our flagship medical center in Marshfield is part of a large network of regional clinics within the Marshfield Clinic Health System . Our system consists of 41 regional patient care, research and education facilities located throughout central, eastern, northern and western Wisconsin, and also serves the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

How does this small residency program differ from a large metropolitan or university program?

  • The medical center is friendly and people know each other on a first-name basis. The attention and interaction with all members of the health care team and medical center employees is evident at every level and makes working here a rewarding experience. From the housekeeping staff to the top clinic and hospital leadership, the work ethic is superb.
  • The close interaction and individualized attention from the residency and teaching faculty makes learning here a positive experience. The faculty thrives on lively discussion and interaction with the residents. The balance between education and service is excellent as viewed by the residents.
  • The cost of living is significantly less than in a large city. Traffic jams don’t exist and commuting is quick and easy - you can get just about anywhere in the community within 15 minutes.
  • There are few, if any, safety concerns. Many citizens never lock their doors!
  • Many graduating residents actively seek out employment within the Marshfield Clinic Health System because they value the camaraderie, work ethic and exceptional quality of care offered to patients here.

Will I have my own continuity patients and sufficient autonomy in their care?

You will enjoy a robust continuity clinic practice of your own patients mixed with some acute care patients whose physicians are gone for the day. You will develop a following of newborns during your first months when you enroll many newborns from your initial Newborn Rotation, in addition to "inheriting" families from graduating residents.

The continuity of visits is excellent, and you are encouraged to accept and triage phone calls from your continuity families when they are ill or have questions. In addition, you are encouraged and often able to schedule a sick visit for your patients on days that are not your usual continuity afternoon. Residents rate this experience as one of the best in our program.

Do you offer ‘observer-ships’ for international students who are interested in gaining US pediatric experience?

Unfortunately, we do not offer observer-ships at our institution. We do teach a number of medical students from the University of Wisconsin, and cannot accept additional students.