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From the Program Director

Joe ZenelThis year is different. How can residency programs best present themselves in a virtual environment? What will impress an applicant? My guess is first impressions will count a lot. So, thanks for looking at our website. The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Office, the Pediatrics Residency Program at Sanford Children's Hospital and the residents here in Sioux Falls have given a lot of thought into presenting ourselves well. We hope we have encouraged you to further explore our website.

A few points I would like to make. Our pediatrics program, accredited since 2009, is the only pediatrics residency program in the Dakotas. Each year, for the past 4 years, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education has commended our program for substantial compliance. The program’s vision is “Personalized education in Pediatrics” and the mission is “Training pediatricians to be successful.” Since inception, we have graduated 42 pediatricians, half of whom practice general pediatrics either as inpatient or outpatient physicians and the other half completing or having completed pediatric subspecialty training in fellowships that include pediatric intensive care medicine, neonatal intensive care medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric hematology and oncology, behavioral and developmental pediatrics, child abuse, adolescent medicine, pediatric nephrology and sports medicine. Close to half of our graduates are also attending physicians at Sanford Health in North Dakota, Minnesota and, of course, South Dakota. Our residents have co-authored peer-reviewed publications and have delivered oral and poster presentations at regional and national medical society meetings. This past year the residents lobbied at the state capital for children’s rights. The size of the residency program, six residents per year, allows the faculty to encourage all residents to develop their own unique individual skills as pediatricians. While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected residency training even in South Dakota, the pandemic has been manageable here. We have adjusted our curriculum to ensure everyone’s personal protection and we continue to teach, to learn, to inquire, to advocate and to care.

Joseph Zenel, MD
Residency Program Director
July 10, 2020