IU School of Medicine



The student will be an active member of a team caring for critically ill children in the thirty-five bed Riley Pediatric Intensive Care Units. Students will learn, at the bedside through "hands-on" experience and through didactic sessions, from pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, each subspecialist an expert in specific areas of intensive care. The elective experience is coordinated by board certified pediatric critical care medicine specialists. Emphasis is placed on learning physiological principles and applying them to patients with multi system disease. The elective will offer learning opportunities in control of the airway and mechanical ventilation, hemodynamic and intracranial pressure monitoring, pharmacology, and nutrition. Intellectually stimulating diagnostic and management problems in patients with life-threatening infections, hematologic, pulmonary, neurologic, and gastroenterologic illnesses are seen. Excellent exposure to the principles of postoperative management of general pediatric surgical patients and trauma patients will be offered. On call responsibilities will be every fifth night with a senior resident. This elective includes bi-weekly lectures on topics pertinent to the care of seriously ill children.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Nathen Swinger, MD (nswinger@iu.edu)

Director: Nathen D. Swinger, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health (Indianapolis)

Learning Objectives

  • 1) Recognize signs and symptom of cardiopulmonary compromise in the pediatric patient (PC2)
  • 2) Develop skills to stabilize acute decompensation in the pediatric patient (MK4)
  • 3) Present a critically ill patient in a systems oriented approach to management (SBP1)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form; (Clinical Observation, although the student may be asked to give a brief presentation on a topic pertinent to a specific patient)

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year status; Pediatric clerkship must be completed

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 35-45

Time Distribution: 70% Clinical; 15% Lecture; 15% Library

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Nathen Swinger, MD (nswinger@iu.edu) This elective is recommended for students who are planning a career in pediatrics, combined pediatrics/internal medicine, pediatric surgery, pediatric critical care, emergency room medicine, pediatric surgical subspecialties or pediatric anesthesiology.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None