plp learning model

Following a blended learning model, students in this program will take 45 hours of classes online, including 30 hours of core curriculum course and a minimum of 15 hours of electives, and will attend three workshops. 

Students will take 30 hours of coursework in the following topic areas:

Safety and Quality – Courses in this topic area strengthens students’ ability to foster a culture focused on value, quality and safety. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of quality and safety design, and learn how to integrate improvement science into clinical practice. Coursework includes a team-based improvement project in which students will design a safer system, a value-based system or a person-centered care system.

Leadership Lectures – Leaning on theories and practical skills that enhance effectiveness in leadership positions, coursework in this topic teaches students to apply a variety of models to understand optimal team dynamics and function, to develop leadership skills related to communication, coaching, and delegation, and to recognize the value of the cultivating personal relationships to promote growth in an organization.

Academic (research and/or medical education) - Courses focused on this topic will prepare students in using clinical and translational research and/or medical education in improving delivery of care and achieving better patient outcomes in pediatrics.

Humanism and Ethics – Courses in this topic area address both the implicit and explicit systems of teaching the humanistic values of medicine. Using music as a means to connect with the complexity of human nature, students examine governance through a dynamic conversation between the physician and the patient, the administrator and the staff and the musician and its audience.  

Learn More About the Program

  • Online Lectures & Webinars

    Coursework in the Pediatrics Leadership Program (PLP) includes a mix of pre-recorded online lectures and live webinars. The online lectures highlight quality improvement, leadership skills and frontiers of clinical practice.

    The live webinars focus on controversial or cutting-edge pediatrics topics.

    Note: Students must attend a minimum of 75 percent of all live webinars. Recordings of the webinars are available if students can’t attend due to occasional scheduling conflicts.

  • Core Topics

    • Teamwork in Faculty Development
    • Understanding Your Team
    • Developing a Personal Path
    • Managing Your Team
    • Negotiating for Success
    • Managing Meetings and Projects
    • Managerial Toolbox
    Quality Improvement
    • Science of Improvement
    • Microsystem Theory
    • Smart Aims
    • PDSA Cycle
    • Lean Methodology
    • Culture of Safety
    • Human Factors
    • Root Cause Analysis
    Frontiers of Clinical Practice
    • Applications for Cytogenetic Testing: Chromosomal Analysis, FISH and Microarray
    • Genetics Ethics Case Study
    • The New Era of Genetics Testing
    • Perinatal Genetics
    • Understanding the Application of Cancer Genomics to the Pediatric Oncology Clinic
    • Genomic Approaches to Orphan Diseases
    • Evaluation of the Hypotonic Infant and Child
    • Understanding Seizures
    • Concussion Case Studies
    • Neurological Exam
    • Coma Exam
    • Gait Exam
    Surgical Specialties
    • Approach and Management of Suspected Appendicitis
    • Sports Medicine Overview
    • Orthopedics for Pediatricians
    • Trauma Surgery for Pediatricians
    • Special Topics in Otolaryngology
  • Academic Tracks

    Students select either a Medical Education or Research track, which includes the course topics below:

    Medical Education
    • Peer Instruction
    • Leading Change in Medical Education
    • Using Multimedia and Technology to Enhance Teaching
    • Developing a Successful Career as a Clinician-Educator
    • Mind Wandering and Lecture Learning
    • Providing Effective Feedback
    • How Adults Learn
    • How to Create Competency-Based Assessment That Is Valuable and Reliable
    • Mentoring
    • Simulation in Medical Education
    • Flipped Classroom
    • The Five Microskills of Clinical Teaching
    • Thinking About Thinking
    • Peer Review Process for Manuscripts
    • Management and Leadership of a Laboratory
    • Mentorship in a Laboratory Environment
    • Writing an Effective Grant
    • Writing an Effective Paper
    • Advanced PubMed Tools
    • Quantitative Research Model Study


    Monthly live webinars are moderated by expert panelists and focus on controversial or cutting-edge topics. Examples include:

    • Benefits and Risks of Genome Sequencing
    • Vaccine Development, Impact and Adverse Effects
    • Controversies in Concussion Management
    • World Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases (including Zika virus) 

    *Titles subject to change

  • Electives

    With your personal and professional goals in mind, you will be able to choose a minimum of 15 hours of elective coursework. Students may choose from the following 54 hours of electives:

    • Pediatric Innovations (5 hours)
    • Global Health (5 hours)
    • Frontiers of Clinical Practice: General Pediatrics (5 hours)
    • Frontiers of Clinical Practice: Genetics (11 hours)
    • Frontiers of Clinical Practice: Neurology (12 hours)
    • Frontiers of Clinical Practice: Surgical (4 hours)
    • Research in Pediatrics (5 hours)
    • Medical Education (7 hours)
  • Capstone Project

    Participants of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Pediatrics Leadership Program (PLP) will have access to an HMS faculty mentor, who will be assigned by the program director based on the mentor’s expertise and ability to provide specialty guidance. 

    The capstone project allows participants to demonstrate creativity, innovation and proficiency in the knowledge and skills taught in the program. The objective of the Capstone is to develop and communicate a real-world intervention that can improve pediatric care. This project should be aligned with the participant’s academic track in either Medical Education or Research.

    Examples of past projects:


    Medical Education:

    • Develop a new curriculum
    • Design a workshop
    • Develop a peer observation program
    • Create a program assessment tool
    • Design an educational research project
    • Submit an educational research grant
    • Draft a paper for an educational journal



    • Draft a program project grant
    • Collect data and submit an abstract
    • Draft and submit a primary manuscript
    • Conduct meta-analysis
    • Assign levels of evidence to a literature group
    • Design a research project
    • Develop a proposal for a clinical research project
    • Submit a research grant
    • Draft a research paper


    Your mentor will provide guidance for your capstone project including: 

    • Assistance in choosing the focus for your project 
    • Providing feedback at the outline phase of your project 
    • Reviewing the first and final drafts of your project and providing guidance to help you optimize its value