Pediatric Residency Program - Blank Children's Hospital

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Message from the Program Director

Transitional-Year-Residency-Andrew-Cyr-MD.jpgWelcome to the Blank Children's Hospital Pediatric Residency Program! Our fully accredited residency training program has been training pediatricians for over 70 years. We foster academic excellence in a supportive and collaborative learning environment that is community based and family friendly.  

Our program offers a spectrum of patient care experiences from primary to tertiary care. As a result, our residents develop broad-ranging skills that allow the pursuit of careers ranging from general pediatrics to pediatric sub-specialties.  

Education of medical students and residents is a priority at Blank. Our faculty consists of outstanding general pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists actively involved in one-on-one teaching and mentoring. For those interested, research opportunities are widely available.  

Our program focuses on developing meaningful and supportive relationships among faculty and residents. We strive to know our staff both personally and professionally, and work hard to celebrate our team for their accomplishments in and out of medicine. We believe that establishing an inclusive environment in which our residents feel known, seen, and heard, is of paramount importance in their path to becoming exceptional pediatricians.  

I invite you to consider the opportunities offered by the Blank Pediatric Residency Program and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you further about our residency. Please contact us with any questions you may have. 

Andrew Cyr, MD 
Program Director 

About Our Program

The Pediatric Residency Program in Des Moines, Iowa is fully accredited by the ACGME and offers seven categorical positions each year. The program is a primary training ground for general pediatricians, as well as those wishing to obtain a strong general pediatric foundation prior to pursuing a fellowship. 

Our Pediatric Residency Program offers a strong research component at UnityPoint Health - Iowa Methodist Medical Center and is also affiliated with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The program provides residents with the opportunity to develop clinical skills in an environment where both common and unique medical disorders are seen. As part of the residency program, leaders in pediatric education from throughout the United States visit Blank Children's to conduct conferences and teaching rounds for the staff. 

A Hospital Just for Kids, Perfect for Learning

Blank Children's Hospital is large enough to offer a diverse patient population and a variety of sub-specialties, but small enough that all pediatric residents get to know faculty within a short time of joining the program. There are no fellowship trainees at Blank Children's, so residents receive a lot of autonomy and are responsible for managing their own patients. Additionally, residents get exposure to many procedural opportunities.

Key Faculty

Current Residents



Elective time is made available for the residents to explore additional training opportunities in pediatrics. Residents can concentrate on specific areas of interest. All elective opportunities are either located on-campus or nearby in the Des Moines Metro.

 Administration Infectious Diseases
Adolescent Medicine** Hospitalist Elective
Allergy/Immunology Nephrology
Anesthesia Neurology*
Bioethics Pediatric Surgery
Cardiology Pediatric Opthalmology
Child Abuse* Pediatric Orthopedics
Child Psychiatry Pediatric Otolaryngology
Dermatology Pediatric Rehabilitation medicine
Developmental Medicine** Public Health
Endocrinology* Radiology
 Gastroenterology*  Research
Hematology/Oncology* Sports Medicine
Hospice/Palliative Care  

*ACGME "Elective," required rotation at Blank Children's Hospital

**ACGME required rotation, can be completed an additional time if desired

Continuity Clinic
One-half day per week - occurs in Blank Children's Pediatrics or a community-based office.
Individualized Rotations
Individualized rotations are available with program director approval. These can be selected from the "elective" list, or may include a rotation specific to your career goals (i.e. sedation, transport, pediatric therapies, international rotations, etc.). Two away rotations are allowed throughout your residency.
Our extensive formal education program is structured to cover a broad range of core pediatric topics over your three-year residency.

Noon Conferences

Resident noon conferences are scheduled to cover specific topics each year. These noon conferences include didactic presentations in a variety of sub-specialty areas, faculty board study presentations, visual diagnosis presentations, and residents as teachers' series. Residents present the following conferences throughout their training:

  • Noon Report (Case Conference) - PL-1, 2 & 3
  • Journal Club - PL-2 & 3
  • Ethics - PL-2
  • Morbidity and Mortality - PL-3
  • Senior Grand Rounds - PL-3
  • Annual Quality Improvement Project Presentation - PL-1, 2 & 3
  • Resident-run Board Study (volunteer basis)

Academic Half-Day

Occur once a month from 12-3 p.m. One topic is covered from the viewpoint of three different sub-specialties.

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds occur on Thursday's at 12:15 p.m. and are attended by faculty, students, residents, nurses and community-based pediatricians.

Stipends and Benefits


2023 - 2024 SALARY

PGY1 - $65,985
PGY2 - $67,204
PGY3 - $69,038

Paid bi-weekly (26 pay periods/year)


Health Insurance

Residents may choose from two health insurance plans that best suit their individual needs. An annual health insurance bonus that partially funds the cost of a single-coverage health and dental insurance premium is given to each resident. 

Life Insurance

The program provides group life insurance equal to the resident's annual stipend at no charge to the resident. 

Resident Liability Coverage

General and professional liability coverage is provided for residents enrolled in the residency program through a combination of commercial insurance and self-insured retention. Coverages are no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $5,000,000 aggregate per policy year. 

Short and Long-Term Disability Coverage

Short and long-term disability coverage is provided to residents. Short-term disability coverage (STD) is used when the resident is away from work for at least seven (7) days due to a non-work-related illness or injury. STD pays 60% of weekly earnings for a maximum of 26 weeks with no waiting period. Long-term disability insurance coverage ensures that residents will receive a minimum of 70% of their monthly salary if they are disabled due to illness or accident, on or off the job, following a 90-day qualifying period. 

Travel Insurance

All residents receive travel insurance coverage while traveling on medical center business. 


All residents receive 20 Days personal time off (PTO) per year.


Residents are allocated $800 per year that can be used to purchase books, test review materials, electronic devices (1 allowed throughout residency), conference fees, etc.

  • Cannot be used for Step 3, ABS QE or CE, permanent licensure
  • Must be used at least six months prior to graduation (except for board review courses or conferences)
  • Free Parking - All residents may park in a reserved area of the hospital parking facility at no charge 
  • Meal Stipends - Conference meals provided, plus $200 per month available for cafeteria.
  • Paid Licensure - Fees for all licenses required by the residency program are paid by the program 
  • Lab Coats/Blank Fleece Coats  
  • Free Fitness Center on premises 
  • Day Care Services on premises 
  • Counseling Services available 24/7 
  • AAP Membership Benefits 
  • $750 Transition Allowance paid in the spring of Match year
  • Resident Physician Licensure – reimbursed upon start of residency           
  • Employee Assistance Program

Application Process 

Applications are only accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®), a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Our selection process is based upon multiple factors, including general academic performance, clinical performance, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and personal qualities and achievements.


  • Passing scores on USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 or COMLEX Step 1 and Step 2 
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation 
  • Dean's Letter 
  • Medical School Transcript 
  • Personal Statement justifying why you would be a good candidate for the Blank Children's Pediatric Residency Program 
  • Medical School graduation date within the last five years 
  • We do not require a "Chairman's Letter" 
International Medical Graduates
  • UnityPoint Health sponsors the J1 visa 
  • Previous clinical experience in the United States is strongly preferred

Apply for the Pediatric Residency Program

Applications for our program are only accepted through the Electronic Application Service (ERAS®), a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Our Graduates

Graduates from the Pediatric Residency Program at Blank Children's Hospital have consistently maintained a high pass rate on the American Board of Pediatrics Certifying Exam. Approximately one third of our graduates continue their training in a fellowship program. Our residents who have sought out fellowships have obtained positions in excellent, competitive programs.


How Blank Children's Hospital Prepares Residents for Fellowship

Contact Us

You have the opportunity to grow in a program with a strong academic center, a pleasant and flexible working environment, and a diverse patient population. If you have any questions about our program, pleact contact the program coordinator at

Graduate Medical Education 
UnityPoint Health – Des Moines 
1415 Woodland Ave, Suite 140 
Des Moines, Iowa 50309  
(515) 241-4497