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Palmetto Health/USC School of Medicine Pediatrics Graduates Achieve 100% Pass Rate

Palmetto Health/USC School of Medicine Pediatrics Graduates Achieve 100% Pass Rate on Board Exams For Third Year In A Row
Pediatrics Residency Program Rated Among Top in Nation

COLUMBIA, S.C.—For the third consecutive year, all of the graduates of the Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina School of Medicine pediatrics residency program passed the American Board of Pediatrics certification examination. The announcement marks the eighth time in the last 11 years that graduates have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the exam, a distinction that makes the Palmetto Health/USC SOM residency experience one of the top pediatrics programs in the nation.

“Over the past 10 years, no more than three programs out of the 187 nationwide have had three consecutive 100-percent-pass years,” said pediatrics residency program director Dr. Robert C. Holleman, Jr. “So, next year when the data is released we expect to be in the top two to three programs in the country.”

For the graduates who complete the rigorous three-year residency program, passing the ABP board exam is the last step to becoming fully credentialed pediatricians. The national average pass rate for first-time takers of the exam is just below 80 percent. Not only does the perfect pass rate demonstrate the quality of the graduates, but it also increases the attractiveness of the pediatrics residency program, making it easier to recruit the best applicants nationwide.

Dr. Caughman Taylor, medical director of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and chair of the USC SOM Department of Pediatrics added, “When I interview applicants, I ask why they chose to interview here and over half cite our board pass rates as the number one reason, and few fail to list it as a reason.”

That recruiting edge also translates into better pediatric care in South Carolina. Nationally, approximately half of doctors end up staying in the state where they complete their residencies. Here, however, 60 percent of Palmetto Health/USC SOM pediatrics graduates have stayed in-state since 1996.

“Having this degree of excellence in education transcends into better care for the patients at our Children’s Hospital because the residents are more knowledgeable,” said Taylor. “The teaching environment created to sustain that success means that faculty and residents alike are constantly exchanging the latest ideas about medical treatment and care, evaluating the quality of the care and holding each other accountable to deliver the best care.”

All of the Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina School of Medicine's medical and dental residency training programs are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. For more information about graduate medical education and the residency and fellowship programs at Palmetto Health/USC SOM, please visit

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