Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship
The Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship is a three-year, ACGME-approved training program accredited by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). We offer up to five positions each year to applicants who have completed a US-based residency program in Pediatrics or Internal Medicine-Pediatrics and are board-certified or board-eligible by the ABP.
Fellows will gain in-depth medical knowledge, technical skills and clinical experience necessary to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for critically ill children. Areas of focus include neurological and neuromuscular diseases, respiratory and cardiac diseases, trauma, multiple organ dysfunction and organ transplantation, as well as the care of children with sepsis, viral and toxin-related infections, and other forms of critical illness.
Our goal is to develop pediatric intensivists with the skills and experience to pursue successful academic careers. We offer extensive opportunities for dedicated research training, with the majority of our pediatric critical care faculty holding NIH grants. A typical fellow will spend 17 months engaged in research and other scholarly activities.
Our program participates in the National Resident Matching Program for Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Applications for the pediatric critical care fellowship are accepted through the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Please visit ERAS for application requirements, deadlines, ERAS tools and worksheets, and submission.
In-person interviews typically occur from August through November. Highly qualified applicants will be contacted by our Office of Education to schedule an interview date.
All trainees must obtain a graduate medical training license and be current in PALS, ACLS, and ATLS. We will contact successful candidates shortly after the match to begin this process.
Our multidisciplinary training program employs a mix of hands-on clinical experience, interactive workshops, medical simulation, and didactic education.
Trainees obtain hands-on clinical experience and advanced instruction in:
- Management of shock, sepsis, acute respiratory failure, acute kidney injury, and other critical illness syndromes
- Care of children throughout the life-cycle from neonates to adolescents
- Pathophysiology of critical illness, including advanced cardiopulmonary physiology, hemodynamic monitoring, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Care of children with multisystem organ failure, acute infection, traumatic injury, and post-surgical critical illness
- Communication skills, including patient and family interaction and end-of-life care
- Mechanical ventilation, extra-corporeal life support, plasma exchange, and ventricular assist devices
- ICU procedures including endotracheal intubation, central venous catheterization, and chest-tube placement
Unique educational activities include:
- A month-long orientation in which fellows master procedural skills through high-fidelity simulation as well as participate in multidisciplinary didactic sessions, lectures and conferences
- A two-day, multi-institution pediatric critical care “boot camp” at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia alongside first-year trainees at programs across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions
- Hands-on simulation workshops including difficult airway management, central venous catheterization, chest tube placement and point-of-care ultrasound
- A leadership role in the inter-hospital transport service, serving as transport physicians for unstable patients and acting as the transport command physician for outside hospitals
- Weekly educational conferences including Journal Club, Grand Rounds, and Morbidity & Mortality conference, and other clinical and research conferences
General ScheduleAfter an initial one-month orientation in July, most fellows complete 13 months in the PICU, five months in the CICU, and one month of Anesthesiology, with the remaining months dedicated to research training and other scholarly activities. Research months increase each year of fellowship, with an average of four months in the first year, six months in the second year, and eight research months in the third year.
Fellows take in-house call approximately every fourth night when they are on service in the PICU. A second in-house fellow works night shifts in the PICU Monday through Thursday. During CICU months, fellows take call an average of every third night. Fellows on a research rotation have minimal call.
Most training occurs at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP), which is located in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lawrenceville, less than two miles from the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland complex. CHP has 48 critical care beds across two separate units:
- Pediatric ICU – a 36-bed unit staffed by over 17 pediatric intensivists, admitting more than 3,000 children a year
- Pediatric Cardiac ICU – a 12-bed unit staffed by five pediatric cardiac intensivists, admitting more than 700 children a year
Research training is an integral component of our fellowship. We provide trainees with an unmatched environment for clinical, translational, and health services research. Each fellow’s research training and career development is overseen by the fellowship program directors, a faculty research mentor, and a scholarly oversight committee.
Research opportunities include:
- Basic science – oxidative chemistry, protein chemistry, lipidomics, and animal models
- Clinical epidemiology in traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest, and sepsis
- Health services research – regionalization of care, multi-dimensional outcome assessment, and health analytics
Research Centers and Opportunities
The Department has two large research centers: the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, based at the Children’s Hospital campus, and the Clinical Research, Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center, based at the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland complex, both with NIH-funded T32 training programs.
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Academic Chief
Fellows currently enrolled in our Pediatric Critical Care fellowship are eligible to apply for the one-year Pediatric Neurocritical Care fellowship track. This track includes additional neurocritical care-focused clinical rotations, in-person and online didactic courses for stroke management and EEG interpretation, training in neuro-anesthesia, neuro-radiology, and neurophysiology.
Interested applicants should send their CV and personal statement to Dennis Simon by December 15th for a July 1st start date. Applicants will be interviewed early in the new year.
Pediatric Neurocritical Fellowship Track Director
We offer a combined fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine for physicians with residency training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Please contact martinm9 [at] upmc.edu (Mackenzie Coffy), GME Senior Department Manager, for instructions on how to apply to the combined Adult and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine fellowship program.
For inquiries about the Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship program, please contact robinsonvl [at] upmc.edu (Vandra Robinson), GME Department Manager.
Dana Fuhrman, DO, MS
Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics
Assistant Program Director
Rod A. Ghassemzadeh, MD
Assistant Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics