Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship Program

The fellowship program in pulmonary medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia encompasses three years of training, with two fellowship positions available each year. Applicants must have first successfully completed three years of training in general pediatrics in an accredited residency program.

We seek to develop the academic leaders of the future by attracting, recruiting, inspiring, and training intellectually curious individuals to become innovators in the field of Pediatric Pulmonology.  We will do so by providing the environment for a fellow to discover and develop his or her own strengths in the fields of research, teaching, and/or clinical care.

Our program will provide the fellow with a comprehensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of pediatric breathing disorders and make the fellow familiar with the unique needs of children with chronic lung diseases. In addition, fellows are taught the scientific method of critical thought and analysis, and are trained for a career in academic pulmonary medicine.

Program director:

Ignacio E. Tapia, MD, MSTR
Director, Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship

Why choose us?

CHOP’s Pediatric Pulmonology Program is a fellow-centered program with a strong emphasis on achieving balance between clinical training, research and didactic conferences. CHOP provides exposure to a broad array of clinical conditions that ranges from common pulmonary diseases to highly specialized multidisciplinary care of rare disorders. Fellows will care for patients referred from the city of Philadelphia, surroundings suburbs as well as across the nation and internationally. Our Pulmonary Division is consistently ranked as one of the best programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduates of our fellowship program join an elite group of CHOP alumni whose members have included many of the current and past leaders in Pediatrics. All graduates of our fellowship program have secured positions at academic institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, State University of New York, Yeshiva University, George Washington University, and Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Ireland.

How to apply

Our Pulmonary Fellowship Training Program accepts two new trainees each year. Applicants must have an MD or DO degree from an accredited institution, and must be board eligible or board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. We accept applications through ERAS. Pediatric Pulmonary programs will transition from the 18 month December ERAS application cycle (Spring) to the 12 month July ERAS application cycle (Fall) for fellows who will begin their training in July 2017. Therefore, our interviewing season will be from August to October 2016 for the July  2017 openings.

To apply, submit the following through ERAS:

  • MyERAS application
  • Three letters of recommendation (one from residency director)
  • Personal statement
  • Medical school transcript
  • Wallet-size color photograph
  • USMLE transcript (transmitted by the NBME)
  • COMLEX transcript (transmitted by the NBOME for DO applicants)
  • ECFMG status report (for international medical graduates only)

Tobacco-free policy

Job applicants who apply after July 1, 2014 will be expected to sign an attestation stating they’ve been free of nicotine or tobacco products in any form for the prior thirty (30) days. They will also undergo a cotinine test as a part of the Occupational Health pre-placement drug screen administered after the offer of employment has been accepted but before the first day of hire.

Exemptions: Attending physicians (excluding CHOP physicians in the Care Network), psychologists, principal investigators and/or Penn-based faculty are exempt from this process to better align with our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Specific information by years and/or rotations

Fellows evaluate and care for all patients admitted into the hospital on the pulmonary service under the direct supervision of an attending pulmonologist. Fellows also examine and treat outpatients with a variety of pulmonary disorders, also under the supervision of attending pulmonologists. Throughout the fellowship training program, the fellow has the opportunity to serve as the primary pulmonologist to patients acquired during the inpatient and outpatient rotations by following them in the outpatient office during designated fellows' follow-up hours. These bi-weekly continuity clinics are supervised by an attending.

Fellows are taught the indications for and techniques to perform flexible bronchoscopy and learn how to administer and interpret standard and infant pulmonary function tests, bronchial challenges and sleep studies. Each fellow is expected to deliver several lectures in the weekly conferences designed for the pulmonary fellows and to prepare lectures for the pediatric house staff in work rounds and noon conferences.

Each fellow is expected to complete a research project, in which he or she researches a topic and develops a hypothesis and the experimental method to test that hypothesis. The fellow is expected to conduct the appropriate experiments, present the results at a national meeting, and write a manuscript to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. A scholarly oversight committee comprised of two members of the Pulmonary Division and 1 non-divisional member will advise the fellow on the progress of his/her scholarly pursuits.

Rotations during the fellowship consist of:

  • Inpatient rotation
  • PICU/NICU consults
  • Outpatient rotation
  • Sleep rotation
  • Research block

Clinical and research time distribution

1st year

Clinical time: 24 weeks
Research time: 24 weeks
Vacation: 4 weeks

2nd year

Clinical time: 12 weeks
Research time: 36 weeks
Vacation: 4 weeks

3rd year

Clinical time: 12 weeks
Research time: 36 weeks
Vacation: 4 weeks

Schedules may be individualized to suit the particular circumstances of the fellow. 

Research expectations and opportunities

The Pulmonary Medicine Division feels that rigorous research and scholarship is a critical aspect of fellowship training and career development, and has placed increased emphasis on this by allotting greater protected time for these pursuits. Within the Division, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the greater University of Pennsylvania community, there are numerous opportunities for research and scholarly pursuit.

Each fellow is expected to complete a research project, in which he or she researches a topic and develops a hypothesis and the experimental method to test that hypothesis. The fellow is expected to conduct the appropriate experiments, present the results at a national meeting, and write a manuscript to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. A scholarly oversight committee comprised of 2 members of the Pulmonary Division and 1 non-divisional member will advise the fellow on the progress of his/her scholarly pursuits.

Basic research opportunities within the Division and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia include mechanistic investigations into the epithelial biology underlying Cystic Fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes, the microbiology and microbiome of the Cystic Fibrosis airway and gut and the discovery of the genetic basis of pulmonary diseases through the work of the CHOP Center for Applied Genomics. Additional opportunities for basic research in pulmonary biology and lung development, as well as other related fields, can be found in the Penn Center for Pulmonary Biology, the Penn Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology and the Penn Diabetes Research Center.

Translational and clinical research opportunities are also readily available. The Division has a very active clinical and translational research program in Sleep Medicine, with additional resources and collaborators available through the Penn Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology. There is also a very active clinical and translational research group focused on CF Related Diabetes. Additional opportunities can focus on respiratory function testing in children with chronic lung diseases, and interventional bronchoscopy.

Research experiences in clinical and translational areas can be enhanced by formal didactic training through the Penn Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. This training may, for successful candidates, lead to a Certificate in Clinical research or Masters degrees in either Clinical Epidemiology or Translational Research.

Other collaborative research and scholarship experiences may focus on economic and societal ramifications of care for children with chronic diseases in collaboration with the CHOP Policy Lab, or training in innovative medical education through the Penn Graduate School of Education’s Masters in Medical Education Program.

Through one of these or other possible research and scholarship experiences, the Division is confident that our trainees will be well positioned for fulfilling careers that will create new knowledge in, and move the field of Pediatric Pulmonology forward.

Educational curriculum with sample rotations

To a limited extent, the curriculum can be adapted to the future goals of the trainee. A typical curriculum might include:

1st year

  • Inpatient service: 8
  • Consult service: 8
  • Outpatient service: 4 weeks
  • Sleep: 4 weeks
  • Research: 24 weeks
  • Vacation: 4 weeks

2nd year

  • Inpatient service: 4 weeks
  • Consult service: 4 weeks
  • Outpatient service or Sleep: 4 weeks
  • Research: 36 weeks
  • Vacation: 4 weeks

3rd year

  • Inpatient service: 4 weeks
  • Consult service: 4 weeks
  • Outpatient service or sleep: 4 weeks
  • Research: 36 weeks
  • Vacation: 4 weeks

Conference schedule

The Division of Pulmonary Medicine provides a wide range of patient oriented and didactic conferences each week.

Mondays, 8 - 10 a.m. — Multidisciplinary pulmonary sign out rounds

2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 9:10 - 11 a.m. — Pulmonary Division lectures series 

Wednesday,  Noon – 1 p.m.  — Lung Transplant Rounds 

Wednesday,  Noon – 1 p.m.  — Sleep shorts

1st Wednesday, 4 - 5 p.m. — NICU and Pulmonary case conference

3rd Wednesday, 4 - 5 p.m. — Board Review series

1st and 5th Friday, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. — Pulmonary Physiology

3rd Friday, 7:45 - 8:30 a.m. — Radiology rounds

In addition, fellows are invited to attend the Penn Center for Pulmonary Biology, and the Penn Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology conferences.

Clinical services

The Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Cystic Fibrosis Center provides for the inpatient and outpatient care of infants and children referred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from the entire Delaware Valley and beyond. In addition to the Cystic Fibrosis program, specific programs have been developed in the areas of Asthma Care, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Chronic Respiratory Insufficiency and Technology Dependence, and Sleep Disorders. In addition, infants and children with a wide variety of pulmonary diseases and breathing disorders are followed in the Division.

An interdisciplinary team that includes personnel from Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Social Work and Physical Therapy provides comprehensive patient care. Patients admitted onto the Pulmonary service or seen in consultation are reviewed and discussed during a weekly interdisciplinary team meeting. While rotating on the inpatient service, the fellow is responsible for the care of all patients admitted onto the Pulmonary service on the general wards and in the intensive care units of the hospital. Rounds are made daily with a designated inpatient Attending Pulmonologist, at which time the plan of care is reviewed.

On the outpatient rotation, the fellow sees new patients referred to the office, technology-dependent infants and children, acutely ill pulmonary patients for sick visits, and those patients followed by the Fellow in continuity. All office visits are precepted by the Attending Physicians. Other available inpatient opportunities include rotations on the lung transplant service and a chronic mechanical ventilation unit.

Diagnostic evaluation of inpatients and outpatients is supported by a well-equipped flexible bronchoscopy facility, as well as state-of-the-art pulmonary function testing and sleep disorders laboratories which comprehensively serve to assess lung function and respiratory nocturnal disorders in infants and older children. The pulmonary function laboratories include tests of routine pulmonary function, infant pulmonary function, ventilatory control, exercise-related breathing disorders, and bronchial reactivity.

Salary and benefits

PL-4 Salary for FY 2016 is $61,090.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia provides a generous benefits package, including multiple options for individual health insurance coverage that becomes available upon completion of the first 30 days of postdoctoral fellowship training. At this time, fellows may choose to purchase health insurance for a spouse or dependent(s) through one of the available group plan options. We strongly recommend that fellows continue pre-existing individual health insurance coverage through the first month of the postdoctoral training program.

Fellows will accrue 25 PTO (paid time off) days in their PTO bank to be used as needed for vacation, personal time or illness. In addition, fellows will be allowed the following seven announced holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Fellows may request additional leave for participation in professional conferences, as long as coverage for clinical responsibilities is arranged. Fellows are required to have time off approved by all supervisors at least three days in advance.