Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship

In 2001, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia inaugurated Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health. Safe Place coordinates the hospital's many support services to further enhance the protection and health of maltreated children by establishing innovative and effective initiatives. Safe Place provides comprehensive, accessible and high-quality healthcare to children who have been maltreated and those in substitute care. Through a multidisciplinary team model, the center promotes safety, health and developmental well-being in the lives of vulnerable children. In addition to quality patient care, the center provides an organizational structure that fosters professional collaboration in research, education, patient care, prevention and advocacy.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia identifies and treats more victims of child abuse than any medical institution in Pennsylvania. Abused children are referred to the hospital from physicians, hospitals, law enforcement and social service agencies throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of New Jersey. The program has a rich legacy with the Children's Hospital Child Abuse Team, created in 1974. This multidisciplinary team consists of physicians, social workers, nurses, psychologists and other hospital personnel who have a long-standing interest and extensive experience in the diagnosis, management and treatment for maltreated children.

About the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Program

The primary goal of our program is to train fellows to become academic leaders in the growing subspecialty of Child Abuse Pediatrics. We define academic leaders as those who are excellent clinicians, who are skilled in the diagnosis and management of primary and secondary clinical manifestations of child maltreatment, and who are advancing the field by participating in research, quality improvement and/or education.

The Fellowship Training Program in Child Abuse Pediatrics at CHOP is a three-year program that provides trainees with strong clinical and research experience and prepares them to qualify for the subspecialty boards in Child Abuse Pediatrics. In the first year of the program, trainees focus on developing clinical expertise in the field. In the second and third years, trainees focus primarily on scholarly activities and on completing the academic training necessary to become a skilled clinician-scientist.

The history, expertise and compassion that make Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia unique are also what makes it the best place for medical trainees.

Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Program Leadership

Fellowship Program Director

Joanne N. Wood, MD, MSHP
Division of General Pediatrics

Fellowship Program Coordinator

Christina McCloskey

Section Chief

Philip V. Scribano, DO, MSCE
Division of General Pediatrics

Division Chief

Louis M. Bell, MD
Division of General Pediatrics

Safe Place team

Fellows work closely with Safe Place’s interdisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, social workers and other hospital personnel. Meet our team.

Specific information by years and/or rotation

Year one

The first year is a clinical year, with the fellow focusing on ambulatory and inpatient care as well as participating in all clinical activities associated with the fellowship.

Developed to ensure the ACGME core competencies are achieved within each rotation, the fellow will develop an emerging expertise in the evaluation and management of a diverse array of child maltreatment conditions. Knowledge gained through practice-based learning will enable the fellow to understand and determine a comprehensive differential diagnosis for these conditions. Multidisciplinary team meetings, with progressive responsibility in leading those meeting discussions provide the fellow with substantive systems-based practice and communication skills.

Years two and three

The fellow continues to engage in clinical activities, with the added concentration of research training. Research participation is one of the requirements for certification in Child Abuse Pediatrics. It also helps us meet our goal of producing graduates who will become academic clinician-scientists. During the second and third years of the fellowship, each fellow will undertake a specific research project or projects under the guidance of a mentor. The program director will help each fellow select an appropriate project and mentor. The fellow will attend project-specific conferences and the standard clinical case conferences, safety and quality improvement conferences, and research conferences relevant to their project. Projects are selected based on the individual fellow’s clinical and research interests as well as his/her career goals.


Throughout the fellowship, the fellow will achieve mastery in presenting to small and larger groups using various teaching methods and formats to develop her/his teaching skills as an academic physician. Didactic presentations, journal clubs and case-based teaching to medical students, pediatric and surgical residents, allied health professionals, law enforcement personnel, social workers and lawyers in the area of child maltreatment will foster this important skill.

Clinical services

Trainees will receive ample clinical exposure through the following clinical inpatient and outpatient clinic experiences:

Elective opportunities

To complement the child abuse pediatrics clinical experience, each fellow trainee will have the opportunity to participate in an elective experience. Past fellows have completed electives in the following areas, among others:

  • Research
  • Legislative experience
  • Hematology Clinic 
  • Neuroradiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Forensic interviewing

Research expectations and opportunities

The fellow is provided training to enhance research skills either through a Clinical Research Certificate Program at the University of Pennsylvania or through formal coursework to obtain a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology, health policy or public health. The fellowship goal is for each fellow to submit at least one manuscript describing his or her research experience to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Additionally, book chapters, case reports and other scholarly activities are often completed by our fellows. 

Trainees with a strong interest in clinical research will often pursue the Master of Science in Health Policy or the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The following links include potential resources for fellows interested in pursuing additional research training and experiences:

Conferences and multidisciplinary meetings

Fellows participate in following CHOP conferences, including but not limited to: 

  • Tuesdays: General Pediatrics Clinical Case Conferences
  • Wednesdays: Pediatrics Grand Rounds, Safe Place Team Meetings, Sexual Assault Response Team QI Meetings, Divisional QI Meetings
  • Thursdays: PolicyLab Meetings, Safe Place Journal Club
  • Fridays: Safe Place Week in Review, CPCE Work-in-Progress Seminar
  • Variable Fellows Association Seminar

Fellows are also involved with a variety of multidisciplinary teams, including:

  • The Philadelphia Children's Alliance was developed to provide joint police and social service interviews and mental health evaluations for children who are victims of sexual abuse. The fellow participates in monthly case conferences of children seen at the PCA.
  • Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County Child Advocacy centers: These centers provide service to the outlying counties of Philadelphia. Our faculty provides medical evaluations to children referred from these centers, and the fellow participates in the care and monthly case reviews.
  • Philadelphia Child Fatality Review Team Meetings: The Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT) was developed in 1993 and provides multidisciplinary evaluation of all children who die in Philadelphia County. The first year fellow participates in monthly Non-Homicide & Homicide CFRT meetings. 
  • Philadelphia Child Fatality Review Team/Act 33: The team was developed in 1993 and provides multidisciplinary evaluations of all children who die or experience near fatality in Philadelphia County. The fellow may be invited to participate in meetings held at the Medical Examiner's Office or virtually.
  • Medical Legal Advisory Board on Child Abuse: The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office brings together pediatricians, pathologists, radiologists, law enforcement agents, lawyers and other professionals to improve state legislation regarding child abuse. The board reviews difficult abuse cases to improve the prosecution of individuals who abuse children. The fellow attends meetings, participates in reviewing cases. and learns about the politics of child abuse work.

General information on outcomes of fellows

Past trainees continue their active involvement in the field and many have become nationally recognized for their work with abused children. The fellowship has provided a diverse child-abuse-pediatrics faculty who have pursued careers as clinician-educators, advocates, researchers, and policy experts. Our graduates have had a significant influence in the field as national leaders through their ongoing scholarly activities.

Fellowship graduates have earned positions at the following institutions among others:

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Mercy Children’s Hospital, Kansas City, MO
  • A.I. Dupont Children’s Hospital, Wilmington, DE
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Okland, CA
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

How to Apply

Applicants to the Child Abuse Pediatrics fellowship are selected through the National Resident Matching Program with applications processed through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS System) for positions beginning each July.


  • Graduate of a United States or Canadian medical school
  • If not a graduate of a U.S. or Canadian medical school, have completed one year of formal training in a U.S. hospital accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
  • Completion of residency training in a program approved by ACGME
  • Eligible for board certification in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics

Application requirements

The following must be received prior to consideration of your application:

  • A completed application form through ERAS
  • Current photograph
  • Medical school transcript
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate number and visa information, if a foreign medical graduate
  • Three letters of recommendation from physicians familiar with your professional work
  • Curriculum vitae (as part of ERAS application)
  • USMLE scores. Successful applicants must have passed all three portions of the USMLE prior to beginning the fellowship
  • Personal statement (one page)

All application materials must be received through ERAS by the Fall match deadline listed by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). An interview may be scheduled during the months of September through November after the timely receipt of application materials.

Our program will participate in the NRMP for fellowship each year unless otherwise listed on the NRMP website. The timetable for the Web-based match changes slightly each year. Refer to NRMP website for each year’s timetable. The Fall match will occur in the month of December.

Other requirements

To carry out its mission, it is of critical importance for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to keep our patients, families and workforce safe and healthy and to support the health of our global community. In keeping with this, CHOP has mandated all workforce members (including trainees) on site at any CHOP location for any portion of their time be vaccinated for COVID-19. This mandate also applies to workforce members or trainees performing work for CHOP at non-CHOP locations. The CHOP COVID-19 vaccine mandate is in alignment with applicable local, state and federal mandates. CHOP also requires all workforce members and trainees who work in patient care buildings or who provide patient care to receive an annual influenza vaccine. Employees may request exemption consideration for CHOP vaccine requirements for valid religious and medical reasons. In addition, candidates other than those in positions with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey, must attest to not using tobacco products.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other protected category. CHOP is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor seeking priority referrals for protected veterans.