Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship

Safe Place Fellowship From left to right: Cindy Christian (faculty), Joanne Wood (Fellowship Program Director), Hiu-fai Fong (fellow 2011-2014), Samantha Schilling (fellow 2012-2015), Stephanie Deutsch (fellow 2014-2017), Carla Parkin-Joseph (fellow 2013-2016), M. Kate Henry ( The Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship within Safe Place at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia provides trainees with the clinical, research, and teaching skills needed to become academic leaders in the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics. During the three year fellowship, trainees will gain broad exposure to the identification, evaluation, and management of a broad range of types of child maltreatment including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and medical child abuse. The fellowship is in full accord with all requirements from the Accreditation Committee on Graduate Medical Education and graduates qualify for the subspecialty boards.

- Joanne N. Wood, MD, MSHP
-Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Director

Mission & Program Aims

The mission of the Child Abuse Pediatrics fellowship at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is to recruit well-rounded, highly motivated individuals with diverse backgrounds and prepare them to become academic leaders in leaders in the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics. Our intent is to provide this through exceptional clinical training, involvement in scholarly activity and medical education, and individual mentorship in a supportive, professional environment. We expect our graduates to be the future leaders and role models in the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics. This mission aligns with CHOP’s larger mission to strive to be the world leader in the advancement of healthcare for children by integrating excellent patient care, innovative research and quality professional education into all of its programs.

Program Aims:

  1. To train fellows to be excellent clinicians, who are skilled in the evaluation, diagnosis and management of primary and secondary clinical manifestations of child maltreatment.
  2. To train academic leaders in the growing subspecialty of Child Abuse Pediatrics. We define academic leaders as those who are excellent clinicians and who are advancing the field by participating in research, quality improvement and/or education.
  3. To foster development and mastery of skills needed to effectively communicate with families, other healthcare professionals, and governmental agencies responsible for the evaluation and care of children with suspected abuse and neglect.
  4. To foster fellow development of skills and provide opportunities for engaging in scholarly activities through the discovery, application, and dissemination of new knowledge in the field of child maltreatment.
  5. To train fellows to be proficient in providing ethical testimony in cases of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Diversity & Inclusion

At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), we serve a diverse patient population and seek to continue to grow a workforce that reflects the richness of this diversity. Our commitment to excellence and delivering high-quality care to patients and families drives us to recruit the best of the best, meaning that we must work to ensure we have candidates who represent a variety of perspectives, expertise and experiences.

In addition to prioritizing engaging an increasingly diverse workforce, we are committed to developing an environment that facilitates career advancement and retention of our talented, diverse faculty and staff.

We strongly believe that diversity in our workforce and our workplace leads to innovation and cutting-edge, culturally competent, family-centered care.

The Department of Pediatrics is striving to bring Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to the forefront of institutions that value and enact the principles of diversity and equity in the workplace.

Our efforts are focused on three key areas: (1) recruitment through pipeline development, (2) advancement of our diverse faculty through established opportunities, and (3) retention of our diverse talent by creating an inclusive climate and a culture of wellness. By constantly pursuing improvement in these areas, we are making our institution stronger.

Why Chose CHOP for Fellowship?

The Safe Place Program has a long history of training leaders in the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics by providing exposure to a wide depth and breadth of clinical cases, an individualized training program strong mentorship, and unparalleled opportunities to participate in and lead research, quality improvement, advocacy and educational initiatives with guidance from leading experts. This history, expertise and the commitment of faculty to supporting the individual training and professional development of each fellow is what makes Safe Place the ideal program for trainees.

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

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.

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

Christopher Feudtner, MD, PhD
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 of fellowship focuses on providing exposure to and building competency in the clinical evaluation and management of the diverse types of child maltreatment including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and medical child abuse. During this clinically focused first year, fellows develop their clinical skills in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. See "Clinical Services" section for more information on clinical settings. During their clinical experiences’ fellows work closely with faculty and other members of our interdisciplinary team.

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

During the second and third years, fellows continue to hone their clinical skills in the outpatient and inpatient settings while focusing on scholarly activity. With guidance from the fellowship director, each fellow will develop a research project that is aligned with their individual research interests and goals. Each fellow will have a primary research mentor for their project with whom they will meet weekly or biweekly and a scholarly oversight committee. To build the mentorship team that best meets the needs of the individual fellow and project, the program will draw upon experts within the Safe Place Program as well as a wider diverse group of experts in the Research Institute when appropriate. See "Research Training & Opportunities" below for more information.


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
  • Radiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Forensic interviewing

Research training and opportunities

The fellow is provided training to enhance research skills either through a Clinical Research Certificate Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Trainees with a strong interest in clinical research may 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 instead of the Certificate Program.

Fellows interested in pursing a Master's degree can apply to these programs and associated training grants at the start of fellowship with guidance and support from the Fellowship Director. The application process is competitive and acceptance is not guaranteed.

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. Many fellows complete multiple research projects during their fellowship. Additionally, book chapters, case reports and other scholarly activities are often completed by our fellows.

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: 

  • Mondays: Safe Place Faculty Lecture Series
  • Tuesdays: General Pediatrics Clinical Case Conferences
  • Wednesdays: Pediatrics Grand Rounds, Safe Place Team Meetings, Sexual Assault Response Team QI Meetings, General Pediatrics Divisional QI Meetings
  • Thursdays: PolicyLab Meetings, Safe Place Journal Club
  • Fridays: Safe Place Week in Review, PolicyLab and 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 as a condition of employment.

This mandate also applies to workforce members or trainees performing work for CHOP at non-CHOP locations. Additionally, all workforce members based in or regularly scheduled to work at any New Jersey location are mandated to be both vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19, with booster timing consistent with applicable guidelines. 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. Please note start dates may be delayed until candidates are fully immunized or valid exemption requests are reviewed. 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.

CHOP is committed to building an inclusive culture where employees feel a sense of belonging, connection, and community within their workplace. We are a team dedicated to fostering an environment that allows for all to be their authentic selves. We are focused on attracting, cultivating, and retaining diverse talent who can help us deliver on our mission to be a world leader in the advancement of healthcare for children.

We strongly encourage all candidates of diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to apply.

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