Robert A. Palermo, DO, FACC

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Robert A. Palermo, DO, FACC, is a pediatric cardiologist in the Cardiac Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Fetal echocardiography, Preventive Cardiology, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia
Locations: Cardiac Center, Allentown

Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)


Robert A. Palermo, DO, FACC, is a pediatric cardiologist in the Cardiac Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As a doctor of osteopathy, he is trained to take a more holistic approach to medicine. “I recognize that a physical abnormality or injury to one part of the body can affect many other parts of the body,” he explains, “so I look at the patient as a whole and don’t just focus on the heart or a single symptom.” 

Dr. Palermo says he chose his area of specialty because of his interest in the physiology of the heart. “With the heart, I love that you can think through where the blood is going and where it’s supposed to go and figure things out from there. My brother is an engineer, so I think I was instilled with that kind of mindset.”

He also enjoys pediatric cardiology because of the opportunity it affords to develop long-term relationships with his patients and their families. “In other fields, you might just see a patient once,” he explains. “In the case of a patient with a congenital heart defect, I get to see a very sick baby recover, go to preschool and high school. It’s very rewarding to help them lead relatively normal lives.” He also points out that he is a native of Philadelphia, so he has a natural connection to the neighborhoods many of his patients are from and the schools they attend.

In addition to treating very young children, Dr. Palermo also specializes in treating children with high cholesterol and hypertension. “It’s the opposite end of the spectrum, working with older children,” he says. “It’s sad how many children today are overweight and obese. We see children as young as 12 years old with high cholesterol, so my focus is on addressing issues related to and resulting from that.”

Dr. Palermo is optimistic about the future of cardiology, particularly as it relates to technological advancements. “Technology is advancing so quickly these days, I envision a lot less invasive procedures for our patients in the future.” He also notes the shift that has taken place in recent years. “In the past, a lot of the focus was on how to keep patients alive,” he explained. “We’ve gotten really good at that and are now focused on what to do when they are 20, 30 and 40 to impact their overall quality of life.”

Education and Training

Medical School

DO - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


Pediatrics - Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE


Pediatric Cardiology - Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Board Certification

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
Basic Life Support (BLS)
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

Titles and Academic Titles

Pediatric Cardiologist

Assistant Clinical Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Departments and Services




Palermo RA, Monge MC, Charrow JM, Costello JM, Epting CL. Masquerading Acidosis after Bypass: A Case of Propionic Acidemia and Congenital Heart Disease. World J. For Pediatric and Congenit. Heart Surg. 2015;6(2):291-294. PMID: 25870350.

Palermo RA, Louks HA, Wald EL, Wainwright MS, Costello JM, Eltayeb OM, Backer CL, Epting CL. Metabolic uncoupling following cardiopulmonary bypass. Congenit Heart Dis. 2015;10(6):E250-E257. PMID: 26219520.


Gidding SS, Palermo RA, Deloach SS, Keith SW, Falkner B. Associations of cardiac structure with obesity, blood pressure, inflammation, and insulin resistance in African-American adolescents. Pediatr Cardiol. 2014 Feb;35(2):307-14. PMID: 24096716.


Selbst SM, Palermo RA, Durani Y, Giordano K. Adolescent Chest Pain – Is It the Heart. Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2011;12(4):289-300.





Palermo RA and Grasso F. Anatomy and Preoperative Physiology of Common Single Ventricle Lesions. In: Jones M, Klugman D, Fitzgerald R, Kohr LM, Costello JC, Berger, JT, Bronicki R ed. Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Handbook. 1st ed. Washington DC: Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Books;2015:132-136.


Palermo RA and Zinn M. Patent Ductus Arteriosus In: McMahon MC and Stryjewski GR ed. Pediatrics A Competency-Based Companion. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier;2011:552-556.

Awards and Honors

Parkview Hospital Physicians Scholarship, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

William Goldman Foundation Scholarship, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

PCOM Alumni Association Scholarship, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Sigma Sigma Phi, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Superstar award, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Research Scholar's Day best second year fellow clinical research project, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Young Investigator Award Winner, Section on Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery, American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference 2014

Educational Travel Grant Award Winner, Section on Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery, American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference 2014


Leadership and Memberships

2014-present, American Academy of Pediatrics

2012-present, American College of Cardiology

2011-present, American Heart Association