Neonatal Physician Assistant Residency Program

About the residency program

The Neonatal Physician Assistant Residency Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a 12-month intensive program designed for physician assistants (PAs) seeking to subspecialize in neonatology.

The program provides PAs with the skills needed to prepare them to become competent front-line neonatal clinicians. The program includes:

  • Mentoring
  • Didactic teaching
  • Simulations
  • Skills training
  • Clinical experiences

Physician assistant residents will rotate through three sites:

  • CHOP’s Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU), a level IV unit that provides the highest level of care for the most complex and critically ill newborns who need access to 24/7 medical and surgical specialty consults
  • Pennsylvania Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a level III unit that cares for babies with serious medical or surgical conditions
  • Virtua Voorhees Medical Center’s NICU, a level III unit that cares for babies with serious medical or surgical conditions

The program accepts two PAs per year as salaried residents for the program that runs from November to November of the following year. At the conclusion of the program, residents will receive a certificate of completion.

CHOP’s Neonatal PA Residency Program is in the three-year process to earn final accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on education for the Physician Assistant.

Program objectives

At the completion of the Neonatal PA Residency Program, physician assistant residents will be able to:

  • Provide complete care to neonates up to 6 months of age
  • Provide high-quality front-line care for infants in the delivery room, well-baby nursery and neonatal intensive care unit
  • Provide thorough follow-up care to newborns and infants


Classroom education

The Neonatal PA Residency Program begins with two weeks of classroom didactics, simulation training and observation. This “boot camp” serves as an orientation to the field of neonatology.

Following the two-week orientation, residents will attend weekly learning sessions that will include lectures, simulations and skills training.

Teaching will be provided by an extensive faculty including:

  • Neonatologists and subspecialists
  • Physician assistants
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners
  • Neonatal physician fellows
  • Nutritionists
  • Nurses and lactation specialists
  • Therapists from speech, occupational, physical and recreational therapy
  • Psychologists

Educational topics will begin with fetal development and extend through birth and the first six months of life, including developmental follow-up. The curriculum is extensive and will cover numerous topics that affect the newborn.

Didactics will include an extensive review of disease processes that affect all organ systems with treatment and management.

In addition, PA residents will be invited to attend conferences at all training sites, and physiology didactics lectures given to neonatology physician fellows.

Clinical training

PA residents are assigned a preceptor at each of the three clinical sites, and provided with an outline of educational goals and skills to be mastered on each rotation.

The first six months of clinical training will occur at Pennsylvania Hospital and Virtua Voorhees (both level III NICUs). There, PA residents will care for patients in a variety of clinical settings, including:

  • Delivery rooms
  • Well-baby nurseries
  • Neonatal intensive care units
  • Neonatal follow-up
  • Medical and surgical teams

As the resident becomes more proficient and progresses in training, the resident will care for his or her own patient load, which will increase in complexity and numbers.

Following the initial six months of training in the residency program, PAs will move on to train at CHOP’s Level IV N/IICU to complete the year. The PA resident will begin rotations on nights and weekends with their preceptor. 

Two weeks of elective time is also included in the program. Residents can choose to focus on any specialty during this elective time, as long as the times and locations are available.

How to apply

Applications for the residency program must be completed online between March 1 and March 31, 2021.

For application details, go to CHOP’s Careers page.

Tobacco-free hiring policy

To help preserve and improve the health of its patients, their families and its employees, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia implemented a tobacco-free hiring policy. This policy applies to all candidates for employment (other than those with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey) for all positions, including those covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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.

Contact information

For further information, please contact Karin Huber, MSN, RN-BC.