Child Neurology Residency

About the Child Neurology Residency Program

The Division of Neurology at CHOP offers a three-year residency in Child Neurology. Most trainees choose to enter our five-year Neurology/Pediatrics Combined Residency Program, which begins with two years of pediatrics training. Our Division includes a dedicated team of 46 clinical child neurologists; six full-time basic science faculty; five Neurology nurse practitioners; 13 child Neurology residents; five fellows; allied health professionals and support staff who provide primary and consultative care to children with a wide variety of neurologic diseases in a tertiary care setting.

For the last 15 years, the majority of our Child Neurology graduates have completed post-residency fellowship training. Graduates of our residency program have been very successful in pursuing academic child neurology careers. Recent graduates are now assistant or associate professors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Harvard, University of California at San Francisco, University of Michigan, Loma Linda University, Stanford, Bowman Grey, Children’s National Medical Center and Dartmouth.

Residency Program Director

Sudha Kessler, MD, MSCE
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Division Chief

Brenda Banwell, MD
Chief, Division of Neurology
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology)
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania 

Residency Coordinator

Ashley Rees-Jones
Program Manager Specialist
The HUB For Clinical Collaboration
Division of Neurology
3500 Civic Center Blvd 10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-590-1722
reesjonesa@email.chop.edu

Training and rotations

The Child Neurology Residency meets the training requirements established by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and follows this general structure:

1st year

  • Six (6) months of Adult Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Six (6) months of Child Neurology at CHOP including:
    • Four (4) months child neurology (each month split between inpatient and consult services), night call from home q4-5;
    • One (1) month neuromuscular at CHOP
    • One (1) month outpatient sub-specialty clinics at CHOP

2nd year

  • Six (6) months in adult neurology, call from home when on the inpatient services (2-3 months)
  • Three (3) months at CHOP, call from home q4-5
  • Three (3) months elective

3rd year

  • Three (3) months at CHOP, call from home q4-5
  • Nine (9) months elective (two required electives, psychiatry and rehab)

Research expectations and opportunities

All residents must complete a patient oriented research (POR) project in their 3rd year. With a faculty mentor, residents design an IRB approved project and present data and results at Grand Rounds to Neurology faculty from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Conference schedules

Monday

8 a.m. — CHOP NeuroRads Conference (weekly)
8 a.m. — CHOP NeuroRads Conference (weekly)
Noon — CHOP Neurology Residents Conference (weekly) / Business Meeting (monthly)

Tuesday

8 a.m. — HUP Stroke or Neuro-Ophthalmology Conference (weekly))
11 a.m. — Brain Cutting (weekly))
Noon — CHOP Neurology Residents Conference (weekly)

Wednesday

8 a.m. — HUP Professor Rounds
Noon — HUP Lecture Series (weekly)
Noon — CHOP Stroke Conference (weekly)

Thursday

8 a.m. — CHOP Clinical Neuroscience Conference or HUP Professor Rounds (weekly)
Noon — CHOP Neurology Residents Conference (weekly)
1 p.m. — Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program (PREP) (weekly)
2 p.m. — Muscle Conference (weekly)

Friday

8 a.m. — HUP PORC or HUP NeuroRads or Neuropath Conference (weekly)
Noon — HUP Lecture Series

*Attendance is mandatory at the Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday noon and Thursday morning Neuroscience Conference, and HUP Grand Rounds.

How to apply

The Child Neurology Residency Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is currently offering:

  • Seven (7) categorical residency positions to begin in 2023

All candidates must apply through ERAS. The deadline for applications is September 15th.

Application requirements

  • ERAS application
  • Three (3) letters of reference (LORs). We do not require a Chair's letter as we realize that many students are not well-known to the Chair. We prefer letters from physicians who know the applicants and their work.
  • Dean’s letter (AKA Medical School Performance Evaluation [MSPE])
  • Medical school transcript
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • USMLE Parts 1, 2 (if available)
  • ECFMG Certification if graduated from a medical school outside the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico
  • Residents must have completed two years of pediatric training
  • International medical graduates must have completed one year of formal training in the United States

If you have any questions at any time during the application process, please contact Ashley Rees-Jones at (215) 590-1722 or by email at reesjonesa@email.chop.edu.

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.

Information about the selection and interview process

  • All communication with applicants is via e-mail. We review applications on a rolling basis. We will review an application once we receive the ERAS application form and personal statement, medical school transcript and USMLE or COMLEX scores.
  • Once our Selection Committee reviews your application, you will be notified of the status. The possibilities are: an offer of an interview, a denial of an interview, or being placed in a holding category until we receive the Medical Student Performance Evaluation/Dean's Letter that is transmitted to programs by ERAS beginning 1n October.
  • You should respond by e-mail to the interview offer that will come from the Program. E-mail is the preferred method of arranging interviews, as it provides a record of the arrangements.
  • Residency interviews are held from early November to mid-January. Neurology interviews are scheduled on Wednesdays. Pediatric interviews are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You are welcome to interview with us on any day that fits your schedule, but it usually works best if you schedule pediatrics and neurology interviews on consecutive days.
  • We generally do not interview during the last weeks of November and December.
  • Typically, five to six potential interview dates are included in the offer of an interview e-mail. You will be asked to provide, in rank order, three of the offered dates that work for you. Once your e-mail is reviewed, you will be assigned to one of those dates. You will receive a confirmation e-mail verifying the date and providing details about the schedule, the location and other instructions needed by applicants coming to interview.
  • Neurology interviews begin with an informal dinner with our current residents (6 p.m. the evening before your interview). Dinner with the neurology residents is extremely helpful, but not essential. The interview day begins with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m.

Residents must live within an easy 30-minute commute of the Hospital. Most single residents live in Center City Philadelphia, which is a safe, affordable area within walking distance of CHOP. Center City is also home to excellent restaurants and shopping.

Residents with young children often live in the suburbs where you can find plenty of affordable housing, excellent public schools and an easy commute.

Learn more about living and working in Philadelphia »

Current residents

Meet our current Child Neurology Residents:

Usha Appalaneni, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY5
Education: Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
Residency: Pediatrics - Advocate Christ Medical Center Program

Mariko Bennett, MD, PhD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY5
Education: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Patrick Lawlor, MD, PhD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY5
Education: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Margaret Means, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY5
Education: University of Louisville School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Cara Piccoli, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY5
Education: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Natalie Ullman, MD, MPH
Child Neurology Resident, PGY5
Education: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Whitney Fitts, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY4
Education: Harvard Medical School
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Claudia Gambrah-Lyles, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY4
Education: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Bianca Kapoor, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY4
Education: NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Dennis Keselman, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY4
Education: Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Laura McGarry, MD, PhD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY4
Education: NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Giulia Porcari, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY4
Education: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Maya Silver, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY4
Education: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Ashley Bach, MD, MPH
Child Neurology Resident, PGY3
Education: University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Gina Chang, MD, MPH
Child Neurology Resident, PGY3
Education: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Michelle Han, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY3
Education: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Charmaine Jenkins, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY3
Education: University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Riley Kessler, MD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY3
Education: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Kelly Markwalter, MD, PhD
Child Neurology Resident, PGY3
Education: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Residency: Pediatrics – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Smiling neurology patient

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