Medical Career Design Fellowship

The Division of Orthopaedics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) funds a select number of Medical Career Design (MCD) Fellowships to allow recent college graduates the opportunity to explore many aspects of a medical career — research, clinical practice, education, advocacy and leadership.

Each MCD fellow spends two years as an essential member of our research and clinical teams, mentored by our thought-leading faculty from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. CHOP’s Division of Orthopaedics is consistently ranked among the best pediatric orthopaedics programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Program details

The central aspect of the MCD fellow’s work will be coordinating and facilitating clinical research, including:

  • Subject recruitment
  • IRB submissions and renewals
  • Data analysis/manuscript preparation
  • Monitoring/maintaining data for study group databases and multicenter registries

This will include training in research ethics, research subject protections, clinical science study design, methodology, data analytics and statistical methodology.

Successful MCD fellows will have opportunities to co-author medical journal submissions and are encouraged to present results at regional and or national meetings. Through this immersive experience, the MCD fellow will learn how to initiate, design, complete and communicate clinical research.

Each week, MCD fellows will work in our clinics as a scribe, helping our attending physicians with patient visits by populating medical records. The scribe role offers the MCD fellow a unique front-line physician shadowing role in performing a history and physical exam, interpreting image and lab data, and formulating clinical decisions.

This daily exposure – over time – allows the MCD fellow to develop a significant font of medical knowledge, grow confident in the patient-care setting, and gain insights into managing the challenges of a busy and complex clinical practice.

Completed projects by MCD fellows are published in the best orthopaedic journals and are presented at leading scientific conferences such as the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To learn more about the Medical Career Design Fellowship, download our MCD Fellowship flyer or our MCD Fellowship booklet for complete details about the program, current fellows and what they feel they are learning at CHOP.

Educational opportunities

Medical Career Design fellows will be immersed in our educational programs. They are encouraged to attend:

  • Daily lectures
  • Weekly case-review conferences
  • Research conferences
  • A quarterly journal club

Each year, we also host Visiting Professor events that fellows are invited to attend. The daily interactions with faculty, medical students, residents and clinical fellows offers many educational and career exploration opportunities.

One of the key aspects of the MCD Fellowship is mentorship by nationally recognized academic physicians. The weekly interactions between MCD fellows and faculty — in clinic work rooms, at research meetings, in conferences and social events — offers many opportunities for faculty to coach and mentor MCD fellows.

Our faculty will be able to confidently write letters of recommendation that are rich in detail about the MCD fellow’s research accomplishments and extensive clinical exposure, and advocate for the fellows as they navigate the rigorous medical school application process.

Upon arrival, each MCD fellow will be assigned a faculty mentor, with whom they will meet with periodically to discuss the design of their medical career.

Fellowship core faculty and support

John M. “Jack” Flynn, MD
Chief, Division of Orthopaedics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Co-director, Medical Career Design Fellowship, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Richard M. Armstrong Jr. Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Apurva Shah, MD, MBA
Director, Clinical Research, Division of Orthopaedics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Co-director, Medical Career Design Fellowship, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Divya Talwar, PhD, MPH, BDS
Clinical Outcomes Research Manager, Division of Orthopaedics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Fellow eligibility

MCD fellow applicants will be completing a BA/BS degree, pre-medical and commit for two gap years between college and med school. The student must be in good academic standing and have an interest in pursuing a career in Orthopaedic Surgery. The successful applicant will be responsible, motivated, intellectually curious and independent. An MCAT score, biostatistics training and research experience are strongly valued, but not mandatory.

Stipend and benefits

Each fellow will be provided an annual stipend of $40,000 in year one and $45,000 in year two and will be provided with up to $5,000 of travel support annually to attend and participate in scientific presentations at regional and national meetings. A minimum two-year commitment is required. Fellows will also receive 12 vacation days per year, in addition to CHOP-designed national holidays.

Start and end dates

Each fellow’s official start date will be determined by the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at the time of receiving an offer. The start date will be no later than June 15, 2022, with the exception of students enrolled in late spring or summer coursework. The official start date may be within two weeks of college graduation to facilitate the transition between incoming and outgoing MCD fellows. The fellowship will culminate no earlier than June 30, two years after inception.

How to apply

To apply, please submit the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Undergraduate transcript
  • Curriculum vitae
  • MCAT Score (if applicable)
  • Your earliest available start date

Applications should be emailed to: Research Manager Divya Talwar, PhD, at talward@chop.edu.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through April 1, 2023. Interviews will be required as part of the selection process.

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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