Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program

Program overview and mission

Since its founding in 1968, the Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) Fellowship Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has developed as a national leader in the training of individuals to become independently practicing pediatric intensivists. Housed in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, the program embraces the departmental mission to teach and train the most capable and motivated individuals as we train physicians to become leaders in patient care, research, education, and quality improvement.

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


The Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship is normally completed in three years following residency training in pediatrics. The fellowship program seeks to develop outstanding clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in pediatric critical care medicine. Curricula may vary based on fellow circumstances, American Board of Pediatrics approval, or other needs. Program leaders include:

Applicants who are interested in combining training in pediatric critical care with other pediatric subspecialties or with other residency programs should talk with the program director as early as possible in the application process to clarify the application timeline and criteria for such training.

Year one

Year two

  • 1.5 months CICU
  • 3.5-4 months PICU
  • 5.5-6 months research
  • 1 week point-of-care ultrasound
  • 1 week anesthesia experience
  • 4 weeks vacation

Year three

  • 0.5-1 month CICU
  • 1 week point-of-care ultrasound 
  • 3- 3.5 months PICU
  • 1 week anesthesia experience
  • 7.5 - 8 months of research
  • 4 weeks vacation

Educational programming

In addition to the conferences listed below, fellows also participate, under faculty mentorship, in delivering the core lecture series to residents rotating in the PICU and in facilitating multidisciplinary mock codes.


  • Noon - Critical care medicine case conference
  • 1 p.m. - Department of Critical Care patient safety and quality improvement conference


  • 8 a.m. - Division professor rounds
  • Noon - Research conference (3x/month); journal club (monthly)


  • 6:45 a.m. - Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Grand Rounds (monthly)
  • 7 a.m. - Cardiac catheterization/surgery conference
  • 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Fellow didactics (protected time for lectures, simulation, core physiology, and research skills series)


  • Noon - Neurocritical care conference

Combined anesthesia/critical care medicine

Combined training in pediatric critical care medicine (fellowship) and anesthesiology (residency) is possible in five years for candidates already trained or training in pediatrics (residency). The ideal candidate will apply during the PGY-2 year for an ADVANCED (“A”) position as a CA-1 anesthesiology resident. For more information, please email Justin Lockman, MD, MSEd.

Applicants who are interested in pursuing board certification in both anesthesiology and pediatric critical care should talk with the program directors directly about the appropriate sequence of such education.

Please email Dr. Justin Lockman or call 267-426-0669 regarding Pediatric Anesthesiology, and email Dr. Samuel Rosenblatt regarding Pediatric Critical Care.

Combinations with other pediatric subspecialties

Previous fellows have pursued critical care training in conjunction with training in emergency medicine, cardiology, neurology, infectious diseases, and clinical informatics via either combined or sequential fellowships.

Currently, the American Board of Pediatrics allows a second (sequential) pediatric fellowship to be completed in two years rather than three if the fellowship research requirement is satisfied by the first accredited fellowship. We will consider adapting the critical care fellowship curriculum to fulfill this option in some circumstances and completion of a shortened fellowship is always dependent on meeting competency in all areas of fellowship training.

Applications for a separate, second fellowship are considered through the usual ERAS/NRMP process. Please feel free to contact the program director to discuss.

Other offerings

Clinical Research Certificate Program

The University of Pennsylvania's Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) offers a Clinical Research Certificate Program designed to teach clinical research methods at a level appropriate for clinician-educators and collaborative researchers. The program is open to School of Medicine faculty, residents and fellows.

Departmental funding for participation in the program is considered for Critical Care fellows who show a unique interest and aptitude for a career in clinical research.

How to apply

Standard fellowships

All applications for standard three-year fellowships are through ERAS, the online application service of the AAMC, and positions are offered through the National Resident Matching Program Pediatric Subspecialties match. Individuals who are interested in abbreviated PCCM training after completion of a previous pediatric-based fellowship should discuss their interests with the program director prior to applying through ERAS.

Please do not send application materials to us directly, although if you wish us to start a file with your information, it is fine to mail or email a CV to Ms. Cornelius:

Ailin Cornelius
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, Program Coordinator
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
3401 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399
Phone: 609-433-7430
Fax: 267-426-5574

Program requirements

  • Completed online application (via ERAS)
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation (one letter should be from prior training program director and at least one letter should be from a critical care faculty member)
  • Dean's letter
  • Medical school transcript
  • Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the USMLE, taken within the seven-year time frame as required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or equivalent scores
  • If a graduate of a medical school outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico, valid ECFMG certificate or one that does not expire prior to the start of the fellowship

Combined fellowships

For combined fellowships, please email Ailin Cornelius (email link to see whether the application should go through ERAS. Applicants for combined (integrated multispecialty) programs may not necessarily go through the NRMP matching procedure for critical care medicine, so the timing of applications/interviews/acceptances may be shifted and spots may be filled on a rolling basis. Early inquiries are therefore encouraged. Please email with questions about combined training.

If we request a non-ERAS application, we will send you the appropriate application.

Deadline for applications

The fellowship selection committee reviews completed applications as soon as ERAS opens for program review and interviews are offered on a rolling basis until all interview positions are filled. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as close to the ERAS opening date as possible. Selected candidates will be invited to interview during the months of September through October.

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.

Current fellows: July 2023 - June 2024

Year one

  • Robert Boyd, MDResidency: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Medical School: Meharry Medical College
  • Eliza Firn, MDResidency: Boston Children’s Hospital (Combined Peds-Neuro). Medical School: Wake Forest
  • Jill Hsia, MDFellowship: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (cardio). Residency: Columbia Children’s. Medical School: Stony Brook
  • Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hyde, MDResidency: Columbia Children’s. Medical School: Standford University.
  • Leora Lieberman, MDResidency: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Medical School: University of Florida. 
  • Emma Mazzio, MDResidency: Children’s Hospital of Colorado. Medical School: Jefferson University. 
  • Jeremy Zuckerberg, MDResidency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Peds); The Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (Anesthesiology). Medical School: University of Pennsylvania.

Year two

  • Alexander Alali, MD - Residency: Baylor College of Medicine / Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Laura Bricklin, MD - Medical school: University of Arizona College of Medicine. Residency: University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Stephanie "Steffi" Cramer, MD - Medical school: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Vanessa C. Denny, MD, MS - Medical school: St. George’s University School of Medicine. Residency: Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Atlantic Health System
  • Annie L. Gula, MD - Medical school: Georgetown University School of Medicine. Residency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Megan L. McSherry, MD, MS - Medical school: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Bhavesh M. Patel, MD - Medical school: Emory University School of Medicine. Residency: University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Shyam Jayant Deshpande, MD - Medical school: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Residency: Boston Combined Residency Program

Year three

  • Kristopher Lin Dixon, MD - Medical school: Wake Forest School of Medicine. Residency: Brenner Children’s Hospital/Wake Forest Baptist Health
  • Andrew Eskay Becker, MD - Medical school: Mount Sinai Hospital. Residency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Michelle Brajcich, MD - Medical school: University of Washington School of Medicine. Residency: University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Morgann Loaec, MD - Medical school: Penn State College of Medicine. Residency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Brandon Stormes, MD - Medical school: University of Texas Health San Antonio. Residency: Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Daniel Balcarcel, MD - Medical school: Loyola University Chicago. Residency: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Cody-Aaron Gathers, MD - Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine. Residency: Boston Children’s Hospital/Boston Medical Center
  • Lindsay Shepard, MD - Medical school: Thomas Jefferson University. Residency: New York Presbyterian

Next Steps