We offer a three-year fellowship training program in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Our program accepts one fellow each year. Our 36-month training curriculum consists of 15 months of clinical service in critical care medicine divided between the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Special Care Unit, and Pediatric Burn Unit, three months of clinical training in anesthesia, three months of electives, including Procedural Sedation, Cardiology, Neurosurgery, Pediatric Surgery, Palliative Care and Transport Medicine, and nine months of protected time for research. Each year, we allow four weeks of vacation time.

We have numerous structured educational activities. Fellows attend courses on statistics, research study design, bio-ethics, evidence-based medicine, pedagogical techniques, and presentation skills. In addition, there are many regular division and departmental conferences in which fellows are expected to participate. These include didactic lectures prepared for the fellows, monthly journal club, monthly journal watch, morbidity and mortality conference, quality improvement meetings, weekly clinical case conference, and weekly cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery conference. The fellows are expected to actively participate in teaching pediatric residents and medical students at the bedside, in small group and large didactic sessions.


The Fellowship Program's mission is to prepare trainees for careers in academic Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. We accomplish this through rigorous clinical training in a 26-bed diverse clinical unit along with structured education in research design, methodology, statistics, and evidence-based medicine. We expect that our fellows will be prepared to succeed in any environment while establishing in flourishing research.


We believe that a pediatric intensivist needs to have a strong clinical foundation for the diversity of illnesses he is expected to care for, in addition to a lifelong quest for knowledge and performance improvement. The field of pediatric critical care is evolving at a rapid pace; consequently, fellowship should only be the beginning of a lifelong learning process. Our training program encompasses a Level One Pediatric Trauma Center, a Pediatric Burn Unit, and a nationally recognized ECMO service. In addition, our Section directs the Rapid Response Team, the Code Blue Team, the Procedural Sedation Team, the and high-fidelity Simulation Program. Our fellows get their CICU experience at CHOP currently. We have more than 4,000 admissions per year in our 26-bed service, and we expect these numbers to grow over time.

The Critical Care service manages and directs the care of patients in the unit. The children are managed or co-managed by the pediatric intensivists and nurse practitioners collaboratively with other pediatric subspecialists and surgical services. We have attending pediatric intensivists in-house 24/7 who direct the care of these patients. Highly dedicated, experienced, and specialized nurses provide care to these patients with the assistance of a team of respiratory therapists, social workers, child life, occupational and physical therapists.

The Section has seven full-time faculty members and eight nurse practitioners.

Research Opportunities

We strongly believe that future pediatric intensivists need a strong foundation in research, either basic or clinical science, to set the stage for a long and productive academic career. Our Section and hospital have opportunities for both basic and clinical science research. For those interested in basic science, there are a wealth of resources at Drexel University College of Medicine, including successful laboratories in pulmonary hypertension and traumatic brain injury. For clinical researchers, there are limitless opportunities including pharmacology, traumatic brain injury, burn care, simulation, sedation, and ethics. Our faculty routinely present at a variety of national meetings including the Annual Congress for the Society of Critical Care Medicine. This year, we have 11 abstracts, including three oral and two award-winning presentations. In addition, the Drexel University Masters of Public Health Program is another resource available for fellows.


The program is open to any physician who has completed an American Board of Pediatrics-approved residency training and is eligible for board certification. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law requires all fellows to have successfully completed all three steps of USMLE. Copies of the scores need to be provided along with the application, in addition to three letters of reference.

Foreign medical graduates with a valid ECFMG certificate and who meet the criteria listed above are welcome to apply. A copy of the ECFMG certificate needs to be provided with the application. We would, in deserving cases, sponsor either an H1B or a J1 visa for training purposes.

How to Apply

Please use the ERAS application, and forward us an electronic and a paper copy. Once we have received the completed application including the letters of reference, we will contact you to arrange an interview.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or phone.

Swetha Madhavarapu, MD 
Program Director, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship 
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children 
160 E Erie Ave 
Philadelphia, PA 19134 
Phone: 215-427-3984 
Email: swetha.madhavarapu@towerhealth.org

Kimberly Abrams 
Manager, Graduate Medical Education 
Medical and Academic Affairs 
Phone: 215-427-8812 
Email: kimberly.abrams@towerhealth.org