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Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship

Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship

The Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship gives physicians the knowledge and skills required to provide excellent care to critically ill children.


We accept applications through ERAS. Learn more about the ERAS process.

Fellowship Program

The Department of Pediatrics accepts one fellow per year in its Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship.

As a fellow, you’ll function on the front line for the clinical management of all medical and surgical patients admitted to the PICU. You’ll have daily exposure to post-operative cardiothoracic surgical patients as well as primary responsibility for these patients during night-call and on weekends.

Scholarly activity in the form of a primary research project as well as a quality improvement project is encouraged and required.


The 36-month fellowship training program includes:

  • One month of pediatric anesthesia
  • 15 months of clinical pediatric critical care
  • Two months of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery
  • 18 months of research

There is some flexibility that can be applied to accommodate special interests during clinical months (such as outside clinical rotations, participating in the CT Surgery trip to Ecuador), that will be considered and arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Four weeks per year of vacation may be divided during the research rotations.

Contact info

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Gebhart, pediatric fellowship program coordinator, at 717-531-5458, or

Quick links

Pediatric intensive care at Penn State Children's Hospital continues to be one of the leaders in providing excellent, quality care to the children of central Pennsylvania. The Children's Hospital has active programs in all aspects of pediatric medicine and surgery, including trauma, transplantation, and cardiothoracic surgery.

A Level I trauma center, the Children’s Hospital offers:

  • Invasive and non-invasive cardiorespiratory monitoring
  • Conventional and non-conventional modes of mechanical ventilation
  • Inhaled respiratory gases such as nitric oxide therapy
  • Renal replacement therapies
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

The Pediatric Critical Care service is the primary service responsible for the management of all medical admissions to the PICU. A unique and strong collaborative relationship with our surgical colleagues enables our team to be integrally involved in every aspect of the hour-to-hour management of all trauma and surgical patients in the PICU.

Up to 10 full-time and three part-time board certified critical care attendings staff the intensive care unit at all times. Recent evaluation of patient outcomes comparing PICUs nationwide demonstrated that the Penn State Children's Hospital pediatric intensive care unit's severity of illness adjusted mortality to be amongst the highest in the nation which allows for a quite expansive clinical experience for physicians in training.


Faculty and fellows in the PICU are committed to excellence in patient care, and this includes conducting research to improve the care we provide. 

Members of our division are active participants in several key centers at Penn State Hershey, and our faculty and fellows have been fortunate enough to work in the labs of established researchers.

Members of our division are leaders in several national and international research consortiums and advocacy programs. As a fellow, you’ll have the opportunity to observe and participate in the activities of these programs:

  • PALISI (Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators)
  • EPIC (Education in Pediatric Critical Care)
  • PALICC (Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference)

Our faculty have the following research and clinical interests:         

  • Gary Ceneviva - Post-op cardiac critical care, shock, ethics/palliative care
  • Theodore DeMartini - Process improvement, quality and safety
  • Michael Dettorre - Chronic home mechanical ventilation
  • Scott Halstead - Immune modulation
  • Robert Kavanaugh - Clinical Pharmacology
  • Conrad Krawiec - Use of technology in medical education and clinical care
  • Steve Lucking - Septic shock, outcome measures/quality improvement, bronchoscopy, make-A- Wish regional representative
  • Toah Nkromah - Global health and advocacy, public health masters, psychological impacts of critical care
  • Neal Thomas - Acute lung injury, surfactant proteins, genetic epidemiology
  • Adrian Zurca - Education, medical simulation, communication

Our faculty members are involved in patient advocacy programs. Fellows may have the opportunity to participate in the activities of these programs.

Ecuador Mission Program

In the second and third year, fellows may have the opportunity to participate in the Penn State Children's Hospital annual mission trip to Guayaquil, Ecuador with a team of pediatric heart surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, perfusionists, nurses, and students. The goal of this trip is to assist in carrying out life-saving heart surgery for Ecuadorian children.  

The Children’s Hospital team provides guidance and support in needed pre-operative and post-operative care. As a fellow, you’ll have the opportunity to integrate your understanding of the complex world of congenital heart physiology in a developing country with different and limited resources.

You’ll also have the chance to get involved in the following organizations:

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State Cancer Institute
Penn State University