The Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care is pleased to offer an ACGME-accredited one-year fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesia at Comer Children’s Hospital, part of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Comer Children’s Hospital, a free-standing, 172-bed acute-care facility, has been providing family-centered, comprehensive, state-of-the-art care since opening its doors in 2005. As a major tertiary academic referral center and a pediatric Level I trauma center, Comer provides care for children of all ages, from premature neonates to older adolescents, who present with all types of medical problems, ranging from the common to the rare and complex. Comer Children’s Hospital is also committed to serving the community and provides care to many Medicaid patients and to those without insurance.
Our program offers a substantial clinical anesthesia experience, from routine pediatric surgical cases to a full range of pediatric surgical subspecialties, including neurosurgery, craniofacial, cardiac, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, orthopedic, urology, plastic, burn, trauma, and transplant surgery, as well as experience in pediatric critical care, neonatology, and pain management. We have five operating rooms in which over 4000 surgical cases are conducted annually. Anesthetic care also occurs outside the operating room for diagnostic and therapeutic medical procedures, as well as in the cardiac catheterization lab, interventional radiology, and imaging suites.
We offer a single fellowship spot annually through the NRMP Subspecialty Match. Continuously accredited by the ACGME since 2008, our program provides the fellow with broad, in-depth knowledge and experience in all aspects of pediatric anesthesia. The fellow enjoys a diverse patient population and a wealth of challenging cases and trains with an active group of board-certified faculty who are strongly committed to teaching, education, research, and leadership. Our program is built upon a long tradition of academic and clinical excellence maintained by the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, and prepares our graduates to become outstanding consultants in pediatric anesthesia.
The majority of training takes place at Comer Children’s Hospital, with the exception of two one-month subspecialty rotations at Lurie Children’s Hospital located in Chicago. In addition to providing additional experience in cardiac and pain management, this affiliation allows the opportunity to practice at another children’s facility and ACGME-accredited program.
Our program allows for the fellow to assume graduated responsibility and progressive autonomy as the year progresses, with opportunities for teaching and supervision of junior trainees as well as in practice management. At the beginning of the year, the fellow shares call responsibilities with the rotating residents at Comer. Towards the end of the training year, depending on individual progress, the fellow takes on a supervisory role in the OR. By this point, the fellow does not take formal call but is notified for educationally valuable after-hours fellow-level cases.
7 months Comer Operating Room
1 month Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia at Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago
1 month Pediatric ICU
1 month Neonatal ICU
1 month Pediatric Pain at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago
20 days Vacation (during Comer OR months)
During the Comer OR months: Post-Anesthetic Care Unit – 5 days Pediatric Sedation Service rotation – 1 week
Academic time (during Comer OR months): 10 days minimum
Conference time: 5 days
Elective time may be arranged with prior approval of the program director and is dependent upon satisfactory progress with training requirements.
Pediatric Anesthesiology Faculty
Ellen Choi, M.D.
Program Director, Assistant Professor
Caitlyn Aveyard, M.D.
Julianna Clark-Wronski, M.D.
Dennis Coalson, M.D.
Yulia Demidovich, M.D.
Leili Khorassani, M.D.
Sarah Nizamuddin, M.D.
Elizabeth Starker Pealy, M.D.
Zheng (Jimmy) Xie, M.D.
The fellowship didactic program includes a defined year-long lecture curriculum on core topics in pediatric anesthesia, as well as Fellow Journal Club every 1-2 weeks, which serves as a review of the primary literature within the field of pediatric anesthesia.
The fellow also participates in the Midwest Pediatric Anesthesia Simulation Bootcamp which is held annually at Milwaukee Children's Hospital. Additionally, the fellow is welcome to attend weekly Wednesday morning Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Grand Rounds, with CME credit available. Departmental M&M, as well as CQI conferences, are part of Grand Rounds.
Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of available external conferences and didactics, including but not limited to GME seminars, surgical case conferences, and ethics and research lectures on campus.
The fellow is required to produce a scholarly project during the course of the training year. Past examples of academic projects include poster or oral presentations at regional or national conferences, published case studies, documentation of contributions to ongoing clinical research, CQI projects, book chapters, review articles, PBLD (problem-based learning discussion) presentations, and grand rounds presentations. Attendance and presentation of an abstract or PBLD at the winter/spring Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) conference is expected. The fellow is also required to participate in a CQI project. Many of the faculty in the pediatric anesthesia section and in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care have ongoing academic projects. The fellow also participates in organizing M&M conference for the pediatric section, holding Resident Journal Club for the rotating anesthesia residents, and presenting challenging cases for group discussion during resident conference.
The fellow enjoys numerous benefits through the University of Chicago and the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care (DACC).
Reduced Parking: The present fee for parking in the UCH parking facility is $35.00/month.
Leave: 20 days of vacation and 5 days of education leave a year.
Benefits: Included in the University’s Housestaff Handbook is information about health insurance, life insurance, retirement annuities, and leave benefits.
Educational Allowance: $1,500 travel allowance that may be used during the fellowship year to attend approved meetings, review courses, purchase textbooks, portion of exam fees, etc.
Extra Pay Opportunities: Fellow Call opportunities currently exist for fellows – typically, 4 calls a month are offered to the 7 Fellows and are split equitably throughout the year. In addition, Fellows have the opportunity to moonlight voluntarily as generalist attendings. These opportunities will be primarily from 5-8 pm on weekdays and during the daytime on weekends so as not to detract from the educational or clinical obligations of their respective subspecialty fellowships in a manner consistent with ACGME requirements.
Society Memberships: The department pays for the fellow’s membership in the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the AMA. If the fellow would like to put the society membership for the International Anesthesia Research Society on their education fund, they may. This membership includes: lARS, Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia, International Society for Anesthesia Pharmacology and Society for Technology in Anesthesia.
One fellowship position is offered annually through the NRMP Subspecialty Match. Fellowship begins July 1st but variable start dates may be negotiated depending on individual circumstances.
Applications for the 2023-24 academic year will be accepted January 1, 2022-May 31, 2022 through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). Only completed files will be reviewed, and interviews are by invitation only. Interview dates for this recruitment season are: Thursday, 4/7; Tuesday, 4/26; Wednesday, 5/4; Wednesday, 5/18; and Thursday, 6/2.
Candidates must have successfully completed training in an ACGME-accredited anesthesiology residency program and be board-eligible or board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology by the time fellowship training begins. A valid Illinois state medical license is mandatory prior to the start of fellowship training. Licensing information can be found at www.idfpr.com. Please be aware it may take several months for licensure. Compliance with all Human Resources policies of the University of Chicago Medical Center and the DACC is also required.
Required supporting materials to be submitted through ERAS:
USMLE I, II, III scores
Three letters of recommendation including one letter from your program director or department chairperson
Pediatric Anesthesiology Program Directors request that applicants:
- Please send your Basic Exam results to firstname.lastname@example.org
- In place of a personal statement on the ERAS application, applicants answer question #1 (below) as well as any two (2) of the questions #2a-2d. Please identify the question you intend to answer at the top of each answer.
What particular personal qualifications and characteristics will allow you to become an effective consultant in pediatric anesthesiology, and why is it important to you to become a pediatric anesthesiologist?
Please choose two of the following questions and answer each one. Please be sure to copy and paste the question you have chosen to answer just above each response.
2a. How will completion of a pediatric anesthesiology fellowship allow you to further your goals?
2b. Describe what you consider to be your most significant contribution or achievement, including the impact you made.
2c. Being a part of hospital leadership should be important to anesthesiologists. What role do you think you might take within the leadership structure of your future hospital?
2d. Describe a challenging situation in your life or career and what you learned from it.
Please direct questions to:
Theresa Cumming, Program Coordinator, Email: TCumming@dacc.uchicago.edu
Our Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship positions are filled through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). For information, please visit the website at www.nrmp.org.