St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is a 188-bed pediatric facility affiliated with Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. St. Christopher's Hospital for Children provides primary, secondary, and tertiary pediatric care for an extended referral area in the region. St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and has the only dedicated pediatric burn center in the region.

More than 10,000 anesthetics are administered each year to children of all ages, surgical conditions and severity of illness. All surgical subspecialties are represented, including cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, plastics surgery, urology, orthopedic surgery and major craniofacial surgery. Additionally, we also provide sedation and anesthesia for children undergoing diagnostic and interventional radiology procedures. 

The Department of Pediatric Anesthesiology consists of a total of eleven board-certified full-time employed anesthesiologists.  All of the faculty members have received additional training in pediatric anesthesia subspecialty. In addition the department also has a total of 10 full-time employed certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) to complement the practice.

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children serves as the primary site for pediatric anesthesia residency training for anesthesia residents from Hahnemann University Hospital and an additional pediatric anesthesia training site for Temple University Hospital residency programs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The operating rooms experience at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children has an excellent mix of routine and complex cases, and provides an efficient environment for trainees to refine their clinical skills. 

The size of the program (2 fellows per year) allows close interaction with the faculty and a well-rounded case mix. Our program is known for providing a friendly and supportive atmosphere with a high degree of fellow satisfaction. Graduates of our program have chosen a wide range of career paths from academic practice to private practice.

The Fellowship Program has been accredited by the ACGME since 1999 to provide fellowship training for residents. It has since excelled in its goal to provide the trainee with the necessary skills and experience to safely deliver anesthesia to children from birth through adolescence with a full spectrum of all childhood disorders. 

Department of Pediatric Anesthesiology Mission 

The Department of Anesthesiology shall provide:

  • Safety and comfort to all patients requiring general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or monitored anesthesia care for surgical and diagnostic procedures and to patients requiring pain relief
  • Mechanisms and material to help non-anesthesiologists provide a uniform quality of anesthesia services throughout the hospital when sedation/analgesia is used in a way that may result in the loss of the patient's protective reflexes
  • A high-quality continuing education program in Pediatric Anesthesiology to staff, fellows, resident physicians, nurses, and medical students
  • Teaching and research opportunities leading to the publication of findings in the field of Pediatric Anesthesiology
  • Continuous quality improvement that is acceptable to accrediting agencies and consistent with ASA Policies and Procedures
  • An ethical practice of Anesthesiology consistent with the ASA Guidelines for the Ethical Practice of Anesthesiology.
Video: Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship

Video: Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship

Program Interviews with Dr. Roy Schwartz, Program Director

Overview of the Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship Program

The fellowship training program in Pediatric Anesthesiology at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children offers a one-year program to residents and trainees.  Our program accepts two first year fellows each year.  This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  
Dr. Roy Schwartz is Director of the Department of Anesthesiology and Dr. Pravin Taneja is the Fellowship Training Program Director. 
This training is intended to provide a wide-ranging experience that will allow the trainees to acquire and maintain knowledge and skills necessary to provide excellent care to children in the perioperative period.  Our goal for the fellow candidates is to understand pediatric physiology, pharmacology, behavior, surgical emergencies as well as being familiar with the pediatric airway equipment and perioperative and postoperative pain management.
The primary goal of the subspecialty program in Pediatric Anesthesiology fellowship is to provide fellows with maximum opportunities to contribute to optimal patient care while developing the knowledge, judgment, and skills expected of an academic pediatric anesthesiologist on the Medical Staff of a tertiary care children’s hospital.  Fellows are expected to become proficient in the anesthetic care of neonates, infants, children, and adolescents undergoing a wide variety of surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures. Fellows are also expected to get an understanding and excel in the areas of pediatric pain management, regional anesthesia, critical perioperative care, and advanced life support in kids. 
In addition, the fellows are also expected to develop capabilities in teaching, administration, and research to complement patient care.
The Goals & Objectives of the fellowship training programs are subdivided into:

  1. Educational Curriculum involves the learning of medical knowledge.  This curriculum (including Research) also incorporates the significance of Practice Based and System Based learning and improvement along with Communication Skills and Professionalism. 
  2. Clinical Care Curriculum involves activities of care of the Pediatric patient in the Operating Room, In-patient hospital units and Critical Care Units.  It addition the Clinical Competence Curriculum recognizes the Cognitive (content) material, Psychomotor skills, Affective (Psychosocial) and behavioral aspect of learning and treating children.
  3. Didactic Learning Curriculum is represented by the involvement in lectures, seminars conferences and problem based learning discussion activities.
  4. Administrative Curriculum highlights the understanding and management of the available resources in a wide variety of settings and participation in Continuous Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement programs in the institution.

To meet these goals, the program exposes fellows to a wide variety of clinical problems in pediatric patients. These goals are achieved through mix of general core rotations and specialty rotations 

General Core Rotation consist of seven months on the general pediatric anesthesia service and provides experience in the management of infants and children with congenital anomalies, major orthopedic surgery, organ transplantation, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, ENT surgery, dental procedures as well as all routine general pediatric surgery cases.
The specialty rotations include:

  • Two months on cardiac anesthesia service 
  • One month on the critical care service 
  • One month on neonatal care service 
  • One month of pediatric regional and pain management services

Additionally, the fellows rotate through several other pediatric assignments over the course of their training year, which are distributed mostly during the General Core rotation. They include:

  • PACU Rotation
  • Pre-Operative Ambulatory clinic
  • Pediatric off-site anesthesia (MRI, Nuclear medicine, CT)
  • Pediatric burn rotation
  • Fiber-optic bronchoscopy rotation
  • Pediatric interventional cardiology
  • Simulation center
  • Research and related non-clinical activities

Over the period of the training year the fellows gain a progressively greater supervisory role in the Operating Rooms.  They oversee either the residents or the student nurse anesthesia students.  They also provide consultations, deliver lectures, and lead conferences and journal club meetings under the supervision of the faculty.  The overall educational goals and objectives of the pediatric fellowship program are to provide advanced training and education in this particular subspecialty of anesthesia and the opportunity to engage in clinical work towards becoming a successful and competent attending.  Each year, the fellow is allotted four weeks for vacation time.

Upon successful completion of the fellowship training year the fellow will be able to: 

  • Perform appropriate pre-anesthetic evaluation of a pediatric patient requiring anesthetic care.
  • Provide perianesthetic care of pediatric patients undergoing all types of surgical and diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
  • Evaluate pediatric patients in pain and prescribe management modalities to treat these issues.

The Pediatric Anesthesia fellows are expected to achieve all the competency based learning goals and objectives outlined by the ACGME.

Educational Opportunities

There is a strong commitment by the department faculty towards fellow education. The Pediatric Anesthesia fellows undergo a vast array of educational and clinical learning didactic activities arranged and structured throughout the year to enhance their clinical training.  A comprehensive educational program is designed to include conferences addressing many facets of pediatric anesthesia. These activities include morning lectures, assigned readings, seminars, self-directed learning module, pre-operative conferences, small group discussion, online module, journal club meetings, case discussions, weekly fellow lectures, one-on-one mentoring, Morbidity and Mortality conferences, Grand Rounds, etc. 
In addition, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children offers a comprehensive Core Curriculum for education of the fellows.  This core curriculum satisfies the American Board of Pediatrics requirement for fellow education, including statistics, research design, manuscript writing, ethics, evidence-based medicine, business of medicine, professionalism, principles in teaching, health care economics, health law, and much more.
These lectures cover most of the clinically important topics in Pediatric Medicine and Pediatric Anesthesia. At these meetings, the Pediatric Anesthesia fellows are able to interact with their peers/fellows from all of the other disciplines. By having joint educational meetings with fellows from other programs in Philadelphia, the fellow’s experience is enriched. 

Clinical Opportunities 

 The Clinical resources that are made available to the fellows are as follows:  
At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children we perform more than 10,000 cases per year, which includes all the medical and surgery specialties.  Being located in the city of Philadelphia we have a wide variety and mix of population from all walks of society with varied socioeconomic backgrounds.   This provides a rich mix of clinical experience. 
The NICU at St. Christopher’s Hospital (Level IIIC) is a regional resource caring for babies referred for specialized treatment from hospitals throughout the tri-state region. All types of patients are accepted including those who require management of complex medical problems, surgical intervention, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery and ECMO.  
In addition, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is the regional Burn Center and Level I Trauma Center.  This exposes the pediatric anesthesia fellows to the intraoperative and postoperative management of infants and children who have experienced severe trauma or burns. These features collectively provide a similar mix of patients enriching the clinical experience.    

Research Activity and Opportunities  

Research is important for the present and the future to improve care of newborns, children of all ages.  It helps us understand the disease processes that affect children.  
During their year of fellowship the Pediatric Anesthesia fellows are encouraged to participate and become involved in the research activities of the Department of Anesthesiology at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children which include a range of primarily clinical research. Research activity per se is not mandated or a requirement for completing the pediatric anesthesia fellowship program.  
The one year of fellowship curriculum is designed primarily to provide maximal clinical training and have limited opportunity for research activities.  There is no elective time set aside for research activities.  However, some non-clinical time can be allotted during the general core rotations to individuals who show interest in productive scholarly and research activity or interest in writing abstracts for national and international meetings and prepare manuscripts for publication in competitive scientific journals.  The anesthesiology faculty members would fully supports and assist each interested fellow to complete all projects and deadlines requirements for any scholarly activity.     
Many faculty members of the Department of Anesthesiology participate in collaborative research efforts either with other subspecialty departments or universities.  Fellows interested in some research may participate in these ongoing projects within the department to gain experience.
Examples of some of the current research activities include: 

  • A pharmacogenetic study of predicting perioperative opioid adverse effect
  • Operating room traffic control study
  • Parental presence effects
  • Retrospective study of intra-operative glucose monitoring
  • Multiple case reports and many more
  • Additionally, the Pediatric Anesthesiology fellows would be provided with up to three days of free time to attend local, regional, or national pediatric anesthesia meetings as part of their ongoing Continuing Medical Education. 


Roy Schwartz, MD, Director, Department of Anesthesiology; Associate Professor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Pravin Taneja, MD, Program Director; Assistant Professor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh 
Heather McClung, MD, Assistant Professor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania 
Yuri Shevchenko, MD, Assistant Professor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Lisa Fazi, MD, Clinical Associate Professor in Anesthesiology
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Mala Rastogi, DO, Assistant Professor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: Columbia Presybyterial medical center, NY
Emily Quiros, MD, Clinical Instructor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL
Colette Bellwoar, DO, Clinical Instructor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine

Lita Chen, MD, Clinical Instructor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine

Noelle Johansson, DO Clinical Instructor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine

Heather Parsells, MD Clinical Instructor in Anesthesiology
Fellowship Training: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Golshid Tazhibi, MD, Clinical Instructor in Anesthesiology

Current Fellows 

Kimberley Armbrecht, MD
Residency Training: Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia
Vivek Angadi, MD
Residency Training: St. Joseph’s Hospital, NJ 
Recent Graduates and Present Employment
2010 graduate
Ellen Basile, DO, Children’s Hospital, Oklahoma University, OK
2009 graduate
Laura Zeigler, MD, Monroe Carell-Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, TN

How to apply

You may apply online by downloading a PDF version of the fellowship common application form (coming soon).  Use the fill-able version of the application form and submit it via email. Alternatively, you could fill out the appropriate fields, then print and mail the application. Kindly mail the application to the contact listed below.
An application must be complete along with all necessary documents before a candidate is invited for an interview. 
To apply for a fellowship position, you must submit the following documents by email, regular mail or fax to the anesthesiology fellowship office:

  • Completed Fellowship Application form

  • A copy of your Curriculum Vitae

  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation - one from either the Chair or the Residency Program Director of the candidate's core anesthesiology residency (Letters addressed to Dr. Pravin Taneja)

  • USMLE Scores for Steps 1, 2, and 3 

  • A photocopy of your medical school diploma

  • A recent photograph

  • Copy of Dean's Letter and Medical Student Transcript 

  • Copy of results of all Anesthesia in-training examination scores  

  • Copy of ECFMG Certification (if applicable)

  • Contact Information

Inquiries and applications should be directed to:
Practice Manager
Department of Anesthesiology
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
160 East Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA  19134
Phone: (215) 427-5920
Fax: (215) 427-4339

Please contact the Program Director for any fellowship questions or concerns:
Pravin Taneja, MD 
Program Director, Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship
Department of Anesthesiology
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
3601 A Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Tel: (215) 427-5918
Fax: (215) 427-4339
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Drexel University College of Medicine
Eligibility Qualifications and Prerequisites for Fellowship Training 
Anesthesiology residents interested in the Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship are encouraged to apply.  Positions are open for our Fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology to candidates who will have successfully completed residency training in anesthesiology at an accredited (ACGME) training program and who will be board eligible or certified in Anesthesiology.  
Pennsylvania law requires all fellows to have successfully completed all three Steps of the USMLE prior to entering their fellowship. Therefore, to be placed on the NRMP match list, the applicant must have successfully passed all levels of the USMLE prior to the time the match list is to be submitted. 
Foreign Medical graduates who have satisfied the requirements listed above are invited to apply after they have successfully completed the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) process and have a valid certificate number; copies of these documents need to be provided with the application. Where applicable, the candidate needs to have a valid visa. The Hospital supports visas other than H-visas. After reviewing all of the information, the staff will contact competitive applicants to arrange an interview.     
NRMP Match Information
The St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Pediatric Anesthesiology fellowship program participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) process. 
The Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship Program interviews and accepts candidates on a rolling basis.  It is desirable for the candidate to begin the fellowship on July 1 of any year. Variable start dates are negotiable.