Residents and fellows at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children play an active role in the numerous hospital departments and sections. Below are summaries of the department overviews of their involvement.

Section of Adolescent Medicine

The Adolescent Medicine Section provides clinical care in the following areas:

  1. Well person care for teens
  2. Consultative services for adolescent health problems
  3. A federally funded family planning clinic for teens. 

The faculty and nurse practitioners provide teaching and patient consultation to residents at all levels of training and a formal rotation in the second year.

Section of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics

The scope of the Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics Section covers the evaluation of behavioral abnormalities in children, assessing learning difficulties and screening children to identify developmental problems (including autism). 

In addition, residents gain experience in the follow-up program for high-risk infants with the autism evaluation team and observe evaluations with psychologists, speech, and hearing teams. 

Section of Cardiology

Members of the Cardiology Section see patients in St. Christopher's Heart Center for Children, along with staff from the Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Together, the sections provide services for the diagnosis and treatment of congenital and acquired diseases of the heart in children and young adults.

Services include an invasive electrophysiology laboratory, holter and transtelephonic monitoring, doppler and fetal screening services, and a program of diagnostic and interventional catheterization including digital imaging. 

Residents spend most of the rotation in the outpatient clinic, but may be involved with inpatient consults and as observers for cardiac studies or procedures.

Section of Clinical Genetics and Dysmorphology

This section offers a wide range of clinical and laboratory services in medical genetics. Clinical services include teratogen risk assessment as well as diagnosis and follow-up of children with genetic syndromes and birth defects. Genetic and prenatal counseling is available. Laboratory services are provided for chromosome analysis of peripheral blood, bone marrow, solid tumors, skin, and amniotic fluid.

The resident on elective participates in the evaluation, testing, management, follow-up, and counseling of patients (and/or their families) representing a broad spectrum of clinical genetic problems. Responsibilities include care of hospital patients on the genetic service and consultation on patients with genetic problems admitted on other services. Consultation service is provided to other hospitals in the Delaware Valley.

Section of Critical Care

The Section of Critical Care at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is committed to excellence in clinical care, education, and research. 

In addition to providing family-focused clinical care of a high-quality, educational opportunities in clinical care and research for medical students, pediatric residents and subspecialty fellows are provided along with mentorship.  

The Section of Critical Care oversees a wide range of programs and services available at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, including:

  • Pediatric Critical Care Services, which are provided in the 33-bed clinical areas in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CCU), and Pediatric Burn Unit
  • An ACGME-approved fellowship program in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
  • Rapid Response Team
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Palliative care services
  • Painless pediatric procedural sedation services 
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolic Disorders

This Section provides comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services for children and adolescents with endocrine disorders or metabolic disorders, such as hypoglycemia, diabetes mellitus, various types of rickets, and selected inborn defects of carbohydrate, amino acid, and urea cycle metabolism.

The Section offers an elective rotation for pediatric residents. This training experience provides the resident with the background to diagnose and manage endocrine diseases and to understand the physiology of hormonal regulation in childhood and adolescence.

Section of Gastroenterology and Nutrition

The Gastroenterology and Nutrition Section provides consultative and diagnostic services for children with a variety of gastrointestinal, hepatic, and nutritional disorders. A wide spectrum of conditions is seen on both inpatient and outpatient services and includes children with inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption, peptic disease, neonatal jaundice, intestinal failure, failure to thrive, and disturbances of gastrointestinal motility.

The GI Diagnostic Laboratory offers diagnostic and therapeutic modalities including gastrointestinal endoscopy, upper and lower GI manometry, intraesophageal pH monitoring, hydrogen breath testing, and interventional endoscopic procedures. Residents can complete an elective with the GI faculty; they provide care in on-campus and off-campus outpatient clinics as well as on the inpatient services. 

Section of General Pediatrics

This Section has the principal responsibility for the organization, oversight, and evaluation of the general pediatrics curriculum in the outpatient setting. Comprehensive sick and well care is provided in our Center for the Urban Child, as well as the Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs. In addition to direct participation in the day-to-day supervision of medical student education, the practice group has direct involvement in the daily education of pediatric residents in General Pediatrics. Attending physicians have clinical and research expertise in multiple areas, such as food insecurity, trauma-informed care, breastfeeding and newborn medicine, mental health, and literacy.

Section of Hematology/Oncology

The hematology/oncology team is a dedicated mix of physicians, doctoral-level scientists, nurse clinicians, nurses, social workers, and play therapists who work together to provide clinical care, research, and family support for children under their care.

Hematologists provide medical care for children with hemoglobinopathies, congenital and acquired anemias, and white cell and coagulation disorders. The Hematology Section has programs for both sickle cell anemia and hemophilia.

The oncology team follows children with leukemias and solid tumors and is a full member of the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG).

In the pediatric hematology/oncology rotation at St. Christopher's, residents learn to diagnose and manage various hematologic and oncologic disorders in infants, children, and adolescents in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Our established research program is a crucial part of the training program, with externally funded research in the areas of platelet-endothelial cell biology, hemophilic arthropathy, and sickle cell anemia.

Section of Immunology

This Section provides consultation or continuing care in the diagnosis and management of possible or diagnosed defects in natural resistance and the immunologic aspects of other diseases.

Section faculty also conduct a comprehensive multidisciplinary program of care and support for, as well as research on, children affected by HIV and their parents as part of the Philadelphia Pediatric AIDS Demonstration Project and Philadelphia Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Unit. Infants of HIV-infected mothers are followed from birth.

Because this program helps keep hospitalization of HIV-infected children and adolescents to a minimum, residents may select the immunology elective to gain significant experience with this disease. The elective offers residents the opportunity to participate in the intensive multidisciplinary outpatient care of these children. Residents will also learn techniques used in national clinical trials, read about and discuss aspects of clinical immunology or pediatric HIV infection, and conduct a more in-depth study of one aspect of special interest.

Section of Infectious Diseases

The Section of Infectious Diseases provides comprehensive consultation services for the evaluation and treatment of children with infectious diseases. Among the assets of the program are the variety of clinical material, faculty commitment to patient care and teaching, as well as to research, and full-service laboratories with academic directorship.

The microbiology and virology laboratories at St. Christopher's have doctoral-level directors who are integral to the patient care, teaching, and research program of the Section and the institution.

Research activities of faculty include investigation of the biology and epidemiology of special pathogens, mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, rapid diagnosis of viral infection, vaccines and vaccine-preventable disease, and infection in hospitalized children and in compromised hosts. Residents are encouraged to participate in faculty research projects.

Section of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine

The Section of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine provides a comprehensive program of care for newborns at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Approximately 300 neonates are transported annually from Delaware Valley area hospitals to St. Christopher's, many of whom require the tertiary care of pediatric surgical and medical subspecialists. Our newborn care at Temple provides routine as well as high-risk delivery room experience.

Residents play an integral part in the nursery services at both institutions. At St. Christopher's, pediatric residents are the primary caregivers for the infants in the NICU under the guidance and supervision of fellows in neonatal-perinatal medicine, the Neonatology faculty, and the medical and surgical attending subspecialists. At the Temple site, residents will attend all the high-risk deliveries and learn the principles and practice of neonatal resuscitation.

Research involvement of the faculty and fellows provides additional breadth to the learning experience of pediatric residents. Interests of the Section include the investigation mechanisms for brain injury in the neonatal animal model, including the role of hyperoxia, hypoxemia, hyper- and hypo-carbia, the effect of dexamethasone on the developing central nervous system, the role of cytokine-mediated brain injury, HIV transmission and therapy, and thymic modulators in the severe combined immunodeficient animal model.

The Section offers a three-year accredited fellowship training program in neonatal-perinatal medicine with three fellows each year.

Section of Nephrology

The Section of Nephrology provides immediate and long-term care in the evaluation and treatment of children with acute and chronic renal disease, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, hypertension, and all types of fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base disturbances. We have an active pediatric dialysis and renal transplantation center. 

Educational opportunities for the resident include daily rounds, outpatient and didactic conferences, journal club meetings, and conferences with the Urology Section and Department of Radiology to provide evaluation and care of a wide range of urological problems.

Section of Neurology

The Neurology Section provides comprehensive diagnostic services and therapy for acute and chronic disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Pediatric neurologists evaluate both common symptoms, such as headache syndromes, school failure, and developmental failure, as well as unusual diseases including seizures, neuromuscular abnormalities, coma, and metabolic encephalopathy.

The Neurology Section conducts several specialized clinics. The Pediatric Epilepsy Program focuses on the investigation and design of therapy for patients with seizures. The program includes standard EEG, ambulatory EEG, video EEG, direct corticography, neurophysiologic investigation, and surgical intervention by a neurosurgeon who specializes in epilepsy. Other programs include a metabolic center for therapy of phenylketonuria (PKU) and neuromuscular clinic.

Through the format of daily rounds with the attending child neurologist and participation in conferences, residents gain experience in the application of neuroscientific principles to clinical problems.

Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

The Section of Emergency Medicine provides emergency care for ill or injured children. The Department sees approximately 70,000 children annually with a wide variety of medical and trauma-related emergencies. As part of a tertiary care pediatric hospital with a complement of pediatric subspecialty consultants, the patient population includes many children with chronic medical conditions. The Emergency Department is staffed 24 hours a day by physicians trained in pediatric emergency medicine.

A comprehensive education program in pediatric emergency medicine for residents includes case conferences, radiology conferences, lecture series, and procedures workshops. 

The program includes fellowship training for physicians who have completed pediatric residencies or who have residency training in emergency medicine. Fellows and residents participate with attending pediatric emergency physicians in research activities, which include toxicology, asthma management, rehydration, and pediatric injuries.

Section of Pulmonology

As one of the largest pediatric pulmonary and cystic fibrosis centers in the nation, the Pediatric Pulmonology Section at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children offers rich clinical experience and research opportunities to residents.

The Section provides a bronchopulmonary dysplasia service, apnea, and sleep-related disorders evaluation, fiberoptic bronchoscopy, sweat testing, advanced pulmonary function testing for infants and children, exercise testing, home mechanical ventilation, emergency outpatient consultations, medical-surgical thoracic evaluations, and intensive respiratory care.

Residents have ample opportunity to participate in the management of patients with diverse pulmonary problems as they are cared for in the outpatient office, the inpatient unit, and as consultations in the Intensive Care Units.

Residents also gain experience in the indications, performance, and interpretation of procedures such as chest roentgenograms, standard pulmonary function tests, provocative tests of airway reactivity, infant pulmonary function testing, bronchoscopy, lung scans, tracheostomy care, endotracheal intubation, and mechanical ventilation.

Section of Rheumatology

The Section of Rheumatology provides comprehensive consultative services, as well as immediate and long-term care, for the evaluation and treatment of children with a wide spectrum of rheumatic diseases. 

The Section provides an elective rotation for residents, which allows the resident to act as primary consultant to the busy outpatient and inpatient services. Daily rounds provide an opportunity to discuss specific patients, and once a week, certain clinical problems are presented in more formal discussions. 

Section staff involved in ongoing clinical research invite the interested resident either to participate throughout the year, or to complete a relevant literature search on a particular clinical problem while on rotation, with the ultimate intent of publishing his or her experience in a peer-reviewed journal.

Department of Anatomic Pathology

The Anatomic Pathology Department examines many surgical cases per year and conducts autopsies. Visiting pathology residents or fellows share responsibility to perform work in these areas and actively participate in regularly scheduled general pediatric conferences.

Department of Anesthesia 

Pediatric anesthesia at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children provides a comprehensive and challenging educational experience. The Department's pediatric anesthesia fellows, visiting anesthesia residents, pediatric residents on elective at St. Christopher's, and nurse anesthesia students are closely supervised by board-certified anesthesiologists who have specialized in both pediatric anesthesia and pediatric critical care. About half of the procedures requiring anesthesia at our hospital are routine, while the other half involve children with complex medical problems.   

The Department also offers training in managing problems that occur in the recovery room, in the critical care units, and resuscitation throughout the hospital.

Department of Radiology

The Department of Radiology provides a wide range of pediatric imaging services including general diagnostic radiology, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, angiography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Interventional radiographic services include assistance for organ biopsy (e.g., renal cyst aspiration, percutaneous nephrostomy).