General Pediatric Surgery Fellowships
The Pediatric Surgery Training Program offers intensive and broad exposure to the practice of pediatric surgery over a two-year period. Candidates for the program are selected through the Pediatric Surgery Resident Matching Program.
To apply for residency at the Division of Pediatric Surgery please visit the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) website.
ACGME Accredited Fellowship
Our division is committed to training one fellow in pediatric surgery annually. The program has been cooperatively provided by the Johns Hopkins Medical Center and the University of Maryland for over 30 years. Both divisions of Pediatric Surgery perform more than 4200 operations annually and have a staff of 14 pediatric surgeons.
Under the direction of Johns Hopkins pediatric surgeon Samuel M. Alaish, M.D., the post-doctoral training program in Pediatric Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and University of Maryland Hospital is unique in concept because it utilizes the clinical population of two large university services for a broad clinical experience in pediatric surgery over the prescribed two years. Completion of the basic two-year program will qualify the trainee to take the examination for a “Certificate of Special Competence in Pediatric Surgery” which is given by the American Board of Surgery.
Candidates for the two-year program are selected through the Pediatric Surgery Resident Matching Program established by the American Pediatric Surgery Association. Selection is made approximately fourteen months prior to beginning the two-year program. Prerequisites for post-doctoral training in pediatric surgery include:
- Anticipated successful completion of an accredited general surgery residency, which qualifies the candidate for certification in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery.
- A completed ERAS application.
- Four letters of recommendation.
- Personal interviews with the staff at Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland.
- Participation in the Matching Program in Pediatric Surgery.
More About the Program
The pediatric surgical staff at the Johns Hopkins Hospital is under the direction of David J. Hackam, M.D., Ph.D., the Robert Garrett Professor of Pediatric Surgery and co-director of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. There are also full-time specialty surgeons in pediatric orthopedics, urology, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, plastic and cardiovascular surgery.
To complement the surgical staff, the medical staff comprises all subspecialties, including pediatric intensive care and neonatology at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
House staff coverage for the pediatric surgery service includes the Chief Resident (year 2) and Senior Resident (year 1) in pediatric surgery, two senior general surgery residents and two general surgical interns. In addition, third year medical students rotate as clinical clerks in pediatric surgery and fourth year medical students may elect a sub-internship in pediatric surgery.
To complement the team, we have seven nurse practitioners. The inpatient nurse practitioners work side by side with the Residents, Fellows and Attending’s caring for all patients on the Pediatric Surgery Service.
- Michelle Felix
- Kristin Wharton
- Sara Atwater
- Tina Fellner
- Meghan Shackleford
- Margaret Birdsong, our lead nurse practitioner, and Cathy Baldino attend outpatient surgical and wound clinics providing wound, ostomy, continence, surgical and post-operative care of the pediatric patient. They are also available for wound ostomy consultative services for the Children’s Center.
Debra Skultety-Robinson is the Pediatric Trauma and Burn Program Manager.
About the Pediatric Trauma Center
The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is designated by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) as a level one Pediatric Trauma Center and was recently re-verified in the fall of 2020. The Pediatric Trauma Center (PTC) treats patients less than and equal to 14 years of age arriving by EMS, and patients up to 17 years of age transferred from another facility.
The PTS has a tiered trauma activation system, which includes Alpha, Bravo, trauma consults and Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) traumas. In FY23, the multidisciplinary PTS treated 1075 injured patients. The adult and pediatric emergency departments share six trauma rooms; 4 rooms are adult-designated with pediatric capabilities, and 2 rooms are pediatric-designated with adult capabilities. All injured patients, regardless of stability, arrive through the PED in order for the PTC to complete primary and secondary surveys.
About the Pediatric Burn Center
The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center was designated by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) as a Pediatric Burn Center in 2006 and was recently re-verified in March of 2022. The Pediatric Burn Service treats patients less than and equal to 14 years of age arriving by EMS, and patients up to 17 years of age transferred from another facility.
The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is designated by MIEMSS to treat patients 15 years and older. In FY23, the multidisciplinary Pediatric Burn Service treated a total of 377 pediatric burn patients arriving through the Pediatric Emergency Department, many with subsequent admissions to JHCC.
Critically injured burn patients are managed in the 40-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, while other patients are managed on the 20-bed unit specifically designed for the care of burned children and their families.
Additionally, approximately 400 outpatient burned children are treated each year in the Pediatric Outpatient Burn Clinic located in the David M. Rubenstein Child Health Building.
The University of Maryland Hospital is a 1600-bed facility located near the Baltimore Harbor, with approximately 120 beds devoted to the care of children. Facilities include a pediatric intensive care unit (12 beds), a neonatal intensive care unit (35 beds) and age-determined wards (annual ER visits of 15,276 and annual outpatient visits of 39,023).
Pediatric Surgery at Maryland is a section in general surgery under the direction of Dr. Kimberly Lumpkins.
Dr. Eric Strauch, Dr. James Moore, Dr. Helena Crowley and Dr. Brian Englum provide general and thoracic pediatric surgical supervision. Dr. Lumpkins also provides pediatric urologic expertise. In addition, there are surgical subspecialists in plastics, cardiovascular and neurosurgery, and full-time subspecialists in pediatrics, neonatology, oncology, cardiology, neurology, anesthesia, pediatric radiology and pathology.
The first-year resident in pediatric surgery is the chief resident on the pediatric surgical service at the University of Maryland for three months. Their team consists of a general surgery resident, surgical intern and a senior pediatric resident.
Research facilities that are housed in the Preclinical Teaching Facility provide for the care of small and large animals as well as the sophisticated equipment necessary for fetal and newborn surgery in animals.
The first year of the training program is designed to expose the resident to general pediatric surgery and a number of surgical and pediatric subspecialties.
The first two months are spent at Johns Hopkins Hospital with an August rotation in the pediatric intensive care unit and a September rotation in the neonatal intensive care unit. A three-month rotation on the General Pediatric Surgery Service ends the calendar year. The first three months of the new year are spent as the Chief Resident in pediatric surgery at the University of Maryland Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Lumpkins and staff.
Patients admitted to the pediatric surgical service are evaluated and treated under the chief resident’s direction. Care of surgical patients in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units is the responsibility of the surgical house staff under the supervision of this chief resident in pediatric surgery. This resident is the initial contact for all surgical and pediatric consultations.
At the University of Maryland, the chief resident is responsible for house staff and student teaching on rounds and in the operating room. He/she organizes the weekly pediatric surgery conference and professors walk rounds as well as presentation of patients at the weekly General Surgical Morbidity and Mortality Conference, monthly Pathology Conference and monthly Radiology Conference.
The pediatric surgery faculty at the University of Maryland have active clinical and laboratory research projects and the chief resident is encouraged to participate in ongoing research or guided to begin an independent project.
During the last four months, the first-year resident returns to The Johns Hopkins Hospital as the senior resident in pediatric surgery. During this time, the senior resident may elect to rotate on the pediatric urology service under the supervision of Dr. John Gearhart, Chief of Pediatric Urology, on the pediatric gastroenterology service under the supervision of Dr. Maria Oliva-Hemker, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, or on other subspecialty services as elective at the time. The senior resident will otherwise assist the chief resident in clinical care on the ward.
The senior resident alternates night call with the chief resident, attends ward rounds and, in general, assists the chief resident in the management of the clinical pediatric surgical service. During this first year of training, the resident is encouraged to initiate and/or collaborate in clinical research activities.
The second year of the two-year program is a diverse clinical year as chief resident. The responsibility of the chief resident is to supervise and coordinate pre-operative and post-operative care of all children with surgical conditions in the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The chief resident renders direct surgical care to patients with problems in general pediatric, gynecologic, and all non-cardiac thoracic surgery. The chief resident coordinates patient care in the statewide regional pediatric trauma center and thus supervises the initial neurosurgical, orthopedic, plastic surgical and critical care for more than 1000 severely injured children each year.
The chief resident provides surgical consultation services for all divisions of the Children's Center and is thus involved in the general management of patients on the medical and surgical subspecialty services. They are the consultants for most surgical problems in the pediatric emergency room and outpatient clinics, particularly in the comprehensive childcare clinic where thousands of children are seen annually.
Overall management of surgical patients in the pediatric ICU and neonatal ICU is the primary responsibility of the chief resident and pediatric surgical house staff working with the attending pediatric surgeons, staff intensives and neonatologists who attend in these units.
Surgical patients in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) remain on the pediatric surgery service and are cared for by an integrated house staff. The responsibility for moment-to-moment ventilator adjustment and respiratory support is delegated to the pediatric intensive care residents, but the overall responsibility for the writing of medication orders and patient management, including cardiorespiratory support, remains with the pediatric surgery house staff. The physician of record is the Staff Pediatric Surgeon.
Neonatal surgical patients are managed in a combined medical and surgical newborn intensive care unit (NICU), which is supervised by full-time neonatologists. Direct patient management is rendered by the pediatric surgical service working with the pediatric house staff assigned to a particular surgical patient in the NICU. The pediatric surgical team is responsible for daily management decisions on these patients. There is consultative input from the neonatologists in the management of these patients and they serve in an important teaching capacity for the pediatric surgical house staff.
Teaching responsibilities of the chief resident include a weekly Surgical Indications Conference and a pediatric surgery core curriculum. Additional conferences include weekly pediatric grand rounds, surgery grand rounds, prenatal conferences (with the Neonatology, OB-GYN and Sonography personnel) and pediatric nutrition rounds as well as monthly trauma, burn and combined surgery/neonatology or PICU or radiology or pathology rounds.
Both the chief resident and senior resident share teaching responsibilities with the full-time surgical staff. House staff and student teaching on afternoon ward rounds, as well as weekly formal discussions for students, are the responsibilities of the residents in pediatric surgery.
To meet the individual training needs of the fellow in pediatric surgery, elective time can be arranged during either the first and/or second year in a number of disciplines. Urology experience during the regular training program includes renal/adrenal tumors, genitourinary trauma, hernia/hydrocele, undescended testicle, testicular torsion and the initial management of cloacae exstrophy. One month of intensive experience in pure pediatric urology (cystoscopy, diversion/undiversion and urethral surgery) can be scheduled with Dr. John Gearhart, Chief of Pediatric Urology, during the first year of training. Extended experience can be arranged beyond this rotation during the pediatric surgery residency.
Since 1965, a long line of talented and accomplished people have graduated from our fellowship. Notable alumni include:
- James Talbert - 1965
- Paul Colombani - 1983
- Richard Azizkhan - 1985
- Francisco Cigarroa - 1993
- Jessica Kandel - 1995