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Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship

PCCM Division Chief:  Robert Clark, MD

Fellowship Program Director: Melinda F. Hamilton, MD, MSc

Fellowship Associate Program Director: Dana Furhman, DO, MS


History and Overview

Dr. Peter Safar, widely considered "The Father of CPR" was appointed Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1961 and subsequently launched the world's first critical care medicine training program, initially focused on the care of adults. The Multidisciplinary Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) was established in 1969 and was one of the first pediatric ICUs (PICUs) in the US. The first fellow in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) at CHP completed training in 1973.  Since then, over 100 fellows in PCCM have been trained here.

In 2009, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) of UPMC moved 2.5 miles from the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh to its current location in the neighborhood of Lawrenceville. Since the early 1980s, critical care at CHP has grown from a single 10 bed ICU to 79 critical care beds across three separate units: the Pediatric ICU (36 beds), Cardiac ICU (12 beds), and Neonatal ICU (31 beds). Dr. Ann Thompson directed the fellowship program for 21 years, from 1981 to 2002. Dr. Robert Clark directed the program from 2002 to 2009. Dr. Scott Watson was program director from October 2009 to August 2014. Since 2014, Dr. Melinda Hamilton has been the Program Director, with Dr. Dennis Simon serving as Associate Program Director.

The PCCM Fellowship Program is accredited by the ACGME and contains two fellowship training program tracks: 1) a three-year program in PCCM, with 14 fellows and 2) a one- to two-year program in pediatric cardiac critical care, with up to two fellows. In both, the fellowship is to provide fellows with the knowledge, clinical experience and training to acquire the competency of a pediatric intensivist and to pursue an academic career. Opportunities for research and other scholarly work are diverse and extensive, as the majority of faculty in the division of PCCM have active research programs currently funded by the NIH. Fellows usually have 17 months dedicated to research and other scholarly activities.

We participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) for Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and accept applications via the AAMC’s ERAS program. We generally accept 4 to 5 new fellows per year.