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Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship Program

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Message from Program Director

Welcome to the Pediatric Pulmonology Fellowship at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center

It is my great pleasure to serve as the Pediatric Pulmonology Fellowship Program Director at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, the only quaternary referral children’s hospital in the lower Hudson Valley. Our magnificent children’s hospital is located on a beautiful wooded campus about 25 miles north of New York City. From its founding, our hospital has focused on truly family-centered care. Our mission is three-fold: state-of-the-art care to children and their families coping with the most complex disorders; first rate scholarly activity and research; and teaching.

This is a three year ACGME-accredited program designed to prepare our graduates to develop their career in whatever direction they wish, clinical practice or academic medicine. Many graduates have developed into superb physician-scientists. All attending physicians are on the Faculty of New York Medical College, and many of our fellows have performed scholarly activity that bridges clinical medicine, basic science, and public health. Fellows are encouraged to consider working towards their MPH during the training, as their required scholarly work product can be designed to meet both the requirements for an MPH and board certification in Pediatric Pulmonology.

We have 18 pediatric pulmonologists in our division, and we are referred between 30 and 50 new children each week for pulmonary consultation. Our program has many unique features. Our division includes Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, Immunology, and Sleep Medicine, which affords our trainees a very broad experience. We believe our fellow’s educational experience is significantly enhanced by our insistence that many patients are admitted and cared for directly by our Pediatric Pulmonology Service, not admitted to the General Hospitalist Service. We have a large Cystic Fibrosis Center, and as part of the CF Foundation Therapeutics Development Network, our center performs dozens of clinical trials and studies. Our fellows care for many children on home mechanical ventilation, including many children with Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS), with which we have particular expertise. All fellows devote time at Blythedale Children’s Hospital, a premier children’s rehabilitation hospital less than a mile down the road. This relationship affords our fellows experience caring for an extraordinary array of technology-dependent children with complex disorders. We are a member of the Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Network, and care for many children with PCD and other causes of non-CF bronchiectasis. A unique feature is that our division hosts the Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley, one of the few NY State centers of excellence in Environmental Pediatrics.

We are particularly proud of our didactic programs, with an extraordinary four or five division conferences scheduled per week. As a measure of our commitment to teaching, no faculty has scheduled clinical responsibilities during our conferences, which assures a large group adding their views and insights. Performance of scholarly activity is essential to our program, and we encourage fellows to choose projects that are meaningful to them. They can range from basic science projects in our pulmonary research laboratory, to translational and clinical projects, to epidemiology and quality improvement research.

I hope that the information on this website provides you with a helpful overview of our training program, details about our current curriculum and objectives for our fellows, the application process, and an appreciation of the many opportunities for professional and personal growth here at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center and New York Medical College. As you consider your choice of fellowship programs, we hope that your individual goals and priorities will find a good fit here at Westchester. As our fellows will tell you, I am always available to them, so if you have any questions about our program, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Sankaran Krishnan, MD, MPH
Program Director, Pediatric Pulmonology Training Program 
Director, Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Program 
Director, Pediatric Pulmonary Function and Exercise Laboratories
Associate Director and Director of Research, Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
 Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Public Health, New York Medical College
sankaran_krishnan@nymc.edu



Program Overview and Curriculum 

Description - Clinical Training  

The Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine Division of New York Medical College cares for the entire spectrum of respiratory disorders in patients varying from 500-gram neonates to adolescents and beyond. At least 15 of the 33 months of the fellowship will be spent primarily on clinical service. The bulk of the clinical experience will be in the faculty practice of New York Medical College and the inpatient facilities of the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.

The Pulmonology inpatient service at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital is one of the major strengths of the training program. WMC serves as the only tertiary care referral center located within an area of seven counties with a population of over three million. As the only Pediatric Pulmonology Division in the area, essentially all children requiring subspecialty services are referred to the division. The hospital has a stated policy to never turn down patients who need tertiary care. Each trainee will spend at least 15 months "on-service" during the three-year program. The daily inpatient census varies from seven to 17 patients. In addition, we average one to four new consults daily, many of which require daily follow-up. This includes patients in both the Neonatal ICU and Pediatric ICU. Therefore, the pulmonary service follows between eight and 20 patients daily.

Our service actively consults on many patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and most patients with significant respiratory disease are transferred to the pulmonary service when they no longer require intensive care. In addition, trainees may elect to spend up to eight weeks "on-service" In the PICU for a more intensive experience. During this time, Attending Physicians in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine will directly supervise the fellow.

Care of children with chronic respiratory diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia is an important part of clinical pediatric pulmonology. All fellows in our program will spend an average of 6 weeks each year participating in the care of children at Blythedale Children's Hospital, a superb children's rehabilitation hospital less than 100 yards from our campus. During this time, our fellows will become quite experienced with the management of technology-dependent children including children on chronic mechanical ventilation, children with tracheostomies and the respiratory care of a vast array of children with genetic, metabolic and neuromuscular disorders. For more information, visit www.blythedale.org.

In addition to an active inpatient service at WMC, each fellow will have scheduled office hours in the Faculty Practice, where he or she will follow their "own" patients with chronic respiratory disorders throughout their fellowship. This continuity of care is an essential part of the training, and is held in the Faculty Practice suite of the Department of Pediatrics.  Learn more

The Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine Division has a large outpatient ambulatory program, with approximately 10,000 outpatient visits per year. This translates into, on average, 120 patients per week in our outpatient facilities, of which approximately 20 - 30 are new. Essentially all patients are referred from their primary care physicians, and our Faculty cares for all children regardless of their health insurance status or their ability to pay.

1.  The clinical training will include experience in:

  • Asthma and Allergic Respiratory Disorders
    • Our division is by far the largest center for both inpatient and outpatient care of children with asthma and related disorders in the Hudson Valley region.
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
    • Our fellows and faculty follow all children with chronic lung disease who graduate from our own NICU as well as the other units in the region. Because of our special relationship with Blythedale Children's Hospital, one of the premier children's rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, our graduates are very experienced in the management of chronic ventilator-dependent infants.
  • Cystic Fibrosis
    • WMC is a designated Cystic Fibrosis Care Center of the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, with over 150 children and adults cared for by the Pediatric Pulmonary Division.
  • Pediatric Sleep Disorders
    • WMC has a beautiful, advanced four bedded sleep center, and our division interprets hundreds of pediatric sleep studies each year.
  • Infant Apnea and Disorders of Respiratory Control
    • WMC is a state-designated Infant Apnea referral center, with over 150 infants and children referred yearly for evaluation and management of apnea and central hypoventilation syndromes.
  • Pediatric Intensive Care
    • The 18 bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital is the only PICU in the seven county Hudson Valley Region. We transport all critically ill children from the region for tertiary care. Our pulmonary fellows are very involved in the management of patients in the PICU, including management of postoperative respiratory complications in children following surgery of all kinds, including neurosurgery and open heart surgery.
  • Neonatal Respiratory Disorders
    • The NICU of the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital is the only quaternary level NICU in the region. With 50 beds, our NICU offers all services including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The entire spectrum of congenital and acquired respiratory disorders of newborns is seen.
  • Lower Respiratory Infections
  • Pulmonary Reactions to chemical injury, multiple trauma and foreign bodies
    • WMC houses the only burn center in the region, and our fellows are regularly consulted in the management of children in the burn center.
  • Aspiration syndromes
  • Anomalies of the respiratory system
  • Pulmonary Disorders of Infants with cancer, both primary, and secondary to treatment
  • Pulmonary Disorders in Children with the entire spectrum of complex congenital heart disease, including chronic illness and postoperative management
  • Interstitial Lung Diseases, including disorders with infectious, immunological and collagen vascular etiologies
  • Technologically Dependent Children Including Home Ventilation
    • Our division manages hundreds of children living at home in the region on mechanical ventilation, with tracheostomies, or using noninvasive ventilatory assist including CPAP and BiPaP.

2.  Electives:

We are able to offer the following Elective experiences in the second and third year of the fellowship:

  •  Allergy Evaluation and Immunotherapy - Fellows will spend a two-week block in the outpatient office with one of our Allergy attendings in a one-on-one interaction and learn about administration of skin and in-vitro tests for inhaled and other allergens as well as interpretation of these tests. Approach to immunotherapy for respiratory conditions, administration and outcomes will be discussed.
  •  Intervetional Bronchoscopy - Fellows will spend a two-week block with our Adult Pulmonology Interventional Bronchoscopy colleagues and learn about advanced techniques including EBUS, transbronchial biopsies, cryo and other interventional bronchoscopy techniques.
  •  Ventilator Management - Fellows will spend a two-week block with our Pediatric Critical Care colleagues and learn about acute ventilator care management in different disease settings supplemented with didactics on optimal ventilator management and techniques.

3.  Educational Program

Our division has four hours of conferences per week. Each fellow is expected to attend and participate in the following division conferences:

  • Respiratory Physiology and Biology, 3/Month
  • Inpatient Clinical Review/M&M, Weekly
  • Journal Club, Monthly
  • Research Seminar, Monthly
  • Sleep/Apnea Conference,Quarterly 
  • Cystic Fibrosis Team Conference, Monthly
  • Pediatric Allergy/Pulmonary Conference, Monthly 
  • Pediatric Critical Care Conference Quarterly
  • Pediatric Pulmonary Conference for House Staff Monthly

Seminars are also designed by the faculty on statistics, research design, ethics of clinical research, and operational aspects of a pediatric pulmonology facility including the proper selection, maintenance and calibration of pulmonary function instrumentation. Sessions are also scheduled on medical writing, oral presentation skills and teaching programs.

Senior fellows are also expected to attend our monthly Cystic Fibrosis Center Quality Improvement Committee meetings.

In addition, fellows are expected to attend the Departmental weekly Grand Rounds.

The Pulmonary and Critical Care Division of the Department of Medicine has a full schedule of conferences, many of which are very applicable to Pediatric Pulmonology.

There is a steady schedule of basic science and research conferences in the many departments of the medical school participating in pulmonary research.

It is expected that each graduate of the training program will be skilled in teaching. Toward that aim, each fellow will be required to organize and deliver conferences to the division, the House Staff and to the Department with gradually increasing responsibility through the three years.

4.  Research Training

The research component of the program is given equal weight to the clinical program. A minimum of 15 months will be devoted to research during the three-year program. It is expected that the fellow will develop projects in both basic and clinical research, and follow these projects through until completion and publication. Since this is the main campus of the NYMC medical college, there is a wide spectrum of laboratory opportunities in lung biology. The amount of time protected for research will increase yearly, so that the bulk of the third year will be spent performing independent research. All of the division members are participating in research and there are many projects being pursued jointly with other divisions within the Department of Pediatrics and with other departments.

The fellow will meet with the program director frequently to help shape and focus the trainee’s research interests and design a program that is stimulating and productive. The goal is to have the research program tailored to the individual and organized so that the trainee can be productive as soon as the heavy clinical demands of the first year start to wane.

Fellows are encouraged to develop projects both at the bench in one of the many laboratories open to them, and at the bedside.

Each fellow is expected to develop at least one independent project, from inception all the way through to publication, with the fellow acting as first author (principal investigator.) In addition to intramural presentations of their work, fellows will be encouraged to present their data in abstract form in appropriate national and international scientific conferences in addition to submitting their data for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Our division is designated as a Therapeutics Development Center by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This extra level of accreditation assures that we have the opportunity to participate in all of the clinical trials in the CF Foundation pipeline. For more information, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation online.

Our division is also a designated Clinical Center of the PCD Foundation network, one of 12 in the country. This gives our fellows to participate in studies coordinated by the PCD Foundation. For more information, visit www.pcdfoundation.org.

5.  Pediatric Pulmonary Function and Exercise Laboratory

We have a complete advanced Pediatric Pulmonary Function and Exercise Laboratory. Each graduate of the training program will be able to set up a pulmonary lab, understand and maintain the equipment, perform all tests and interpret all results. This includes state-of-the-art testing of infants and young children.

6.  Flexible Bronchoscopy

We perform all pediatric flexible bronchoscopy services at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. Each graduate of the training program will be able to independently develop a pediatric bronchoscopy service.  Exposure to advanced techniques is offered through a structured elective in the third year.

7.  Childhood Sleep Disorders

Our division serves as a referral center for children with a wide range of sleep-related disorders. Each graduate of the training program will be accomplished in the evaluation of these disorders, including the design and interpretation of a wide range of sleep studies, including complete polysomnography.

8.  Children's Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley

Our division is home to the only Children's Environmental Health Center in the Lower Hudson Valley. Recognized and supported by the New York State Department of Health, our center has three missions:

  • Consultations for children with suspected or known exposures to environmental toxins.
  • Educational programs for physicians and other healthcare professionals, as well as for the community, dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of minimizing exposure of our children to environmental toxins and pollutants.
  • Research, which is vital to understanding the role of the environment in the health of children.

Facilities And Resources

The Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine division has a 18 physician faculty with a very wide range of clinical and research interests. This assures each trainee of the opportunity to be exposed to all facets of our field. Our faculty is currently involved in dozens of research projects, ranging from cell and molecular biology, clinical trials, and epidemiological research. Fellows may choose any of the faculty as mentors in research.

New York Medical College, which has been training physicians since 1860, is one of the largest medical schools in the United States. The main campus moved to Westchester from New York City over 15 years ago, and this move has sparked an extraordinary growth in both the research and patient care roles of the medical school. The Department of Pediatrics has likewise grown at a fantastic rate, with all subspecialists very well represented. There are huge opportunities for each fellow to interact with basic scientists and clinical scientists in all fields of medicine.

The School of Health Sciences and Practice of New York Medical College is a vital resource for our training program. In addition to strong statistical and epidemiological support, the faculty of the Institute for Public Health Health and our division faculty collaborate closely in our newly developed Children's Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley. Trainees are strongly urged to consider obtaining a Master of Public Health (MPH) while they are completing their fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology.

The Maria Fareri Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center is a major teaching hospital of New York Medical College. It serves as the only major referral center for the seven counties in the lower Hudson Valley, and has the highest “case-mix index,” which is a measure of acuity, in the state. Our helicopters bring children in daily from a very expansive geographic region. The focus is on tertiary and critical care. We are always at or above 100% census with transports of critically ill children occurring daily. In 2004, the magnificent Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center opened, and continues to expand in size and scope of programs offered. MFCH is dedicated to family-centered care and is a truly beautiful facility. All patients have private rooms and parents are encouraged to stay 24 hours a day. Learn more about Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.


Summary

The Training Program in Pediatric Pulmonology is a highly selective, rigorous and demanding three-year program designed to prepare pediatricians for an academic and clinical career in Pediatric Pulmonology. As a result, our fellows are very well prepared for the entire spectrum of professional positions available for board certified Pediatric pulmonologists.


Faculty

Sankaran Krishnan, MD, MPH
Program Director, Pediatric Pulmonary Training Program 
Director, Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Program
Director, Pediatric Pulmonary Function and Exercise Laboratories
Associate Director and Director of Research, Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Public Health
New York Medical College

Allen J. Dozor, MD
Chief, Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, Immunology and Sleep Medicine
Director, Armond V. Mascia, MD Cystic Fibrosis Center
Director, Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley
Associate Physician-In-Chief
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Public Health
New York Medical College

John Welter, MD
Associate Cystic Fibrosis Center Director
Armond V. Mascia, MD Cystic Fibrosis Center
Director, Quality Improvement
Director, Pediatric Interstitial Lung Diseases Program
Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, Immunology, and Sleep Medicine
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Lance Parton, MD
Co-Director, Neonatal ICU
Director of Neonatal Pulmonary Research
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Nadav Traeger, MD
Director, Pediatric Sleep Medicine and Pediatric Bronchoscopy
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Agnes Banquet, MD
Director, Pediatric Pulmonology Services
Blythedale Children’s Hospital
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology,
Assistant Director, Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Y. Cathy Kim, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology,
Associate Director, Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Nikhil Amin, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Diana Lowenthal, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology,
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Joseph Boyer, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology,
Director, Pediatric Pulmonology Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Program
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Suzette Gjonaj, MD
Director, Affiliate Cystic Fibrosis Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology,
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital 
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Subhadra Siegel, MD
Director, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital 
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Elizabeth de la Riva-Velasco, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Marilyn Scharbach, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Priya S. Prashad, MD
Associate Director, Pediatric and Adult Sleep Medicine
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Bindu George, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Physician, Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Yehudit Pollack, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Director, Undergraduate Education in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Christy Kim, MD
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Lisa Chan, DO
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Mili Shum, DO
Attending in Allergy and Immunology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine
New York Medical College

Alan Siedlecki, MD
Attending in Allergy and Immunology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine
New York Medical College

Jillian Hochfelder, MD
Attending in Allergy and Immunology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Lisa Paul, MD
Director, Adult CF Program
Armond V. Mascia, MD Cystic Fibrosis Center
Attending in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Westchester Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine
New York Medical College

Alison Lennox, MD
Associate Director, Adult CF Program
Armond V. Mascia, MD Cystic Fibrosis Center
Attending in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Westchester Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine
New York Medical College

Amy Brown, MD
Environmental Fellow, CEHCHV
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College

Daniel Krich, DO
Attending in Pediatric Pulmonology
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
New York Medical College


How to Apply

Applicants are eligible for the program if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have completed (or will complete by July 1st of expected start year) an ACGME-accredited residency program
  • Have passed all components of the U.S. Medical Licensure Examination, including:
    • Step 1
    • Step 2 (Clinical Knowledge)
    • Step 2 (Clinical Skills)
    • Step 3
  • Have fulfilled the eligibility requirements for certification by the American Board of Pediatrics

International applicants must also provide evidence of the following:

  • Certification by the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). Information on ECFMG Certification may be obtained at www.ecfmg.org
  • Successful completion of the ECFMG English Examination

Application Process and Requirements

To apply to our fellowship program, please complete an application through the ERAS, the electronic residency application service offered by AAMC. Apply here: www.aamc.org/services/eras-for-institutions.

We accept one to two new fellows each year. Applications are encouraged to be submitted 18 months prior to the start of training.

Please be sure to include the following items in your application:

  • ERAS Common Application Form
  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • At least three letters of recommendation, including one from your pediatric residency program director (More than 3 letters are encouraged.)
  • Medical School Dean’s letter (same as required for residency)
  • USMLE Scores Step 1, 2, 3
  • Board scores
  • Personal statement
    • We would appreciate a description of your clinical and research experience, your reason for an interest in Pediatric Pulmonology, and your career goals.
  • Research background/publications

A personal interview is required and will be granted to the most qualified applicants. We expect each applicant invited to interview to devote an entire day with us, usually a Friday. If Fridays are not possible, we can occasionally choose a different day. Interviews are usually scheduled from late August/early September to November. This year, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, all interviews will be held virtually.

Duration Of Training

A minimum of three years is required. It is expected that there will be a progressive development of clinical, teaching and research skills during the program.


Contact Us

Jen Luchetta
Office Manager/Fellowship Coordinator, Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, Immunology and Sleep Medicine Boston
Children’s Health Physicians, LLP
40 Sunshine Cottage Road
Skyline, Suite 1N-E29
Valhalla, NY 10595
914.594.2358
jennifer_luchetta@bchphysicians.org