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The Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the premier multidisciplinary training programs in the Southeast. The Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship is a three-year program accredited by the American Board of Pediatrics. The fellowship is designed to provide excellent educational opportunities, clinical training in all aspects of critical care, and strong research opportunities in both basic and clinical research, as well as quality improvement and medical education. About half of the three-year fellowship is spent in clinical training and half is spent on research. The first year of the fellowship places emphasis on clinical practice with specialized training rotations in pediatric anesthesia and pediatric pain. The second year is focused on research and growing clinical leadership responsibilities, while the final year is flexible and designed to provide individuals with clinical, research and educational opportunities to meet their educational and training needs. The primary clinical training takes place in a 20 bed unit which includes both a multi-disciplinary PICU and PCICU (Pediatric Cardiac ICU) located in N.C. Children’s Hospital on the UNC Medical Campus in Chapel Hill, N.C. NC Children’s Hospital is the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the region and has the only pediatric burn center and pediatric airway center in the state, providing fellows with unique patient populations and training opportunities.

About our Division

The Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in UNC’s Department of Pediatrics is comprised of thirteen faculty members with board certification in pediatric critical care, with additional faculty dual boarded in pediatric cardiology.

To learn more about the division, visit the Critical Care Medicine page. To learn more about our faculty and current fellows, visit the Meet the Team page.

Clinical Opportunities

The PICU is a state-of-the-art facility featuring private rooms for all patients, isolation rooms, and ample family support areas. It functions as a closed unit and uses nearly all forms of advanced life support technologies. The patients are separated into two-physician teams: PICU and PCICU (Pediatric Cardiac ICU). Our fellows rotate and lead both teams throughout their clinical training. The PCICU team is composed of PCICU faculty, PICU fellows, Cardiologists, Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Advanced Practice Providers.

The PICU has an active extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program with new state-of-the-art equipment that provides support for a wide variety of critical conditions in neonates and pediatric patients.

Designed to be multi-disciplinary, the team in the PICU also includes dedicated pediatric respiratory therapists, pediatric pharmacists, pediatric dietitians, child recreation therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social work. The close-knit relationship between the pediatric nursing and physician staff is consistently rated as excellent.

Fellows are directly involved in all aspects of clinical management and decision-making for PICU and PCICU patients. They also provide direct supervision and education to fourth year medical students and residents from pediatrics, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, as well as other departments.


UNC has pioneered a 360 degree evaluation methodology. Using this approach, the fellow is evaluated by attending physicians, nurses and themselves twice a year. These evaluations incorporate all aspects of the fellows training including: Clinical, Research, Education, Interpersonal and Administrative functions focusing on the core competencies. The Fellowship Director discusses the evaluation with each fellow, providing them with formal feedback.

In addition, the fellows evaluate the faculty and the program biannually to allow for continued advancement and improvement in the PCCM Fellowship.


At UNC, the PCCM Fellowship’s broad clinical training is heavily supplemented with an academic education curriculum that includes a mix of didactic and simulation-based learning. The didactic program includes multidisciplinary conferences with our neurosurgery, burn surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, pulmonary, nephrology, neurology, and pediatric general surgery colleagues. In addition, the core PCCM curriculum involves a recurring lecture series designed to cover core PCCM topics over a 12-month period including lessons on pathophysiology, evidence-based medicine, and new and upcoming therapies. The simulation training involves high-fidelity simulators to cover a range of topics from skills training to crisis management to difficult conversations at the bedside.

The PCCM Fellows at UNC also participate in a biannual ECMO/VAD course, an annual Ultrasound course, as well as a regional boot camp at the start of fellowship followed by a regional boot camp for senior fellows.

In addition to the conferences listed below, fellows are also mentored by PCCM faculty in delivering the core lecture series to residents rotating in the PICU and in facilitating simulation training. These experiences combine to provide a solid foundation to an academic career.

12:00pm PCCM Fellow Core Curriculum

  1. 1st Core Lectures
  2. 2nd White Board Sessions
  3. 3rd Ethics
  4. 4th Journal Club

2:30pm Cardiac M&M (once a month)
3:30pm Cardiac Cath Conference

12:00pm PCCM Fellow Core Curriculum

  1. 1st Cardiac Lectures
  2. Remaining Tuesdays Core Lectures

3:00pm PICU M&M (once a month)

12:00pm PCCM Fellow Core Curriculum

  1. 1st Fellow Meeting with Program Director
  2. 2nd Case Conference
  3. 3rd Simulation
  4. 4th Board Review
  5. Quarterly Pro-Con Debates

12:00pm Pediatric Schwartz Rounds (once a month)

8:00am Pediatrics Grand Rounds
2:30pm PCCM Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference (once a month)
4:00pm ECMO Quality Review (once a month)

12:00pm CT Surgery Professor Rounds (once a month)

Research Opportunities

The UNC Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship is designed to provide the best possible research opportunities for fellows. Recognizing the individual nature of each fellow, we have tailored several programs to achieve the goals defined by the individual fellow.

Critical care fellows are given extensive research opportunities in both clinical research and basic science research, as well as quality improvement and medical education with strongly protected research time.

In the first year, fellows are encouraged to participate in a clinical research project and are introduced to the diverse research opportunities within and outside of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. In the second and third years, extensive protected time is provided so that each fellow can complete their research requirements. Education and review sessions occur at least monthly and provide the fellows with a significant amount of opportunity for review.

The major focus of the research experience is to learn how to design a hypothesis-driven research project, acquire the necessary technical skills to test the hypothesis, analyze the data and present the work.

Each fellow’s research is developed and monitored by a Scholarly Oversight Committee comprised of at least three faculty with at least one PCCM faculty and other members with content specific expertise. All fellows’ research is expected to result in a first author peer reviewed manuscript in a high-quality medical journal.


If the clinical, educational and research opportunities available through our division interest you, we are happy to receive and consider your application.

All applications are handled through the ERAS system.

Interviews are scheduled from August through the fall prior to the AAMC Match

Application package required:

  • Current CV
  • Personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Questions and program inquiries can be directed to:

Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
417 MacNider Hall
CB# 7221
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7221
(919) 966-7495

Paul Shea, MD
Program Director

Stephanie Schwartz, MD
Associate Fellowship Director

Fellowship Program Coordinator
Phone: 919-843-1038
Fax: 919-843-7036