Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Service

The Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Service (DS) helps families and supports primary care physicians by identifying a child’s specialized medical needs while coordinating the best possible advanced treatment.

Based at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, the full-time staff of doctors provides consultative services for doctors whose patients have complex diagnoses.

The DS provides rapid access to a complete range of services within Children’s Hospital, including all subspecialty services and technologically advanced equipment and facilities.

Ambulatory Consultation Service

The service's doctors have a special interest in the diagnostic challenges of general pediatrics and specialize in:

  • Multisystem diseases
  • Complex single-system problems
  • Basic pediatric health problems

They have years of experience in diagnosing and managing a wide range of the most complex pediatric medical conditions. That experience complements the referring physician’s knowledge of the patient and offers a fresh perspective on what may be a challenging diagnosis and management.

Several DS members have had additional training as chief resident in prominent pediatric training programs throughout the United States.

Families or doctors should provide the child's medical records when seeing a doctor for outpatient care at the Paul C. Gaffney DS.

Hospitalist Program

Members of the DS are hospitalists for general pediatric patients whose doctors choose not to round at Children’s Hospital. They communicate with the referring doctor during and after the child's time in the hospital.

History of the Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Service

Paul C. Gaffney, MD, was the founding member of the Diagnostic Service. He was a native of western Pennsylvania who trained in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology.

Dr. Gaffney was legendary for his clinical skills, experience, and judgment. Other pediatricians called on him for advice on their challenging patients, and he always heeded their calls.

Eventually, the volume of referred patients expanded for both outpatient consults and inpatient management.

To help with this increase in cases, Dr. Gaffney recruited Drs. Thomas Gessner and J. Carlton Gartner to join him and form the service now known as the Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Service. Another integral member, Dr. Basil Zitelli, joined the team in 1978 and served as chief from 2002 to 2017.

The DS now includes 23 doctors who serve as general pediatric hospitalists and provide multiple outpatient services.

Paul C. Gaffney DS Requirements

The Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Service at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC requires referrals from primary care doctors or other Children’s Hospital specialists. Referrals for children enrolled in managed care insurance plans also may need approval from both their insurance provider and primary care doctor.

We must receive all required referral and authorization forms before the child's visit.

For accurate provider numbers or more information, call 412-692-5135.