Features of the PALS Program

Fully integrated with the traditional Pediatric Residency Program, the PALS Residency Program includes all didactic and clinical experiences required for the outstanding practice of clinical pediatrics.

PALS Residents Rotation Locations

Turtle Creek

PALS residents outside Continuity Clinic in Turtle Creek with Dr. LamborePALS residents have their weekly continuity clinic at the Primary Care Center in Turtle Creek. Turtle Creek is a neighborhood about 25 minutes from the main hospital. The Clinic truly has a “community clinic” feel, as most of the patients we serve live, work, and attend school in the neighborhood where our clinic is located. Clinic is under the mentorship of Dr. Sanjay Lambore, who has been practicing in this neighborhood for many years and is an asset to the community. Residents are able to build a strong continuity panel of patients here, serving an urban, underserved, and diverse population. In addition to “bread and butter” pediatrics i.e. well child checks and sick visits, residents also gain exposure to important psychosocial determinants of pediatric health including housing concerns, violence, poverty, and food insecurity through working in this clinic. Another benefit of this practice is The CHP Family Care Connection, located directly above the Turtle Creek Office, which helps connect patients and their families to important resources such as pre-school, mental health, and nurse family partnerships.

UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics – Armstrong

PALS interns separately spend six weeks at UPMC CCP – Armstrong, a practice about forty-five minutes north of Pittsburgh in Kittanning, PA. In this clinic they are able to strengthen important primary care skills in a more rural setting than Turtle Creek. In addition, part of the rotation is dedicated to working with pediatric mental health specialists, who are integrated into the pediatric practice. This opportunity provides exceptional mental health training and experience.

Coudersport Pediatrics

A PALS resident dressed up as Doc McStuffinsPALS second year residents travel together to Coudersport, PA, which is located about four hours from Pittsburgh. Residents learn important primary care skills and also assist in the newborn nursery and small inpatient service at the community hospital, UPMC - Cole Memorial. Living and working in this community further strengthens residents' skills and understanding of social determinants of health. The rotation is also supplemented with opportunities which enhance residents' education such as attending local MDT meetings, observing IU-9 classrooms, and participating in local community programs such as Parents as Teachers.

PALS Seniors

PALS senior residents have ten weeks to focus on specific career oriented rotations. Previous residents have rotated at the AAP Federal Affairs Internship Program in DC, Indian Health Service in Arizona, Global Health experiences in South America and Africa, Mental Health and Adolescent Psychiatry, and additional primary care experiences.

PALS Curriculum

In 2018 the PALS residents launched the PALS Curriculum. This gives PALS residents protected time together throughout the year to learn important leadership and advocacy skills, discuss readings on community health and engagement, and hear from guest speakers. Past speakers have included physicians who have an interest in community advocacy and community leaders in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

Community Involvement

PALS residents at Turtle Creek Human Services CenterPALS residents have the opportunity to work closely with a local organization, serving on the organization's Board. Through this experience residents will also volunteer, attend fundraisers, and promote awareness of the mission of their affiliated organization. These organizations include: The Women’s Center & Shelter, Adagio Health, A+ Schools, Hilltop Community Children's Center, and Amachi Pittsburgh.

Advocacy Opportunities

PALS residents at the 2018 AAP Legislative ConferencePALS residents have the opportunity to attend the PA AAP Day on the Hill in Harrisburg, PA and the AAP Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. Both of these opportunities empower residents with the skills to advocate effectively.

Where are they now?

  • Francesca Okolie, MD – graduated in 2017 is a NICU Fellow at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York
  • Tashya Whitehead, MD – graduated in 2017 is working in a primary care practice in Fresno, California
  • Jessica Price, MD – graduated in 2016 is working at Northside Christian Health Center, a primary care practice in the suburbs of Pittsburgh
  • Meredith Stern, MD – graduated in 2016 is a working in a primary care practice in San Francisco
  • Caitlin Koerber, MD – graduated in 2015 is working at UPMC CCP – Monroeville and UPMC CCP – White Oak, primary care practices in Pittsburgh  
  • Luke Shieh, MD – graduated in 2015 and is working at Advocare Kressville Pediatrics, a primary care practice in the suburbs of Philadelphia