Program Alumni

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Child Neurology alumni have gone on to practice at locations all across the United States and world.

2019 Graduates

Elissa Ortolani, MD

Elissa Ortolani, MD and colleaguesResidency Class 2019
Emory University School of Medicine

"I am so thankful for my time at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I learned to treat every child with a commitment to excellence and a promise of compassion. Throughout my residency, I developed a strong clinical interest in pediatric vascular disease. With endless support, guidance and mentorship, the residency helped lay the foundation for my career, as the first pediatric/adult stroke fellow. I feel so lucky to have learned from such amazing physicians and so fortunate to call them all life-long friends."

Vinod Valentine, MD

Vinod Valentine, MDResidency Class 2019
Epilepsy Fellow, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

My training at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh was outstanding and a thoroughly memorable experience. The best part was how approachable the faculty was throughout my training. Another excellent aspect of the training was excellent mentors that I had during my training who helped me with both academic and career goals. Overall, I feel confident and prepared to take over the next phase in my career because of the vast breadth of various neurologic conditions that I came across during my training. In short, my training at CHP was one of the best years of my medical career so far.

2018 Graduates

Matt Ginsberg, MD

Matt Ginsberg, MDResidency Class 2018
Akron Children’s Hospital

I’m so grateful for my time in the Child Neurology Residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. It was incredibly rewarding to work with so many people who care deeply about our patients as well as one another. One of my favorite memories was ending each week with Tea Rounds, sitting together with the other fellows and staff over tea and chocolate to parse the most challenging neuroimaging cases and discuss everything from pacchionian granulations to the meaning of life.

Stacey Elkhatib, MD

Stacy Elkhatib, MDResidency Class of 2018
Sleep Medicine Fellow, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh provided a nurturing training program where the residents’ learning and experience were paramount. The people at Children's Hospital are one of its strongest attributes and made my residency truly special.

Lexi Franks, MD (NDD)

Alexis Franks, MDResidency Class of 2018
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

My training at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh was outstanding. The faculty was exceedingly approachable, and I had many mentors within the department supporting me and my goal to become a physician scientist. I felt very prepared after residency training for the next steps in my career, given the wide breadth of neurologic conditions I helped manage, as well as the ability to customize and enhance my training experience to prepare for my post-graduation goals.



2017 Graduates

Levi Shelton, MD

Levi Shelton, MDResidency Class of 2017
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

I loved my entire time training at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Not only was the training I received outstanding, the community here is truly amazing. I remember hearing in medical school that residency was supposed to be very hard; however, it did not feel that way. There were many challenges and long hours during training, but it was all so enjoyable. I attribute this to community and friendship. It was never my plan to stay here after training, but I could not resist this community and decided to stay. I can honestly say it was the best possible decision I could have made.

2016 Graduates

Anuja Jindal, MD

Residency Class of 2016 jindal
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego
Rady Children's Hospital

I loved the balance of neurology, child development, and pediatrics that my training afforded me. The faculty provided great mentorship and I could not have asked for a more supportive staff. I worked with a large, diverse patient population and had ample leadership and research opportunities. Importantly, I made lifelong friendships and great collaborative relationships. Even as a resident, I was supported in maintaining a great work-life balance. I feel that I was in the best environment not only to shape my future practice as a clinician and physician scientist, but also to foster my personal growth. I loved my time at CHP!

Vincent Carson, MD carson

Residency Class of 2016 
Pediatric Neurologist
Clinic for Special Children, Strasburg, PA

My training in both pediatrics and child neurology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh truly prepared me to serve as a primary care provider and neurologist for children with genetic diseases. I also was pleasantly surprised by how family friendly Pittsburgh is. It's a great place to raise a family. 




Katherine Anetakis, MD anetakis

Residency Class of 2016
Clinical Neurophysiologist, Intraoperative Monitoring 
University of Pittsburgh

I found great mentors in our faculty. The populations we serve are diverse and challenging, and prepared us for nearly every scope of practice. Having such a large residency class (4-5 per year) allows flexibility in residency, and also provided us with great friends and colleagues in the years to come!



2015 Graduates

Rawad Obeid, MDRawad Obeid, MD

Residency Class of 2015
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University
Child Neurology, Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh was like a dream for me, I enjoyed every single moment working at this great place under the supervision of awesome child neurologists. I learned a lot on many levels. It is definitely a very important
step in my professional life that I will never forget.

Drew Thodeson, MD thodeson

Residency Class of 2015
Instructor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology 
UT Southwestern Medical Center

The Pediatric Neurology training that I received in Pittsburgh was second to none. Becoming a provider, friend, and advocate of children and families struggling with neurological disorders has been the greatest honor of my life. Thank you to all the physicians and families in Pittsburgh who taught me so much and helped pave my path.

2014 Graduates

Lalit Bansal, MDLalit Bansal, MD

Residency Class of 2014
Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurology at UMKC Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Neurology is an art and you learn it at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. It’s a premier institute for training in child neurology. I enjoyed my time in Pittsburgh and it was filled with knowledge, fun and excitement.

Kavita Thakkar, MDKavita Thakkar, MD

Residency Class of 2014
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh

I am immensely proud to be a part of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh through training and beyond. Learning neurology from approachable, friendly and knowledgeable faculty is one of the big strengths of the program. There is exposure to a wide variety of disorders in both inpatient and outpatient setting. There is also a wide depth of neurology subspecialty exposure. In addition, Pittsburgh is a fun family friendly city, that we have come to love.

2013 Graduates

Poonam Bhatia, MDPoonam Bhatia, MD

Residency Class of 2013
Child Neurologist
NeuroDevelopmental Science Center
Akron Children's Hospital
Adjunct, Northeast Ohio Medical University
Akron, Ohio

I started my journey of child neurology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in 2010. It was a blessing to be trained at a place like Children’s Hospital with subspecialists in all the fields of neurology. The friendly and supportive environment made learning a fun experience. With constant teaching and feedback during clinics, bedside rounds, book review sessions, our weekly case conferences, and radiology conferences, meaningful learning was an ongoing process. Of all, one of the best things about our program is the flexibility and receptivity for change. I feel that I have evolved as a neurologist and as a better person. I will cherish my time spent here forever.

Ehab A. Dayyat, MD

Ehab A. Dayyat, MD

Residency Class of 2013
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, University of Tennessee

My time in Pittsburgh was phenomenal because I worked with a wonderful team that felt like family. I came seeking knowledge and experience from the best in the field and had a wonderful journey filled with challenges and joy. The training has opened a succession of professional doors and the mentors remain permanent role models.

2012 Graduates

Joana Osorio, MDJoana Osorio, MD

Residency Class of 2012
PhD Candidate
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The challenging Tuesday conferences will always remain as a strong emblematic memory of my Child Neurology residency at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. In three perspectives: the focus and attention to all the details, the free thinking inclusive to anyone present in the room and the constant discussion and search for more answers, in a highly academic, supportive and compassionate environment. That was a constant during my residency and that is why I enjoyed it so much! The multiple sub-specialties granted me a broad exposure to diverse areas of Child Neurology, through which I found particular interests in Neonatal Neurology and translational research, my current focus of work. I am very grateful for all I have learned, for the exceptional teachers and mentors I have met and for all the enthusiasm that continues so present during my journey as a Child Neurologist!

2011 Graduates

Sheila Ramos, MDSheila Ramos, MD

Residency Class of 2011
Private Practice- Attending Neurologist 
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
Orlando, Fla.

My training at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC was outstanding. The new, state-of-the-art hospital is the ideal setting for learning. The experience was very much like growing up: At the beginning, the attendings are there with you every step of the way. As you gain knowledge and confidence, you are given more independence, with the appropriate amount of supervision. The technological resources, textbook reviews, neuroradiology conferences, and didactics are superb and at your fingertips during your training. The range of pediatric neurological conditions that you see at Children's Hospital is second to none.

I feel honored to have trained in a program that has an expert in each of the neurological subspecialties: white matter diseases, metabolic disorders, epilepsy, stroke, neuromuscular diseases, movement disorders ... and the list keeps growing. The constant collaboration with intensivists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, and other specialties made the experience much more comprehensive. Now, as an attending, I feel confident and have the tools necessary to give the best care to my patients. But the true shining quality of this program is in its people. I will always treasure the family atmosphere, and value the support and love that I received (and still receive) from them. The program at Children's exceeded all of my expectations.

Thomas Q. Reynolds, DOThomas Q. Reynolds, DO

Residency Class of 2011
Child Neurologist, Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine
Adjunct, Tufts University School of Medicine

I finished my child neurology training at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in 2011 and am now a general child neurologist at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, and an adjunct at Tufts University School of Medicine. I was incredibly well prepared for my job by the training in Pittsburgh. There was an incredibly nice mix of inpatient and outpatient experiences in child neurology there with incredible subspecialty training in epilepsy, neonatal neurology, critical care neurology, movement disorder, headache, sleep, neuromuscular, vascular neurology, and neuroimmunology. The teaching and clinical work in each of these subspecialties was so excellent that I felt well prepared to be an expert in all areas. Living in Pittsburgh was also a plus. It is a beautiful city with lots of culture and wonderful neighborhoods to live in and explore. There was also lots of outdoor activities and large spaces readily available through their amazing parks system. Overall, my time at Children's Hospital and in Pittsburgh was an incredible experience and one that I would definitely recommend for anyone looking for comprehensive training in a friendly and fun city.

2010 Graduates

Christina Patterson, MDChristina Patterson, MD

Residency Class of 2010
Director of Epilepsy
Director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit 
Medical Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Neurophysiology Fellowship 2011

There's no place like home! Pittsburgh is my home town, so I feel twice lucky for having had the opportunity to train in a prestigious program that is located in a great and friendly city. I think the most valuable part of the program was learning from a wide breadth of experienced faculty and having the opportunity to treat a very diverse patient population.

Vivek Veluchamy, MDVivek Veluchamy, MD

Residency Class of 2010
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Akron Children’s Hospital,
Neuroscience Institute, Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine

Paras Bhattarai, MDParas Bhattarai, MD

Residency Class of 2010
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric Neurology, LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center, University of Tennessee

I finished training in child neurology in 2010.  It was an intensive educational opportunity. The first year of adult neurology was very busy but paid off by laying a solid foundation of neurology. The first month of "boot camp" in basic neuroscience was excellent. The second and third years in child neurology were full of diverse experience.  We saw cases of almost every single disease mentioned in textbooks. My days with Dr. Painter at neonatal neurology were beyond comparison.  After graduation I moved to a new center and immediately felt comfortable as an independent clinical child neurologist and teacher of child neurology.  Among major decisions in my life, joining UPMC/CHP as a child neurology resident is one of those I will never regret.

2008 Graduates

Lisa Abraham, MD

Residency Class of 2008
Pediatric Neurologist, Schenectady Neurological Consultants, Inc., Schenectady, NY

The Child Neurology program at Pittsburgh provided me with excellent training. This training helped build my knowledge and gave me the comfort in my clinical skills to diagnose and treat all neurological issues. In addition, the Pittsburgh area is a wonderful place to live. It offers a wide variety of activities for people of all interests.

Sameh Morkous, MDSameh Morkous, MD

Residency Class of 2008
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of South Florida

My three years of training in Pittsburgh were superb. The quality of education is excellent and includes a variety of exposure to all aspects of child neurology. There is a group of excellent attendings available in all subspecialties in the child neurology field and all are working with the residents in a very friendly atmosphere.

The program also gives multiple chances to attend external educational conferences that enrich the educational process. Pittsburgh itself is a great city to live in with mild winters and different changes of weather throughout the year, in addition to a lot of places to visit and a lot of chances to have fun outside of work. The time I spent in training passed quickly but the great memories after finishing training will always remain.

2006 Graduates

Satya Gedela, MD, MRCP (UK)Satya Gedela, MD, MRCP (UK)

Residency Class of 2006
Associate professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Medical director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) and the Epilepsy Surgery Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Colunbus, OH
Neurophysiology Fellowship 2008 

When I came to interview here for the neurology residency, Pittsburgh reminded me of my home city, Vizag, in South India with all the hills and rivers. After I joined the residency this became my second home away from home. I love this place and the  people I work with and I have continued as faculty here. My family love Pittsburgh and they do not want to move from this place. The faculty has grown threefold since I have joined, which tells a lot.

2005 Graduates

Robert Safier, MDRobert Safier, MD

Residency Class of 2005
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
School of Medicine
Director of Medical Student Education

Pittsburgh is a great place to live, work, and do a child neurology residency. You will learn from residents and attendings who share a passion for neuroscience. You will develop confidence and as your training progresses, autonomy. My learning has continued in the same way since I have been on faculty and my colleagues are just as approachable now as ever. The work can be difficult, but great bonds develop among residents and between residents and attendings in our department.

Hoda Abdel-Hamid, MD Hoda Abdel-Hamid, MD

Residency Class of 2005
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
Director, Pediatric Neuromuscular Program

I enjoyed my years as a neurology resident at Children's Hospital of Pittsburg of UPMC. The experience is exceptional. Working with the neurology faculty is wonderful and collegial. Pittsburgh is a friendly city with lots of good, multi-ethnic restaurants!


2002 Graduates

Gulay Alper, MD

Gulay Alper, MD

Residency Class of  2002
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
Director, Neuroimmunology Program

You learn from patients, books and expert attending physicians. Children’s Hospital’s Child Neurology program has them all.




Vasudeva Boosupalli, MDVasudeva Boosupalli, MD

Residency Class of 2002
Clinical Child Neurologist in San Antonio, Texas

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Child Neurology Residency Program is easily one of the best child neurology programs in the country. I felt at home on the day of my interview and did not bother with any more interviews. I knew this was it. The presence of various pediatric subspecialties in the hospital and in Child Neurology itself enabled us to get exposed to virtually all aspects of childhood neurological diseases and their management. The attendings are very friendly and approachable and always open to discussion. There is ample opportunity to pursue a clinical or research career with outstanding mentors for both.

Amy Goldstein, MDAmy Goldstein, MD and family

Residency Class of 2002
Clinical Director of the Mitochondrial Disease Clinical Center
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

After completing child neurology training I focused on developing expertise in neuro-genetics and especially mitochondrial disorders. My career was helped enormously by a divisional K12 that allowed me to concentrate on research from 2010-12. The environment at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's Child Neurology has always been incredibly supportive of my interests, helping me build my career to the point of becoming a national expert in these disorders.

2001 Graduates

Sumit Parikh, MD
Sumit Parikh, MD

Residency Class of 2001
Co-Director of the Cleveland Clinic Mitochondrial Clinic and the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Clinic
Center for Pediatric Neurology, Cleveland Clinic

What can I say about neurology training in Pittsburgh? Looking back, it helped me achieve a strong foundation in both adult and pediatric neurology. I was able to see both “bread and butter” cases, as well as rare disorders that helped me build a comprehensive fund of knowledge. The busy inpatient service helped me hone my ability to see patients efficiently. The attending staff was always there when needed, but also provided an appropriate level of independence. There was plenty of teaching, and conferences were educational. 

The entire experience was a positive one, and allowed me to start life as an attending quickly, with little time needed to warm up to the role. As an attending physician, I have never thought I did not see enough or manage enough of a certain type of patient during my training. I had a great foundation upon which to build.

1997 Residents

Angel Hernandez-Mulero, MD

Angel W. Hernandez, MD

Residency Class of 1997
Chief, Division of Neurosciences
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Professor, Pediatrics and Human Development
College of Human Medicine
Michigan State University

I only have positive comments and memories about Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the residency program. You all are the reason I have been so successful in my career.

Saleem Malik, MDSaleem Malik, MD

Residency Class of 1997
Associate Medical Director
Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
Division of Neurosciences
Cook Children's Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas

I assure anyone considering this program that they will have the opportunity to "see it all".  Most importantly, I have many lasting friendships from my days in Pittsburgh. Actually, my colleague from residency is still with me as my practice partner and my best friend.

1994 Graduates

Harry Abram, MDHarry Abram, MD

Residency Class of 1994
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine
Director of Neurophysiology Laboratory, The Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.

My years in Pittsburgh were among the best of my life!

1993 Graduates

Shelley Williams, MDShelley Williams, MD

Residency Class of 1993
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
Director, Epilepsy Fellowship Program

The best parts of my training experiences included the breadth of faculty members, their knowledge and passion for teaching. Due to its large catchment area, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh provides a great range of patient experiences from the most benign to the very rare. Residents are well-equipped with skills for practice after graduation. Our neurology group truly is a family making life as a resident, although challenging, truly enjoyable.

1992 Graduates

Sinan Comu, MDSinan Comu, MD

Residency Class of 1992
Private Practice in Istanbul, Turkey

My training at Children’s is memorable due to the attendings’ and colleagues’ supportive and friendly manner.  All of this made me dare to open a solo-practice back home, which is still running. I certainly enjoyed Pittsburgh as well for a city to live in.



1979 Graduates

Clydette Powell, MD, MPHClydette Powell, MD, MPH

Residency Class of 1979
Medical Officer, Bureau for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development

I never cease to be surprised at how my pediatric neurology training, acquired at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been such a welcome set of skills in the countries where I have been working over the last 25 years. Serving as a pediatric neurologist in a global health capacity has been a direct reward of my fellowship years in Pittsburgh, where both primary and tertiary care experience formed a strong basis for my current clinical practice.

1975 Graduates

Hank Wessel, MDHank Wessel, MD

Residency Class of 1975
Clinical Child Neurologist in Columbus, Ohio

From the first day of my training in child neurology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC until the day of my retirement from the faculty 31years later, I watched the Division of Child Neurology mature into the renowned program that it is today. Thankfully, the core values of the division remain unchanged. Commitment to rigorous training, broad clinical exposure, diverse research opportunities, individualized program focus, collegial environment, academic excellence and impeccable ethical standards remains a central as ever. There is no better place to embark upon a lifelong adventure into child neurology.