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College of
Health Sciences

Program Overview


Learn the skills you need to make you exactly the kind of well-rounded, skilled, compassionate pediatrician who makes a difference in young patients’ lives.

Continuity clinic

Our continuity clinic, located at the Geisinger Woodbine Lane outpatient facility, features an in-house pharmacy, lab and radiology suite. Medical residents at Woodbine provide services to medically complex children. Residents also partner with our psychology colleagues to provide integrated behavioral healthcare.

Inpatient experience

Our pediatric inpatient experience takes place at the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Using a team-based approach to patient care, you can build on their clinical experiences and confidence. Our inpatient teams are divided into two general hospitalist services, a diverse subspecialty service and a hematology/oncology service.

  • General inpatient wards: We have two dedicated hospitalist teams that admit and manage a wide variety of pediatric patients, including children co-managed with specialists such as:
  • Pulmonologists
  • Nephrologists
  • Rheumatologists
  • Infectious diseases specialists

Residents and interns also teach and mentor our students from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

As a second-year resident, you’ll take on a supportive role for interns dedicated to frontline patient care.

And as a third-year resident, you’ll grow your leadership and communication skills as you teach, manage and supervise the inpatient teams.

  • Subspecialty inpatient exposure: As a resident, you’ll admit and manage patients for our specialists, including:
  • Neurology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cardiology

The resident team consists of an intern and upper-level resident managing patients. Each specialist has daily teaching time.

  • Hematology/oncology inpatient ward: In this rotation, you’ll admit and manage hematology/oncology patients. The service is managed by an upper-level resident, intern and one of our pediatric hematology/oncology attending physicians.
  • Newborn nursery: Our nursery team is joined by:
  • Lactation specialists
  • Care managers
  • Social workers
  • MFM specialists
  • Geneticists
  • Dedicated nursery nurses

Our nursery admits approximately 1,800 newborns a year. We take care of newborns born greater than 35 weeks, including babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): You’ll complete NICU rotations in our Level 4 NICU located next door to our labor and delivery suite. Our NICU admits 600 newborns a year, including more than 100 micro-preemies.
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU): Our Level 3 PICU combines a PICU unit with our heart center to take care of seriously ill children, trauma, post-surgical heart and neurosurgery cases. Our critical care and surgical colleagues support the only dedicated Level 3 pediatric trauma center in the region.

Summary of our usual schedule


Inpatient: 4 blocks
NICU: 1 block
PICU: 1 block
Acute care clinic: 2 blocks
Advocacy: 1 block
Elective rotations: 4 blocks


Inpatient: 3 blocks
NICU: 1 block
PICU: 1 block
Acute care clinic: 2 blocks
Emergency medicine: 1 block
Adolescent medicine*: 1 block
Elective rotations: 4 blocks


Inpatient: 2 blocks
NICU: 1 block
Acute care clinic: 2 blocks
Newborn nursery: 1 block
Emergency medicine: 1 block
Neurodevelopment*: 1 block
Elective rotations: 5 blocks

* Rotations can be taken over a variety of PGY years.

Educational opportunities

Choose from a wide variety of educational opportunities to help you grow and thrive in your career.

  • Global health experience

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in a global health experience. We work with programs in India, China and Peru.

  • Complex care elective rotation

In this rotation, you’ll work with medically complex children and their families to help improve their outcomes.

  • Plain populations

Because of our rural location, you’ll have the opportunity to care for patients from Amish and Mennonite communities.

  • Camp medicine

For over 20 years, Camp Victory has hosted children and families facing chronic medical conditions for a sleep-away camp experience. Choose from a 1-week or 4-week rotation.

  • Launching the Empowerment of Adolescents Program (LEAP)

LEAP provides a group setting for teens with chronic medical conditions. Through participation in peer mentorship, teens can:

  • Share their concerns
  • Improve coping skills
  • Enhance support systems
  • Geisinger Education & Medical Simulation (GEMS) Center

At this center, you’ll receive a comprehensive clinical skills education which includes:

  • Mock codes
  • End-of-life care training
  • Difficult patient conversations
  • Research courses

You’ll have a variety of research opportunities, including:

  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI): As part of our curriculum, all residents obtain CITI certification as interns.
  • Henry Hood Center for Research Course: A formal 12-session course designed for clinicians with an interest in research.
  • Biostatistics Core Lecture Series: Offered to anyone interested in understanding biostatistical methods.
  • Board Review Course

This program gives you extra support to prepare for your board exams.


In addition to your core classes, you can choose from over 30 different specialties, including emergency medicine and NICU.


These sessions offer a comprehensive and in-depth look on a variety of topics in clinical medicine. Cases are presented in a variety of formats tailored to your individual learning style.

Morning Report

During this case-based discussion, our upper-level residents discuss interesting clinical cases.

Morning Conference Series

Topics in this Friday morning time slot include:

  • Behavioral Health Update. Led by our pediatric psychology team, this focuses on questions about:
  • Potty training
  • Discipline
  • Sleep
  • Social skills
  • Development

And more complicated topics like:

  • Diagnosing anxiety and depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Teen suicide
  • Psychological needs of children with complex medical needs
  • Difficult Case Debrief. Led by our palliative care and ICU staff physicians, this conference series gives our residents the opportunity to debrief in a group setting.

Topics include:

  • Complicated codes
  • Difficult conversations
  • Prolonged suffering
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Patient loss
  • Board Review/Subject-based Boot Camp. Resident-led review of core subject content with faculty support and facilitation.

Intake Rounds

Our inpatient residents and staff spend an hour reviewing all admissions to the children’s hospital over the past 24 hours. This interactive conference allows for discussion, consultation and external review.

Noon Conference

This daily 1-hour lecture series focuses on topics that help you prepare for clinical practice. You’ll review topics on the American Board of Pediatrics Certification Exam.

Acute Care Kick-Off Series Each academic year begins with a lecture series about common conditions you may encounter.

  • General subject-focused lectures. In-depth presentations that blend clinical experience with evidence-based guidelines to help you deliver the highest quality care.
  • Residents-as-teachers workshops. Focuses on building the skills you need to be a medical educator.
  • Ethics curriculum series. Focused on ethical issues in medicine.
  • Palliative care series. Led by our pediatric palliative care faculty, these discussions focus on symptom relief and quality of life.
  • Wellness initiatives. Sessions focused on your well-being.
  • Simulation/mock codes. Designed to prepare you for various emergent, life-threatening events in a safe, controlled and educational environment.
  • Evidence-based medicine/journal club. This monthly event includes a formal curriculum with designated faculty moderators. Here, you’ll work in teams to present and review current literature that impacts your practice.

Grand Rounds

A series of scheduled educational events to explore new developments in pediatric medicine. Topics include:

  • Clinical care (both general and subspecialty pediatric care)
  • Medical education and clinical
  • Basic science
  • Translational research

Morbidity and Mortality Conference

This bi-monthly conference is part of the pediatric grand round series. In partnership with department leadership, quality officers and faculty members, the M&M committee breaks down the case in question.

Rotation-Based Lecture Series

Some individual core rotations feature embedded lectures on a variety of topics. These include:

  • Continuity Lecture Series
  • Acute Care Lecture Series
  • Newborn Nursery Coffee Talk
  • ICU-focused Lectures (NICU and PICU)
  • Afternoon Sessions with Peds ID

Personal/professional development


Your individual wellness counts as much as your patients’ wellness. In this supportive environment, you’ll find the resources you need to thrive and grow. Learn more here.

Advocacy/community outreach

As a graduate of our program, you have the responsibility to advocate for your patients on a larger platform. That’s why outreach and advocacy are integrated into our daily practice through:

  • Updates on hot topics
  • Volunteer and awareness opportunities
  • Community service
  • Promotion of engagement outside the hospital

We partner with the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for Legislative and Advocacy Days.

It’s a good idea to get involved in national and international conferences. Through projects, many of our residents have impacted local child health and well-being, adolescent mental health and child abuse.


Residency is the first step in honing your passions in medicine. Mentors are here to help you meet your goals. Your mentor can help you navigate things like:

  • Work-life balance
  • Family/life planning
  • Stress management
  • Board preparation

Interprofessional communication

To provide excellent care for your patients, you need an exceptional team around you. You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with a variety of staff, including:

  • Pharmacy
  • Nursing
  • IV team
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Child Life
  • Lactation
  • Care Management
  • Insurance liaisons
  • Home health
  • Community partners

This program allows you explore various care team roles, such as:

  • Nurse/resident shadowing experience
  • Multidisciplinary QI projects
  • Participation in the Family Advisory Board
  • Nurse/physician workgroups

Medical education

As a resident, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue a career as a medical educator, if that’s where your interests lie. During your residency, you’ll develop the skills you need to teach to different levels, set expectations and lead teams.


Whether your career goal is independent practice or remaining part of a large health system, you’ll be well-prepared to step into a leadership role. Our residents have been active members and leaders in various settings, including:

  • Pediatric Residency (Social Committee, Curriculum Committee)
  • Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital (Nurse Partnership, Family Advisory Board)
  • Geisinger Medical Center (House Staff Committee, Wellness Committee, quality initiatives)
  • Federally/nationally (PA-AAP liaisons)

Research and quality improvement

In keeping with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements, our residents are involved in quality improvement projects. These are designed to improve medical care, patient safety, workflow and resident education. Many residents are also involved in research. We offer you:

  • An involved faculty to serve as research and QI mentors
  • A fundamentals of research curriculum, so you’ll learn the basics of conducting a research project, literature review, IRB approval/funding, biostatistics and quality improvement
  • Dedicated research support personnel and statisticians to guide you through study design, IRB approval and research funding
  • Institutional grants, provided by The Weis Research Center, giving interns and residents up to $2,000 of research support for each project
  • Graduate medical education or departmental funding support to present your work at regional or national conferences

Here are some samples of recent resident scholarly work.

Recent publications

Original research

  • Sinha N, Wade P, Ghildiyal RG, Maniar H. Biochemical bone markers in children with steroid sensitive nephrotic syndrome in remission. Int J Contemp Pediatr. 2018;5:1588-93.
  • Cope JR, Landa J, Nethercut H, Collier SA, Glaser C, Moser M, Puttagunta R, Yoder JS, Ali IK, Roy SL. The Epidemiology and Clinical Features of Balamuthia mandrillaris Disease in the United States, 1974 - 2016. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 201820;
  • Paquette, E. D., Derrington, S. F., Shukla, A., Sinha, N., Oswald, S., Sorce, L., & Michelson, K. N. (2018). Biobanking in the Pediatric Critical Care Setting: Adolescent/Young Adult Perspectives. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 13(4), 391–401.
  • Kowtoniuk R, Eldredge N, Puttagunta R. Alpha-2 antiplasmin-associated aortic valve thrombus presenting as a STEMI in a patient with Graves disease. BMJ case reports. 201821; 2018
  • Amoran O, Desai B, Mahmoud Z, Ayah O. A case of Massive Subcutaneous Emphysema (SE) and Pneumomediastimum (PM). CHEST; October 6 - 10, 2018; San Antonio, TX. 2018. p.698A.
  • Morse AM, Garner D. Traumatic Brain Injury, Sleep Disorders, and Psychiatric Disorders: An Underrecognized Relationship. Medical Sciences 2018.
  • Summers J, Murtha K, Ryan M, Gowtham S. Lyme arthritis: A case of a 15 year old male who presents with knee swelling and pain. ACOP eJournal. Spring 2016
National presentations

  • David Garner, DO. Utilization of ACES in Continuity Clinic. Presented at AOA Annual Meeting 2018. San Diego, CA
  • Karen DeMaria, DO. Case of Subserosal Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis Presenting as Eosinophilic Ascites. Presented at NASPGHAN Annual Meeting 20019. Hollywood, FL
  • Moghul A, Gowtham S, Vodzak J. Infectious Disease Boot Camp: Increasing Infectious Disease Content in the Curriculum. Presented at Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Meeting; Baltimore, MD. 04/29/2019.
  • Silverman B, Lettich TM, Puttagunta R, Berger A, Devine ST, Davis TW. Asthma Outcomes in Transitional Age Patients. Presented at American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference; San Diego, CA, USA. 05/22/2018.
  • Puttagunta R. Social media utilization among HIV/AIDS organizations: A survey of the online community created by groups improving HIV health. Presented at 22nd International AIDS Conference; Amsterdam, Netherlands. 07/26/2018.
  • Lavoile B. Acute Outcome of Pulmonary Balloon Valvuloplasty for the Treatment of Pulmonary Valve Stenosis – MAGIC Registry Data. Presented at the Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium – Annual Meeting 2019. Las Vegas, NV
  • Christen Samaan, Jena Patel, Caitlin Bevvino-Ring, Raghuveer Puttagunta. Comprehensive Treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A Systematic Review. Presented at 2018 AAFP Family Medicine Experience (FMX); New Orleans, LA. 10/09/2018.
  • Mirzada P. Kurbasic, Raghuveer Puttagunta. American Academy of Pediatrics International Elective Award Program - Enhancing Pediatric Trainees' Global Health Opportunities. Presented at IPA 2019 Congress; Panama City, Panama. 03/17/2019.
  • Ward A. Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH)- A rare life-threatening manifestation of Anaplasmosis. Presented at ATS International Conference; Dallas, TX. 05/22/2019.
  • Amanda Ward MD, Thomas Davis, MD. Evaluation of the Validity of the Pediatric Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Score in Critically Ill Children. Presented at AAP National Conference; New Orleans, LA. 10/26/2019.
  • Summers J. Primary CNS Posttransplant Lymphoproliferative Disease (PCNS-PTLD): Recognizing the Entity and Minimizing Toxicity in Renal Transplant Patients. Presented at the National Convention for the Society of Neuro-Oncology. San Francisco, CA. November 2017.
  • Lettich T, Mehta Y, Penupolu S, Youkhana K, Ismail-Sayed I, Younus J. The Clinical Utility of Serum Procalcitonin as a Diagnostic Assay for Predicting Bacteremia in a Large Cohort of Patients. Presented at CHEST. Toronto, Ontario. November 2017
  • Wolcott M, Aktar N. A Rare Pancreatic Mass Diagnosed by Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy. ACG Conference Presentation. 2017
  • Puttagunta R, Davis T. How Do Pennsylvania Health Systems Utilize Alternative Social Media Products? Presented at the Annual Education Conference and House of Delegates; Hershey, PA. Oct 2017.
Local presentations

  • Alexandra Chop MD, Ayesha Moghul, MD, Leighton Elliott, MD, MSE, Thomas Davis, MD. Death by Desmoid: A Case of An Extremely Aggressive Abdominal Desmoid Tumor. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Bianca Lavoile, MD, Robert Lowe, DO, Allison Patten, DO. Improving lipid screening in a rural pediatric residency clinic. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Emily Schoch, DO, Bailey Young, DO, Bradley Kramer, DO. Postpartum Depression. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Kaitlyn Laccarino, DO, Cassandra Phillips, DO, Holly Cimprich, DO. The use of asthma action plans to improve management of asthma in the outpatient pediatric population. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Christine Klingaman, DO, Robert Blake Lowe, DO, Avnit Golten, MD. Atrial Fibrillation with E‐Cigarette Use in an Otherwise Healthy Adolescent Male. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Raghuveer Puttagunta, MD. Social Media Utilization Among Pediatric Associations Around The Globe: A Survey of the Connection Between the Online Communicatees Created By Groups Improving Child Health. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Robert Blake Lowe, DO. Maintaining a High Index of Suspicion When Caring for Vietnam War Veterans: A Primary - Care Case Report. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Leighton Elliott, MD, MSE. Remission of Unresectable Submandibular Unicentric Castleman Disease with Rituximab Therapy. Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2019.
  • Summers J. Primary CNS Posttransplant Lymphoproliferative Disease (PCNS-PTLD): Recognizing the Entity and Minimizing Toxicity in Renal Transplant Patients. Presented at Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2018.
  • Pearce A, Murtha K. Improving Chlamydia Screening in Rural Pediatric Resident Clinic: A Quality Improvement Project. Presented at Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2018.
  • Moore A, Samies N, Pierre J. Improving HPV vaccination rates in a rural pediatric population. Presented at Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2018.
  • Paulson S, Garner D, Implementing ACEs screening into Pediatric Practice. Presented at Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2018.
  • Youkhana K, Tekle-Yohannes G. Novel Exon-6 Mutation of Factor-8 Gene presenting in a neonate with heel stick bleeding and spontaneous subdural hematoma in early infancy. Presented at Geisinger Resident and Fellow Scholarship Day. Danville, PA. May 2018.
Recent quality improvement activities

  • Baril S, Welsh T, Miller M, Tekele-Johannes J, Ramdas J. Improving time to treat among children with febrile neutropenia. 2020.
  • Beach A, Cross G, Sadowski M, Shamansky A, Szmal E. Increasing patient instruction utilization in the pediatric acute care setting. 2020.
  • Cook E, Lyons C, Morris L, Shamansky A. Pause before you swab – Improving the clinical approach to diagnostic testing for GAS in outpatient clinic. 2020.
  • DeMaria K, Maksimak B. Improving recommendation rates for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease. 2020.
  • Jones A, Sanders K, Adams D, Lyons C, Shamansky A. No show no more – Improving patient no-show rates in Continuity Clinic. 2020
  • Patel J, Shamanksy A. ACE’s screening in Continuity Clinic. 2020
  • Sadowski M. NG tube placement and utility of X-ray confirmation in pediatric patients. 2019
  • Sadowski M. Thermoregulation in the NICU and effects on infants and their outcomes. 2019
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