Three-Year Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM)

This program offers a three-year curriculum leading to preparation for subspecialty board certification. The goal of the fellowship is to train academic pediatric emergency medicine specialists who will provide expert pediatric emergency care, supervise others who provide such care, and teach and conduct research focused on improving the care of acutely ill and injured children.

Welcome to the MCW PEM fellowship Web site! Thanks for taking the time to check us out. Our pediatric emergency department, located in the free-standing Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, is a level 1 trauma center that cares for over 60,000 patients per year. We pride ourselves on providing a great educational experience with a graduated level of clinical autonomy, training in administration and leadership roles, and outstanding research mentorship and support. I encourage you to explore all parts of our Web site and contact us if you have any questions.


Viday Heffner
PEM Fellowship Director

 Educational Settings

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is a state of the art 296-bed facility on the campus of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.

Children's Hospital is the only free standing pediatric hospital in Wisconsin, providing primary care to children in the Milwaukee area, Level I trauma care, and tertiary care to patients from a wide referral base including Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There is a very busy 72-bed PICU and Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship Program, as well as an active pediatric transport team. The hospital is directly linked to the Medical College of Wisconsin by a skywalk, and to other major teaching hospitals of the Medical College (Froedtert Hospital and the Eye Institute) by the Bridge Building. The Bridge Building houses the adult and pediatric emergency departments, Milwaukee County Paramedic Base, and the Flight-for-Life transport program.

The Emergency Department and Trauma Center of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is staffed by 19 PEM faculty members and 9 PEM fellows in the Emergency Medicine Section of the Department of Pediatrics. We are involved in teaching medical students, pre-hospital providers, and residents in pediatrics, emergency medicine, and family practice. Our group is active in clinical research in various areas of pediatric emergency medicine including trauma, injury prevention, asthma, head trauma, violence, adolescent issues, pain management, sedation and outcome measures for common interventions. We participate in the PECARN network and are actively involved in the head trauma and cervical spine studies coordinated by this network.

The Pediatric Emergency Department of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is adjacent to the Adult Emergency Department of Froedtert Hospital, with side-by-side triage areas and trauma resuscitation suites. Although each department functions independently, the close proximity provides a unique setting for sharing of knowledge and teaching opportunities. Easily accessible formal conferences include Pediatric Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds, Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds, and multidisciplinary trauma conferences. We are involved in pre-hospital direction of care for critically ill and injured pediatric patients through the Milwaukee County Paramedic Base.

 Fellowship Faculty

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Section Chief

David Brousseau, MD, MS - Professor of Pediatrics

Fellowship Director

Viday Heffner, MD - Assistant Professor Pediatrics

Medical Director of the EDTC

Marlene Melzer-Lange, MD - Professor of Pediatrics

EDTC Attending Physicians

Administrative Staff

  • Joan Nowak - Division Administrator
  • Beverly Hayes - Fellowship Coordinator
  • Stephanie Clementi - Administrative Assistant

Core Rotations (Pediatric Residency Graduates)

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Totals
Pediatric EM 3.75 months 4.75 months 5 months 13.5 months
Research (with PEM shifts) 2 months 4 months 5 months 11 months
Orientation (with PEM shifts) 1 month     1 month
Pediatric Anesthesia 1 month     1 month
Pediatric Critical Care 1 month     1 month
EMS   1 month   1 month
Child Protection 1 week 1 week   0.5 months
Adult EM   1 month   1 month
Pediatric Ortho/Sports Med 1 month     1 month
Toxicology 1 month     1 month
Trauma 1 month     1 month
Elective   1 month 2 months 3 months

Sample Fellowship Rotation Schedule (PDF)

Clinical Training in the Emergency Department - Clinical training occurs during the three fellowship years. Assignments in the EDTC during the first 3-6 months of fellowship are "protected" with the emphasis on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to practice independently and to supervise. These fellow shifts are supervised by the attending EDTC physician. As the fellow progresses during the first year, supervision of house staff and students, and independent practice working with an on-site attending physician is emphasized. During the second year, the fellow is assigned some shifts as the single attending-level physician with off-site attending physician back-up. Third-year fellows practice as independent attending physicians with a mixture of on-site and off-site back-up available.

Vacation - 4 weeks/year, to be taken during electives, research months, or rotations in CHW-EDTC. Two weeks conference time per year is allotted.

Elective Options (3 months)

  • Toxicology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Burn Medicine
  • Pediatric Radiology
  • Pediatric Dermatology
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • Pediatric ENT
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Hand Surgery
  • Gynecology/Adolescent Medicine
  • Flight Medicine
  • Medical Education
  • Child/Sexual Abuse
  • Administration
  • Prehospital Care
  • Adult Emergency Medicine
  • Intensive Research Experience

If desired, electives can be combined (e.g., ½ radiology + ½ dermatology, etc.)

 Research/Scholarly Activities


Fellows receive formal training in research design and statistics, and become competent in scientific writing and research. The research study design and introduction to statistical analysis seminars are scheduled early in the first year. Statistical guidance is available in the section. Fellows create their scholarship oversight committees which have the responsibility of supervising the fellow's research efforts. This committee meets biannually and reports to the fellowship director who monitors research activity and productivity. Manuscript and abstract preparation skills are emphasized in didactic and individual sessions.


Each fellow will choose a faculty member to assist him/her in developing and conducting a research project. The faculty mentor will provide advice on study design, data collection, abstract preparation and manuscript writing. The fellowship director will be available to provide advice and is responsible for monitoring the fellow's progress in research.

Focused Time

In addition to twelve months of focused time for research, the fellowship has been designed to allow on-going time for research during most months of training.

Research Expectations

The fellow is expected to complete a significant study of publishable quality during the fellowship and present the research at local, regional, and national conferences. The fellow will be encouraged to collaborate on additional projects as appropriate.

Areas of Research

Research may be done in any area of pediatric emergency medicine. Some current research interests in our group include new methods of analgesia/sedation, asthma, injury prevention, emergency department utilization, head trauma and violence prevention (see Publication List).

Statistical Analysis

Available within the Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

Graduate Degree

Master's preparation in Clinical Epidemiology, Bioethics, and Public Health is offered on campus at MCW through a master's in Clinical & Translational Sciences. Fellows are encouraged to undertake this coursework and are supported through schedule adaptation when necessary.

 Administrative Skills

Administrative Skills

Participation in administrative duties is an integral part of fellowship education and career development. Fellows will participate in:

  • Individual administrative assignments including: fellow recruitment coordinator, trauma committee member, educational schedule coordinator/administrator
  • Quarterly PEM fellow business meetings
  • Monthly section business meetings

Quality Improvement

Fellows will receive education and mentorship on quality improvement in an effort to improve patient safety and care. Fellows will participate in:

  • Ongoing section QI activities
  • Monthly section QI meetings
  • Biannual missed X-ray conferences
  • Biannual multi-disciplinary conferences

Risk Management

Fellows will become familiar with concepts of risk management and essentials of emergency department documentation.

 Educational Opportunities

In addition to bedside teaching of residents, medical students and advanced practice providers, there are many opportunities to participate in formal lectures outside the emergency department:

  • Journal club: Each fellow will lead journal club with 1-2 article reviews per year
  • Case conference: Each fellow will present an interesting or difficult case to a group of PEM faculty and fellows 2-3 times per year
  • Department of Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds: Each fellow will present a pediatric topic at the Department of Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds 1-2 times per year
  • Splint and Suture workshops: Fellows will participate in quarterly splint and suture workshops for pediatric residents
  • Pediatric Intern workshop: Fellows have the opportunity to participate in procedural workshops for incoming pediatric interns that include airway, laceration repair and lumbar puncture stations among others
  • PALS courses: Fellows have the opportunity to become a certified PALS instructor for MCW/CHW
  • Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support Course: Fellows have the opportunity to take and become instructors in this course which is sponsored by the Society for Critical Care Medicine. This course teaches the skills necessary to stabilize and transport critically ill pediatric patients.

Formal fellow education is also an integral portion of training and consists of lectures as well as hands-on workshops:

  • Simulation lab: Fellows manage high acuity scenarios through high fidelity in-situ simulation every other month and receive immediate feedback from PEM faculty
  • Book club: Fellows meet monthly with a faculty member to practice board style questions in prep for PEM boards
  • Slow codes: A quarterly table top slow code is led by a faculty member and requires fellows to think critically and prioritize patient care
  • Radiology lectures: Quarterly lecture based series led by radiology faculty that involves methodical approaches to reading images while reviewing interesting films
  • Ultrasound curriculum: Quarterly lecture based and hands-on sessions led by radiology and EM faculty
  • Procedure workshops: Quarterly hands-on workshops led by PEM or other subspecialty faculty
 Terms, Conditions and Benefits of Employment

The Medical College of Wisconsin offers its employees a competitive and comprehensive benefit package. The benefits offered are designed to recognize the diverse needs of our workforce and provide long-term financial security to employees and their family members.

Stipend Levels for the academic year beginning July 1, 2015 are:

  • PGI - $57,380
  • PGII - $58,400
  • PGIII - $59,240
  • PGIV - $60,440
  • PGV - $63,500
  • PGVI - $65,540
  • PGVII - $67,580
  • PGVIII - $68,800

See MCW Benefits for information regarding vacations, leaves and insurance.

Professional liability insurance

The MCW Professional Risk Management Department coordinates the professional liability self-insurance program and assures liability coverage with the Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund in excess of the primary annual limits of $1,000,000 per incident and $3,000,000 in the aggregate. Full-time faculty, full professional effort faculty, staff physicians, full-time allied staff and part-time allied staff if MCW is their sole employer are covered under the professional liability program for activities within the scope of duties for the Medical College of Wisconsin. All part-time physicians and part-time allied staff with additional outside employment are not covered by the self-insurance plan.

Academic Development Fund

Fellows receive a fund each year to be used for items such as society memberships, license renewal, board fees, text books, travel to academic meetings and any other seminars or educational materials that may be required during the fellowship.

 Application Process

Our 3-year fellowship program is ACGME accredited and begins on July 1 each year. We accept three fellows each academic year through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Applications from prospective applicants are accepted from August through September through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We will access your application via ERAS and contact you to make interview arrangements.

2015 Fellowship Match Dates

Applications Open

Interview Dates
9/1/15 - 11/15/15

Rank List Opens

Quota Change Deadline

Rank List Closes

Match Day

Complete Applications should include the following:

  • ERAS application form
  • At least three letters of reference, including Program Director letter
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation/Dean's Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Transcripts
  • USMLE scores - Steps 1, 2, and 3
  • ECFMG certificate for foreign medical school graduates (see visa information below)

Our program currently accepts the following visas:

  • Permanent Resident Visa
  • Visitor Exchange Visa sponsored by ECFMG (J-1)
  • Temporary Professional Worker's Visa (H-1B)

For additional visa information please visit Graduate Medical Education.

 Teaching Skills
  1. Clinical
    Supervision and teaching of medical students and residents (pediatric, family practice, and emergency medicine) in EDTC. A workshop on bedside teaching is presented annually.
  2. Didactic
    • Presentations
      • PALS instructor
      • Formal presentations at Pediatric Emergency Grand Rounds, PEM Morning Conference, Pediatric Noon Conference, Trauma Peer Review (CHW), and Department of Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds (Froedtert Hospital). 
    • Morning Conferences and PEM Grand Round Requirements
      • PEM 1 - 1 PEM Morning Conference; 1 Department of Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds
      • PEM 2 - 2 PEM Morning Conferences; 2 Department of Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds
      • PEM 3 - 2 PEM Morning Conferences; 2 Department of Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds; 1 PEM Grand Rounds
    • Preparation - The fellows receive instruction on lecture preparation skills and slide preparation. Each presentation is reviewed with the fellow for content, organization, and presentation and assistance with slide preparation is provided. 
  3. Evaluation
    Teaching skills are evaluated by EDTC attendings/fellowship director, with regular feedback. Evaluations of didactic presentations are reviewed with the fellows immediately after EM Grand Rounds and on a quarterly basis.

Fellowship Program Contact

Beverly Hayes
PEM Fellowship Program Coordinator
(414) 266-2622

Pediatrics Emergency Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
Children's Corporate Center, Suite C550
999 N. 92nd St.
P.O. Box 1997
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1997

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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Page Updated 07/08/2015