Pulmonary Medicine

Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine

What does a Pediatric Pulmonologist do?
What are the career opportunities?
What Board, if any, certifies a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
What is the lifestyle of a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
What is the compensation of a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
How do I become a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
Where do I find out about available programs?
When do I apply?
Why should I choose to become a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
Faculty Contacts
Proposed Electives

What does a Pediatric Pulmonologist do? 

A Pediatric Pulmonologist provides comprehensive evaluation and management for children with respiratory disorders, including chronic/recurrent cough or wheezing, asthma, pneumonia, pleural effusions, apnea, sleep-disordered breathing, hypoventilation syndromes, chronic lung disease, chronic respiratory failure, congenital lung malformations, lung transplantation and interstitial lung disease. Many pulmonologists specialize in the care of patients with cystic fibrosis. Pediatric lung disease specialists may also specialize in sleep medicine. By virtue of training, experience, and curiosity, the pediatric pulmonologist is intimately involved in research, teaching, and public policy/advocacy. Pediatric pulmonology procedures include flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage, transbronchial and mucosal biopsies, and interpretation of pulmonary function studies and polysomnograms.

What are the career opportunities? 

Currently there are more positions available for Pediatric Pulmonologists than there are Pediatric Pulmonologists. These include jobs in academic institutions, private practices, research institutes, and government and private agencies. Opportunities for leadership roles abound in cystic fibrosis, chronic ventilation, asthma, pulmonary physiology, pathology, and pharmacology, sleep medicine, medical education, research and the pharmaceutical industry, to name a few.

What Board, if any, certifies a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
The American Board of Pediatrics offers sub-board certification in Pediatric Pulmonology. The candidate must be board certified in Pediatrics to qualify for certification in Pediatric Pulmonology, and, with a few exceptions, complete a three-  year fellowship in an accredited program.

What is the lifestyle of a Pediatric Pulmonologist?

For those who work within an academic setting, duties are divided between patient care, teaching, research, and administration. The specific allocation of time depends on the interests of the Pediatric Pulmonologist and the needs of the institution. Some pulmonologists maintain a general clinical practice, while others develop a niche in caring for a subset of patients (e.g. patients with cystic fibrosis, chronic respiratory failure, asthma, interstitial lung disease, or sleep-disordered breathing). Because of the chronic nature of many pulmonary disorders, the Pulmonologist has an opportunity to develop longstanding relationships with patients and their families. In general, most pediatric pulmonologists participate in both inpatient and outpatient care of patients as well as perform flexible bronchoscopies during their clinical time.  Pediatric pulmonology clinical service does not typically require in hospital overnight call. Night and weekend call are taken at home. Most academic pediatric pulmonary divisions are group practices. There are a small number of private practice opportunities for pediatric pulmonologists. Some of these practices may have hospital affiliations as part of their practice.

What is the compensation of a Pediatric Pulmonologist? 

The median salary for pediatric pulmonologists lies in the middle tier for pediatric subspecialists. Compensation will vary, depending on the location and type of practice.

How do I become a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
Qualification for training in pediatric pulmonology requires a medical degree from a certified school of medicine or osteopathy and board certification in Pediatrics. Most pediatric pulmonology fellowship training programs participate in ERAS Fellowships and the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Match.

Where do I find out about available programs?
The following web sites will provide the names of accredited pediatric pulmonology fellowship training programs: Freida, Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and ERAS Fellowships.

When do I apply?

Pediatric Pulmonology fellowships utilize ERAS for the application and most now participate in the NRMP Pediatric Specialties Fall match. Applicants can begin to populate their ERAS application early in July, and programs can begin to review interested applicants shortly thereafter. Most interviews occur during the months of July through October. Rank lists are typically due in November/December with the match date occurring 2 weeks later. Note that applicants match 7 months prior to their start date so the majority of applicants are in their 3nd year of residency when they apply and interview.

Why should I choose to become a Pediatric Pulmonologist?

Practitioners often cite the mix of acute and chronic disease, ability to form relationships with patients and families, and the integration of physiology with basic science principles in the approach to disease management as reasons for choosing pediatric pulmonology as a specialty. Others have been drawn by an interest in a particular disease (i.e. cystic fibrosis, asthma) or intervention (mechanical ventilation, bronchoscopy). The Pediatric Pulmonologist is in demand from every specialty, because so many illnesses ultimately result in respiratory involvement. Many have chosen pediatric pulmonology because of a desire to improve the lives of children with specific illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or chronic respiratory failure due to neuromuscular diseases, to name a few.

For more information about Pediatric Pulmonology, visit these websites:

ERAS Fellowships
American Thoracic Society
American College of Chest Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Pediatric Pulmonary
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

List of relevant subspecialty journals

Pediatric Pulmonology
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology
ATS Scholar 

Faculty Contacts

These individuals have offered to be available to medical students/residents to discuss their particular subspecialty. Questions could include the choice of subspecialty, lifestyle, job opportunities and the fellowship application process. This is not meant to be a long term mentorship relationship.

Eric Austin

Vivek Balasubramaniam
University of Wisconsin

Suzanne Beck
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Anita Bhandari
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

John Mark
(650) 723-8325

Rajeev Bhatia
Akron Children’s Hospital

Steve Boas
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

Debra Boyer
Boston Children’s Hospital
(617) 355-6105

Lee Brooks
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Rebekah Brown

Ted Carter
University of Arizona College of Medicine

Carver Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Chris Cielo
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

J. Michael Collaco
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Nadir Demirel
University of Minnesota

Angela O. Delecaris 
Indiana University School of Medicine

William Gershan
University of Minnesota

Roni Grad
University of Arizona College of Medicine

Jane Gross

Don Hayes
Nationwide Children’s

Robert Heinle
Jefferson Medical College/duPont Hospital for Children Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship

Kensho Iwanga
University of California, San Francisco

Maureen Josephson
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Binal Kancherla
Baylor College of Medicine/ Texas Children’s Hospital

Julie Katkin
Baylor College of Medicine/ Texas Children’s Hospital

Mikhail Kazachkov
NYU School of Medicine

Sophia Konstantinopoulou
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Benjamin Kopp
Nationwide Children’s

Tassos Koumbouralis
Children’s National Medical Center

Terri A. Laguna
University of Minnesota

Thomas Lahiri
University of Vermont College of Medicine

Dan Lesser
UCSD-RCHSD Pediatric Respiratory Medicine

Oscar Mayer
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Susie Millard
DeVos Children’s Hospital

Paul Moore
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Ronald Morton
University of Louisville

Neal Nakra
St Josephs Hospital Medical Center

Diane Neddenriep
Pediatric Pulmonary Associates

Ben Nelson
MassGeneral Hospital for Children  

Mary Nevin
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine
312-227-6262 (Laura Busse – Administrative Assistant)

Christopher Oermann
University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine
816-234-3033 (main)

Howard Panitch
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Joseph Piccione
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Clement Ren
University of Rochester

C. Maria Riva
MUSC 843-876-5660

Michael Rock
University of Wisconsin

Kristie Ross
“Case Western Reserve Rainbow Babies Hospital, Cleveland”

Ronald Rubenstein
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Bruce Rubin
Virginia Commonwealth University

Iman Sami
Children’s National Medical Center

Michael Schechter
Virginia Commonwealth University

Shahid Sheikh
Nationwide Children’s

Andrew Sokolow

Ignacio Tapia
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

James Tutor
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Miles Weinberger
University of Iowa

Lisa Young

Edith Zemanick
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Proposed Electives for a Resident Entering Pulmonary Medicine

Below is a list of suggested (not mandatory) rotations that a resident could consider if they are planning to apply in this particular subspecialty. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive curriculum, but rather a list to create a program that fits a resident’s individual needs.

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Gastroenterology
  • Allergy/Immunology
  • Respiratory Care rotation
  • Cardiology
  • Pediatric intensive care
  • ENT
  • Pathology (with emphasis on lung pathology)
  • Radiology
  • Anesthesia
  • Asthma elective, if available
  • Sleep

Pediatric Subspecialties: the need is huge, the careers are stimulating, and the rewards are amazing.
To access a recording of the 1 hour CoPS Pediatric Subspecialties Webinar Series on 7/19/21 featuring a panel discussion about careers in Pediatric Pulmonology, please use this link.

Return to Subspecialty Descriptions