Skip to main content
Sign In

Emergency Medicine - Fellowship


View from Denver's City Park 

​​​Fellowship Leadership

Tien,Vu (037) 2017.jpg Alletag_Michelle 2014 (002).jpg BialkowskiMichele (070) 2016.jpg
​Program Director
Tien Vu, MD
Associate Professor
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Email: Tien.Vu
​Associate Program Director
Michelle Alletag, MD
Assistant Professor
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
​Program Coordinator
Michele Bialkowski
Phone: 303-724-2566

 Program Aims

  • To produce physicians who are clinically proficient in the practice of pediatric emergency medicine, especially in the management of the acutely ill or injured child, in the setting of an emergency department (ED).
  • To produce physicians who are knowledgeable and have experience in clinical research and research methodology, quality improvement/patient safety, and skills in teaching and life-long learning.
  • To provide useful tools to combat burn-out and encourage wellness and resiliency among trainees, inform trainees of available departmental and institutional resources to address trainee needs.



The primary focus of our training program is to provide comprehensive training in Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) to allow the graduate to independently manage all problems that would fall under the purview of a Pediatric Emergency Medicine subspecialist. Fellows rotate primarily through Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children's Colorado) located on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Children's Colorado is the only free-standing, tertiary care pediatric hospital in Colorado and the only Level 1 Regional Pediatric Trauma Center in the state. The main emergency department sees over 70,000 visits annually, with 1100+ patients meeting trauma registry criteria. Fellows also rotate through Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC) for general Emergency Medicine training, including Toxicology at the Rocky Mountain Poison Center. Under the supervision of a large and diverse faculty, trainees gain exposure to patients with a broad spectrum of clinical problems. Learning from direct patient care is augmented by a comprehensive series of lectures and conferences focused on Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

To prepare trainees to function as effective Pediatric Emergency Medicine subspecialists upon completion of their fellowship, the fellows assume graduated responsibility for patient care over the course of their three years. Fellows are directly supervised by Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medicine faculty during their clinical ED rotations.


Call Responsibilities

There is no in-house call. 


The program seeks to provide comprehensive scholarly training that prepares all trainees with the background and skills to compete for academic faculty positions at the completion of their fellowship.

The expectation of this fellowship program is that graduates will have completed a research or complex scholarly project during their three years including presentation of the project at a national meeting, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics fall meeting or the Pediatric Academic Societies spring meeting, and publication of a first author manuscript.


Research Infrastructure

The Section has a full-time research coordinator and biostatistician who are available for assistance with study design, IRB applications, database management, statistical analysis, abstract, and manuscript submission. Research assistant coverage averages 10-16 hours per day in the ED for study enrollment and data collection including fellow projects.

Timeline for Pediatric-trained PEM fellows


  • PEM Fellowship Year 1:
    • Choose a mentor and research project with the help of the Program Director and Research Director by the winter of the first year
    • Presentation of idea to Scholarship Oversight Committee
    • Presentation at Section Academic Conference and/or CEMRC (Combined Emergency Medicine Research Conference with Emergency Medicine
    • Presentation at the National PEM Fellows Conference
    • Preparation and submission of Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) proposal
    • Apply for funding if possible or necessary
    PEM Fellowship Year 2:
    • Supervise patient enrollment and data collection
    • Analyze and interpret data
    • Presentation of progress to Scholarship Oversight Committee and Section Academic Conference
    • Poster presentation of research study progress at the annual Department of Pediatrics Spring Poster Session
    • Submission of an abstract to a national scientific meeting
    PEM Fellowship Year 3:
    • Conclude patient enrollment, analyze and interpret data
    • Submission of an abstract to a national scientific meeting
    • Preparation and submission of a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal
    • Presentation of final work product to Scholarship Oversight Committee who will determine if the fellow has met board certification requirements
    • Poster presentation of research study progress at the annual Department of Pediatrics Spring Poster Session

*Emergency Medicine-trained PEM fellows have a required 3- year curriculum. Clinical requirements feature more prominently during the first 2 years, and the 3rd year is focused on scholarship. Completion of all 3 years is required for graduation from the fellowship program.

National Research Networks

The University of Colorado Denver/Children's Colorado is a member of PECARN, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network. PECARN is a federally funded pediatric emergency medicine research network conducting multi-institutional research on the prevention and management of acute illness and injuries in children and youth of all ages. For more information:

Several faculty are members of PEM CRC, the PEM Collaborative Research Committee, a subcommittee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Emergency Medicine. PEM CRC is an unfunded volunteer effort which provides a framework for multicenter investigation. It provides a means of developing protocols and identifying interested co-investigators at over 40 member sites.  For more information:

Local Research Support 

The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) is a collaborative enterprise between University of Colorado Denver, University of Colorado at Boulder, six affiliated Hospitals and health care organizations, and multiple community organizations with resources to promote research and training that will advance health care and improve the public health. Through the CCTSI, Clinical Translational Research Centers (CTRCs) have been established at several affiliated hospitals, including Children's Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital, and Denver Health Medical Center. The CTRC also offers biostatistical collaboration/consultation for study design, including sample size and power calculations, and data analysis. Children’s Hospital Research Institute also offered limited research support to fellows.

Specialty-Specific Curriculum

Fellows participate in several educational seminars focused on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Below is the list of conferences:

Fellows participate in several educational seminars focused on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Below is the list of conferences:

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow’s Core Lecture Series: This series anchors the educational program and is scheduled for two hours on Thursdays of the month. Attendance is mandatory. The primary focus of the series is to provide lectures on core clinical topics essential to the practice of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. In addition to didactic lectures, self-directed learning exercises are facilitated by faculty which include Journal Club, Journal Watch, Interesting Cases, EBM, and Board Review.
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellows’ Research Education: This 1 hour educational series occurs monthly, facilitated by the Research Director or research faculty for the Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. It encompasses didactic and group learning exercises which will ensure core knowledge of basic epidemiology, biostatics, research methods, specific research project assistance, presentation, abstract and manuscript writing.
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine Toxicology Curriculum: In addition to their month in toxicology, fellows get longitudinal toxicology education provided by our faculty toxicologist through 1 hour didactics or facilitated self-directed learning exercises throughout the year.  
  • Ultrasound Curriculum: Didactic and hands-on ultrasound education sessions occur 2 hours monthly, in addition to a 1 week dedicated scanning rotation yearly, facilitated by the Ultrasound Director or trained faculty.  Additional rotations in Adult and Prenatal Ultrasound may occur at University Hospital and Denver Health Medical Center.
  • Quality Curriculum for Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellows: Longitudinal 2-3 year curriculum in the science of Quality Improvement by dedicated PEM QI faculty. Fellows are required to be involved in a QI project and have a dedicated QI mentor.  
  • PEM and PED Multidisciplinary Simulation: Occurs monthly. Fellows take on the role as team leader in high fidelity simulations with ED staff in managing acute patients, honing communication and teamwork skills. Facilitated by CHCO Simulation Center staff. CHCO Critical Care bootcamp is required for 1st year fellows, in conjunction with critical care, anesthesia, and cardiology fellows. Additional simulation curriculum occurs throughout the year aimed at specific content.
  • Pediatric Resident ED Educational Series: This session occurs twice monthly. Allows PEM fellows to teach house-staff and other trainees through didactic lectures, simulated resuscitations, and interactive discussions of interesting patients.
  • Fellow Faculty Lecture Series: Annual lectures by all fellows on PEM related topics given to faculty audience to improve medical knowledge, explore controversies, present relevant new data, and hone presentation/teaching skills.
  • Fellow-Faculty Dinner Series: Quarterly dinners hosted by faculty to discuss specific topics related to career, wellness, resiliency etc.


Section or Departmental Conferences

    • Morbidity and Mortality Conference: Monthly conference presented by fellows, with particular attention given to identifying systems issues affecting outcome, process improvement, and medical management.

      PEM Faculty Administrative Staff Meeting: Fellows are exposed to a variety of administrative issues through the faculty meetings which occur twice a month.

      Combined Pediatric Morbidity and Mortality Conference: This conference occurs quarterly and is attended by faculty from Children's Colorado, Denver Health Medical Center, and the University of Colorado Emergency Medicine program.

      Radiology Review Conference: This conference takes place every other month to review missed findings or interesting radiographic imaging with radiology faculty.

      QI Committee Meeting: Monthly quality improvement administrative meeting to discuss status or issues related to on-going QI projects in the Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine as well as present new QI projects or ideas.

      Section Academic Conference: Monthly research conference discussing new or on-going research projects or ideas.

      Section CME Conference: Monthly pediatric emergency medicine education conference designed to improved medical knowledge on urgent care/emergency medicine topics, open to all providers in the section of pediatric emergency medicine.

      Multidisciplinary Trauma Conference: This seminar series occurs monthly through the Trauma Program and focuses on topics broadly relevant to the care of critically injured pediatric patients including presentations from trauma surgeons, subspecialty surgeons, rehabilitation specialists, intensivists, emergency medicine physicians, and EMS providers.

      Pediatric Grand Rounds: These presentations occur weekly during the academic year. Speakers include CU faculty and invited guests who are nationally and internationally recognized experts in pediatric-related topics.

      Additional Graduate Coursework

      Masters of Science in Clinical Sciences (MSCS) program is offered through the university and select fellows through the Department of Pediatrics may apply for limited funding support for this program if grants are available.  A mini-certificate or a MPH degree may be obtained at the Colorado School of Public Health (collaboration between University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado). For more information: . The certificate program requires 15 hours of graduate work and the MPH requires 42 hours of graduate work. This requires extra time commitment as the clinical and elective requirements remain unchanged. Funding for trainee graduate coursework is not supported by the section of emergency medicine.


      Scientific Meetings

      Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellows are encouraged to attend national scientific meetings throughout their fellowship. The first year fellows are financially supported to attend the National PEM Fellows Conference. Among the meetings attended by Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellows are the Pediatric Academic Societies spring meeting and the American Academy of Pediatrics fall meeting. The Section supports travel to any national meeting for which the trainee has an abstract or platform presentation according to section rules. Fellows are financially supported for an additional career-focused conference for networking during their 2nd or 3rd fellowship year.  


      We particularly hope to attract applicants who are motivated and self-directed learners who want to develop academic careers based on excellence in research, scholarship, education and clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. To be considered for admission to our program, applicants must have successfully completed training in an ACGME-accredited residency program in Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, or Med-Peds.


      Required Application Materials

      All application material should be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service(ERAS) We participate in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) and typically do not offer any positions outside of the match. Required application materials include a completed ERAS common application form, curriculum vitae, a USMLE (or COMLEX/ECFMG) transcript, a personal statement addressing your interest in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and 3-4 letters of recommendation: 1 from your residency director, and at least one from a PEM fellowship director or PEM-trained faculty.


      Dates to Remember

      Applications will be accepted as soon as the ERAS Post Office opens on July 15th. Application reviews typically occur by early-mid August, thus applications received after this time may not be considered. Additional dates for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship match are provided below. Please visit the NRMP website for additional information.


       NRMP Dates.png


      Interview Dates

      Competitive applicants are offered on-site interviews, which will take place on Wednesdays, October into early November and are from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm.  Interview days generally last from 8am-3pm.

      Salary and Benefits

      The University of Colorado offers salary and benefits packages that are competitive with other fellowship programs across the country. Current salary levels can be found at the School of Medicine - Graduate Medical Education Stipends

      Please address further questions to:

      Tien Vu, MD
      Fellowship Program Director, Section of Emergency Medicine
      University of Colorado School of Medicine
      E-mail: Tien.Vu  

      Michele Bialkowski
      Fellowship Coordinator, Section of Emergency Medicine
      E-mail: Michele.Bialkowski

      Emergency Medicine Fellows

      ​3rd Year Fellows

      Gradwohl,Stephen (025) 2017.jpg

      Stephen Gradwohl, MD, MS
      Residency:  St. Louis Children's
      Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine
      Research Interest:

      Hurst,Irene (Allie) (081) 2017.jpg

      Irene Hurst, MD, MS
      Residency: Northwestern University
      Medical School:  Tulane University School of Medicine
      Research Interest: 



      Melisa Tanverdi, MD
      Residency:  University of Colorado
      Medical School:  Wake Forest University School Of Medicine
      Research Interest: 

      ​2nd Year Fellows

      Cafferty,Rachel (04) 2018.jpg

      Rachel M Cafferty, MD

      Residency: University of Minnesota

      Medical School: Loyola Stritch School of Medicine

      Research Interest:  TBD

      Email: Rachel.Cafferty




      Jessica Graham, MD

      Residency: University of Colorado

      Medical School: University of New Mexico School of Medicine

      Research Interest: TBD

      Email: Jessica.kraynik


      Emily Greenwald, MD

      Residency: University of Colorado

      Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine

      Residency: University of Colorado

      Research Interest: TBD

      Email: Emily.Greenwald

      ​1st Year Fellows

      Abrahms.png flood.jpg Sudanagunta.png
      Anna Abrams, MD 

      Medical School:  Tulane University School of Medicine

      Residency: Children's National Medical Center

      Research Interest: TBD

      Email: Anna.Abrams 



      Shannon Flood, MD

      Medical School: Oregon Health Sciences Un School of Medicine  

      Residency: University of Colorado

      Research interest: TBD

      Email: Shannon.Flood    




      Sindhu Sudanagunta MD 

      Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine Residency: Children's Medical Center

      Research Interest: TBD

      Email: Sindhu.Sudanagunta