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Emergency Medicine - Fellowship

View from Denver's City Park
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 only free-standing, tertiary care pediatric hospital in Colorado and the only Level 1 Regional Pediatric Trauma Center in the state. The emergency department sees over 68,000 visits annually, with over 1200 patients meeting trauma registry criteria. Fellows also rotate through Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC) for general Emergency Medicine training, including Toxicology, and an Ultrasound Mini-Fellowship. 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 except for the month of Pediatric Critical Care during the first year
when the fellow is on no more than every fourth night and averages every fifth night.
Clinical Schedule
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 project during their three years including presentation of the research project at a national meeting, either 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 is available for fellows for help with study design, IRB applications, database management, statistical analysis and abstract and paper submission. Currently there is research assistant coverage for 10-16 hours per day in the ED for study enrollment and data collection including fellow projects.



PEM Fellowship Year 1:
  • Choose a mentor and research project with the help of the Program Director and Research Director in the spring of the first year
  • Presentation at EDRC (Emergency Department Research Conference) and/or CEMRC (Combined Emergency Medicine Research Conference with Emergency Medicine
  • colleagues at Denver Health Medical Center and the University of Colorado) for feedback
  • Presentation at the National PEM Fellow Conference
  • Presentation of idea to Scholarship Oversight Committee
  • Preparation of Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) proposal
PEM Fellowship Year 2:
  • Apply for funding if necessary
  • Supervise patient enrollment and data collection
  • Poster presentation of research study progress at the annual Department of Pediatrics Spring Poster Session
  • Presentation of progress to Scholarship Oversight Committee
  • 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 progress 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
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 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, data analysis, and manuscript preparation as well as ongoing educational programs.
Recent Trainee Publications, Abstracts, and Presentations
Specialty-Specific Curriculum
Fellows participate in several educational seminars focused on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Below is the list of conferences:
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow’s Lecture Series: This series anchors the educational program and is scheduled for two hours on the first, second and fourth Tuesdays 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. A didactic lecture is paired with a self-learning exercise such as Journal Club, Journal Watch, Interesting Cases and Board Review Questions.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellows’ Research Education: This educational series occurs monthly, facilitated by Dr. Mistry, associate research director for the Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 1-2 hours encompasses part didactic, part 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 Dr. Wang (Toxicology/PEM) through 1 hour didactics or facilitated self-directed learning exercises every 6 weeks.
PEM and PED Multidisciplinary Simulation: Occurs twice 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.
Combined PICU-ED Conference: This conference occurs quarterly between the Sections of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. Conferences alternate between M&M discussions of the management of critically ill patients and Journal Club.
Pediatric Resident ED Educational Series: These conferences occur twice a month and give the PEM fellows a chance to develop didactic lectures as well as teach the housestaff through simulated resuscitations and interactive discussions of interesting patients.
Trauma Conference: This seminar series occurs on Mondays and focuses on topics broadly relevant to care of critically injured pediatric patients including presentations from trauma surgeons, subspecialty surgeons, rehabilitation specialists, critical care intensivists and emergency medicine physicians.
PEM Faculty Administrative Staff Meeting: Fellows are exposed to a variety of administrative issues through the faculty meetings which occur twice a month.
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 topics of broad relevance to pediatric medicine.
Section or Departmental Conferences
Morbidity and Mortality Conference: This conference takes place every other month and is attended by attending physicians, fellows, and subspecialty physicians (as warranted by the topic). Difficult cases are presented by fellows and faculty members, with particular attention given to identifying system issues affecting outcome and reviewing critical decision-making.
Combined Children's Colorado and DHMC Pediatric Emergency Medicine Conference: This conference occurs quarterly and is attending by both Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medicine physicians from Children's Colorado, DHMC and the University of Colorado Emergency Medicine program. Difficult cases are presented in an effort to identify systems issues and decision-making.
Radiology Discrepancy Conference: This conference takes place every other month and is attended by PEM attending physicians, fellows and radiology attending. X-rays interpreted incorrectly by ED physicians are reviewed as well as interesting radiologic findings.
In addition to these conferences, fellows attend numerous other educational conferences that focus on clinical issues.  These conferences are listed under the Education tab.
Additional Graduate Coursework
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 may be supplemented but not covered in its entirety by the Section.
Scientific Meetings
Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellows are encouraged to attend national scientific meetings throughout their fellowship. The first year fellows are 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 oral presentation.


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 or Emergency Medicine.


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 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 letters of recommendation (one preferably from a PEM fellowship director).


Dates to Remember

Applications will be accepted as soon as the ERAS Post Office opens on July 1, 2014. Additional dates for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship match are provided below. Please visit the NRMP website for additional information.

Interview Dates

Competitive applicants are offered on-site interviews, which will take place on Wednesdays starting September 24 through October 22, 2014.

  • Candidates will meet our program director who will provide a tour of the Emergency Department at Children's Hospital Colorado and give a broad overview of the program. 
  • Candidates will then meet individually with 4-5 members of our faculty.
  • If a candidate is interested in meeting with a specific faculty member, we will try to accommodate those requests, but these need to be arranged in advance.
  • Candidates will have lunch with our current fellows at an off-campus restaurant.
  • In general, the interview day concludes around 3 pm.  


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 as necessary to:

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


Erin Dennis
Fellowship Coordinator, Section of Emergency Medicine
E-mail: Erin Dennis


Emergency Fellows (022) 2013.jpg

Emergency Medicine Fellows
(Left-Right): Sarah Schmidt (PGY4, 1st year), Marcy Mendenhall (PGY6, 3rd year), Nidhya Navanandan (PGY4, 1st year),
Cortney Braund (PGY6, 3rd year), Sarah Mellion (PGY5, 2nd year), Tara Neubrand (PGY5, 2nd year)


First-Year Fellows:
Nidhya Navanandan, MD
Residency: Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital Chicago/Northwestern University
Medical School: Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Research Interest: TBD
Contact: Nidhya.Navanandan


Sarah Schmidt, MD
Residency: University of Colorado Pediatrics residency program
Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Research Interests: Simulation, medical education, resuscitation
Contact: Sarah.Schmidt
Second-Year Fellows:

Sarah Mellion, MD
Residency: University of Utah Pediatric Residency
Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Research Interest: Sedation
Contact: Sarah.Mellion


Tara Neubrand, MD
Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program
Medical School: University of Texas Medical Branch of Galveston
Research Interest: Fascia iliaca compartment nerve blocks for acute femur fractures                        Contact: Tara.Neubrand


Third-Year Fellows:

Cortney Braund, MD
Residency: Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University
Medical School:  Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy
Research Interest: Bronchiolitis and Simulation
Contact: Cortney.Braund

Marcy Mendenhall, MD
Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program
Medical School:  Stanford University School of Medicine
Research Interest: Language barrier, quality improvement
Contact: Marcela.Mendenhall