Academic Curriculum

The academic curriculum for the pediatric critical care medicine fellowship program is based on a desire to bring a deep understanding of human physiology to the bedside. We believe that only when one understands normal physiology can one know the abnormal physiology of critical illness. This knowledge is key to choosing and providing life-saving interventions in critically ill children. The focus on physiology is then "brought to the bedside" via sessions on up-to-date evidence based best practices and discussions about real patient encounters.

To augment the adult learning process, fellows are expected to be prepared to discuss the selected topics, as opposed to passively listening to a presentation. We hope that fellow-oriented and fellow-driven discussions will result in superior retention of information. Attending physicians continue to be an active and integral part of fellow education during the conferences, asking challenging questions or adding additional perspectives when appropriate.

Core Physiology

Occurring once per month, the core physiology curriculum will repeat on a yearly basis. The majority of time is spent on respiratory physiology, utilizing West's Respiratory Physiology as a reference, followed by cardiac physiology and cardiopulmonary interactions. Additional key principles are subsequently discussed toward the end of each academic year.

Unit Review

Occurring every Tuesday, the on-service fellow will present each patient for discussion. The purpose is not only to keep the entire division up-to-date on the current census, thus improving continuity of care, but also to access the collective wisdom of the division on challenging patients and issues.

Board Review

Occurring once per month, eight practice board questions are selected by a faculty member. Each fellow takes a turn answering a question, after which a "leading" fellow will discuss and teach the pertinent points of the correct, and incorrect, answers. The faculty member is also encouraged to teach any additional pertinent material at that time.

Journal Club

Occurring once per month, one fellow is selected to identify and present to the division a recent journal article. It is suggested, but not necessary, that the article be selected from the PedsCCM journal club with the resulting written review culminating in a publication for the fellow.

Chief of Service

Occurring once per month, this conference is a case presentation of a recent patient, presented on a rotating basis by a fellow from PICU, NICU (neonatology), or CVICU (cardiology). The multidisciplinary discussion is an excellent opportunity to learn about the different perspectives and recent literature of closely related pediatric subspecialties.

Topic Lecture

Occurring once per month, this conference is presented by a fellow, a PCCM faculty member, or a guest lecturer. It is intended to explore the depths of a certain topic and could include pathophysiology, recent scientific developments, or new treatment algorithms of a specific illness.

Evidence Based Medicine (EBM)

Occurring once per month, this conference is organized by Dr. Nico West, the research coordinator for the PCCM division. This curriculum, which covers basic statistics and study design among other topics, is repeated on a yearly basis and provides the faculty and fellows with the essential knowledge for a clinician-scientist to identify and evaluate scientific literature.

Day Discussion 1 Discussion 2 Discussion 3 Discussion 4
Monday M&M Topic Lecture Journal Club Chief of Service
Tuesday Unit Review Unit Review Unit Review Unit Review
Wednesday Core Physiology Board Review EBM Case Review
Thursday Flex Flex Flex Flex

Contact Us

Department of Pediatrics

Critical Care Division

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Children's Foundation
Research Center
50 N Dunlap, 3rd Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-287-6303

Program Coordinator

Rhonda Gray
E-mail: rgray25@uthsc.edu