Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship

Panoramic view of OHSU's Marquam Hill campus.

Message from the program director

A professional photo of Dr. Erin Burns.

Welcome to the Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)/Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. We are excited that you are considering us for your fellowship training! 

Our fellowship was born in 2011, when a core group of academic and clinical faculty recognized that the OHSU PICU offered incredible training opportunities. Our busy medium-size PICU offers a wide variety of cases cared for by a cadre of highly-skilled intensivists who are excited to train the next generation.   

We are a great fit for pediatricians who are passionate clinicians. We seek applicants with vision and drive to thrive in a flexible, individualized program. Our program is ideal for candidates who desire clinical rigor with time to nurture specific professional interests. Please review our program aims below to learn more about what makes Doernbecher a special place to train.  

Our program is small, but mighty; with one fellow in each of three years of training, we are able to tailor our curriculum to meet individual needs and career goals. Our fellows work alongside faculty more as colleagues than as trainees. Our tight-knit group of faculty members is uniquely positioned to guide each fellow as they develop into independent, confident, and compassionate pediatric intensivists. An emphasis on faculty mentorship – personal and professional – inspires fellows to join them in scholarly activities related to quality improvement, patient safety, and clinical research.   

Since 2015 we have graduated an outstanding pediatric intensivist every year, all of whom have gone on to great careers. Our ABP Critical Care Board Exam pass rate is 100%. More importantly, our graduating fellows excel in the management of critically ill children with multisystem disease. Each has their own professional niche and expertise.  

Our current fellows are each making integral contributions toward the research, educational, service, and clinical missions of the institution – as we speak! They are recognized throughout the pediatric community for their teamwork with clinical staff, residents, other fellows, and faculty.  

We do this in the setting of beautiful Portland, Oregon. Our fellows work hard, play hard, and finish training well positioned and well balanced to enter the next phase of their career. We hope this website will give you a glimpse into our fellowship program and PICU family, our city, and details about our interview day. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding our training program. We hope to meet you soon! 

With gratitude, 

Erin C. Burns, M.D. 
Fellowship Program Director

The Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship is a three-year subspecialty training program designed to follow residency training in pediatrics or combined internal medicine-pediatrics, though non-traditional routes are possible as well. The fellowship program seeks to develop outstanding clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in pediatric critical care medicine. With one fellow per training level, we are a small program with the ability to prioritize educational goals. Curricula will vary as they are tailored to individual fellow circumstances, career goals, American Board of Pediatrics approval, and other needs. 

OHSU is where healing, teaching, and discovery come together. As Oregon’s only academic health center and medical school, we provide comprehensive healthcare, educate the next generation of pediatric intensivists, and explore new solutions to healthcare problems. 

The Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital trains academic physicians with an emphasis on provision of excellent patient care. We specifically focus on training compassionate and collegial physicians with strong communication skills and who work well in interdisciplinary teams. Given the multidisciplinary nature of critical care, strong teamwork is at the core of what we do and teach. 

We have a diverse patient population providing breadth to the training of our fellows. In addition to our very experienced PICU faculty, we have an exceptional and comprehensive team of pediatric subspecialists to support the care of these patients and who are involved in the training of our fellows. Our graduating fellows excel in the management of critically ill children with multisystem disease. 

With a PICU serving Oregon, southern Washington, eastern Idaho, and northern California, the fellows are exposed to a broad range of patients from rural and urban settings. They become adept in managing the complex transport of patients over long distances, using various modes of transport. Fellows will accompany our dedicated pediatric critical care transport PANDA Team on a select subset of transports longitudinally throughout training, with roles commensurate with their advancing skill levels. Another crucial aspect of care across long distances is the use of telemedicine. OHSU is home to one of the largest, most comprehensive telehealth networks in the world, and PICU fellows receive training in this important outreach modality. 

We strive to develop fellows who are aware of the physical, cognitive, psychological, and social impact critical care admission has on patients and families in both the short and long term encompassed by the post-intensive care syndrome. Fellows participate in our critical care and neurotrauma recovery program through both inpatient consultation and outpatient follow-up. This is the only program of its kind on the West Coast. Fellows are educated in identification and management of post-intensive care syndrome through a multidisciplinary team that includes faculty in Pediatric Critical Care, Neurology, and Neuropsychology. Fellows will experience first-hand the range of recovery seen in patients surviving critical illness and acquired brain injury.  

We believe that hard work today can result in a better tomorrow. To that end, fellows are trained in Quality Improvement (QI) science and methodology. Fellows participate in one or more team-based interdisciplinary projects aimed at improving patient care and safety, and over time develop skills to design, implement, and lead these projects independently.  

We do this in the setting of beautiful Portland, Oregon, in a small but comprehensive program where fellows get to interact closely with faculty and are treated as individuals and colleagues. We feel this provides an optimal learning environment.

Please see the Department of Pediatrics fellowship page for departmental benefits available to all pediatric fellows, and the OHSU GME page for Employment and Benefits information, including salary, transportation, and insurance.

Clinical training

The Doernbecher PICU is a 20-bed unit with an average daily census of 15 patients. We are an open, mixed unit with approximately 1400 admissions annually. Our diverse patient population includes pediatric medical, general surgical, cardiac medical and surgical, neurosurgical, renal transplant, and multi-system trauma patients. We care for approximately 13 ECMO cases per year, in addition to 150 patients who are status-post intra-operative cardiopulmonary bypass procedures.

Our catchment area includes Oregon, southern Washington, northern California, and Idaho. Doernbecher has an active and dedicated pediatric critical care transport team providing high-quality mobile ICU care to all of these regions, allowing PICU fellows to become facile and comfortable with management of pediatric transports (~1000 per year).

Three female OHSU providers smiling as they care for a newborn baby.

During a total of 60 weeks of clinical PICU training, fellows develop skills critical to management of the intensive care unit, including patient triage, leadership of a large team of medical trainees, cooperation with nursing leadership, and ongoing process improvement. Work hours during these clinical weeks consists of both day and night shifts.

Faculty include 13 board-certified pediatric intensivists (who cover both the medical-surgical and cardiac ICU services) and two nurse practitioners, allowing adequate attending coverage to assure an excellent learning environment for the fellow. Attendings are in-house 24-7, including two attendings in-house during weekdays. There is also a complete spectrum of pediatric subspecialty consultants at Doernbecher, all of whom excel in their fields. With one fellow per year, there is always time for teaching.

Rotations by year

Each year includes 4 weeks vacation + 1 week CME

Year One:

  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
  • Pediatric Anesthesiology
  • Pediatric Cardiac ICU (CICU)
  • Research

Year Two:

  • PICU
  • CICU
  • Advanced Heart Failure (Seattle Children’s CICU)
  • Trauma ICU (TICU)
  • Procedural Sedation
  • Research

Year Three:

  • PICU
  • CICU
  • Cardiac Anesthesia
  • Elective
  • Research

PICU weeks

Our fellows create their own schedules when working in the PICU. These blocks are typically 2-4 weeks in length, but sometimes occur back-to-back depending on other rotation/scheduling needs.

The average four-week block (see sample schedule) would include:

  • Seven nights (broken up into a four-night stretch and a three-night stretch) 
  • Five days off (not including post call days) 
  • Remaining days are day shifts

Research blocks

Research time for PICU fellows is protected time to devote to scholarly work, with the exception of working one weekend in the PICU per month of research time. The goal of working a weekend is to maintain skills and unit presence, particularly during relatively long stretches of research time during the second and third years of fellowship.

Progression of scholarly activity is reviewed twice yearly at fellows’ Scholarly Oversite Committee meetings, as per ABP requirements.

Home call

There is no home call for our PICU fellows.


We believe that fellowship is a special, once-in-a-career opportunity to soak up knowledge and skills. As such, fellows’ education is always a priority, whether at the bedside or in the classroom. 

Our didactic curriculum is designed to optimize the fellows’ ability to learn in a protected and meaningful way, while minimizing disruption to clinical and research duties. To this end, the majority of fellows’ didactics occur during one half-day per month (generally the last Monday). Sessions start with 90 minutes of core physiology, focusing on essential principles of cardiopulmonary, renal, hepatic, and acid-base physiologies. The subsequent two hours include a fellow-led textbook chapter review, fellow-led landmark article review, and a faculty-led didactic (traditional lecture, simulation, or board prep questions), all of which adhere to a topical theme (such as traumatic brain injury or low cardiac output syndrome following cardiopulmonary bypass).

As a small program, we are able to adjust clinical schedules to prioritize attendance at these monthly education sessions. With the exception of illness, vacation, or leave, fellows attend all 33 sessions over a three-year period. We aim to graduate fellows with a consistent and solid knowledge base in these key areas.

In addition to monthly block didactics, fellows are also able to attend a multitude of divisional and departmental educational conferences: 

  • PICU M&M (monthly) 

  • PICU-Oncology Combined M&M (quarterly) 

  • Multidisciplinary Congenital Cardiac M&M (monthly) 

  • Pediatric Stroke Conference (quarterly) 

  • Pediatric Trauma Conference (monthly) 

  • Pediatric ECMO Conference (quarterly) 

  • Ethics Conference (quarterly) 

  • PICU Division Quality Improvement Conference (monthly) 

  • Difficult Case Conversations (monthly) 

  • Journal Club (monthly) 

  • Research in Progress (monthly) 

  • Department of Pediatrics Chair’s Friday Forum (weekly) 

  • Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds (weekly) 

  • Multidisciplinary Critical Care conference for all-campus ICU fellows (monthly) 

  • PICU Case Conference (weekly)

Our program of evaluation

One of the most important factors in fellows’ clinical and professional growth is the receipt of meaningful and timely feedback. We have developed an extensive and wrap-around approach to both formative and summative feedback that allows fellows to continuously reflect and improve upon their knowledge and skills. Just like daily rounds, feedback becomes a regular and expected part of fellows’ clinical education.

At the conclusion of each week of clinical service shared with one-two PICU faculty, fellows are evaluated via a brief survey on specific skills and behaviors that map to the essential developmental competencies, milestones, entrustable professional activities (EPAs) laid out by the ABP/ACGME. Subspecialty domains of practice include: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice.

On-the-fly feedback is provided by faculty to fellows via paper and electronic (accessed via QR-code) feedback forms that fellows may distribute to PICU and non-PICU faculty and staff when appropriate. Fellowship program leadership also distribute feedback cards to staff and families to allow them to evaluate fellows on their performance on rounds and at the bedside.

Fellows receive feedback on their presentations and teaching during all of the divisional and departmental conferences in which they participate. This feedback comes both from faculty and other trainees (co-fellows, residents, students) via an electronic survey.

All of this data is reviewed in summation at bi-annual Clinical Competency Committee meetings, and then reviewed with the fellow by program leadership.

Teaching opportunities

Because we believe that effective faculty development must begin during training, we offer our PICU fellows the opportunity to enroll in the Education Scholars Program at OHSU, a highly-regarded longitudinal seminar for motivated and promising clinical teachers.

In addition to this program, there are many opportunities for all PICU fellows to get involved in teaching medical students, residents, nursing staff, and/or other fellows/faculty members. All PICU fellows will alternate teaching informal clinical “chalk talks” to pediatric residents on their PICU rotation on a weekly basis. Other optional teaching opportunities include: 

  • Pediatric Residency Mock Code (monthly) 
  • Pediatric Residency Noon Conference (prn) 
  • PALS instruction (biannual commitment) 
  • Pediatric Grand Rounds (per invitation) 
  • PICU nursing education sessions (per invitation) 
  • PICU division research in progress series (once per fellowship) 
  • M&M conferences (departmental and divisional, prn) 
  • Medical student core pediatrics sessions 
  • Medical student small-group facilitation


Our PICU operates the Doernbecher Simulation Program, with a dedicated in-house mannequin named Donnie. Through this program, mock codes are held two-three times monthly, with exposure for both day- and night-shift physicians and staff, in our “native” environment.

The Pediatric Residency Mock Code curriculum also utilizes Donnie, drawing upon the expertise and knowledge of PICU faculty and fellows to guide residents through simulated scenarios. 

In addition to their participation in unit-based mock scenarios, and teaching within the pediatric resident mock code curriculum, PICU fellows have regular access to OHSU's state-of-the-art Simulation Center on the South Waterfront, which houses the PALS/ATLS program in addition to Central Line WetLabs and Ventilator Simulations.

A man standing behind a podium next to a large screen displaying the first page of a presentation deck.

Training our PICU fellows to become competent physician scientists is a priority of the fellowship program. Fellow scholars meet with the program director and division faculty to delineate research interests within the first several months of fellowship. Significant effort is dedicated to this process to maximize opportunity for a successful investigative career. This is followed by the choice of a research mentor(s) and project, with scholarly activities to commence within the first year of fellowship.

A separate professional mentor is also selected by the fellow early in the first year, to help guide the fellow more generally in the career and personal development.

Additionally, the Pediatric Fellowship Committee, a larger governing body for all pediatric fellowship programs at Doernbecher, provides resources to fellows in project development and choosing a mentor.

OHSU/Doernbecher has a plethora of talented faculty in many areas applicable to pediatric critical care who enjoy mentoring fellows in professional development and scholarly endeavors.

As part of their career development, fellows may choose to pursue an advanced degree, including a Master of Public Health and Master of Clinical Research.

Human Investigations Program (HIP)

All pediatric fellows receive funding to participate in the Human Investigations Program (HIP), a unique and highly-valuable resource for fellowship trainees at OHSU, which is supported by an NIH K30 grant. The HIP is a formal, expertly taught graduate program housed under the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) and fulfilling all American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) criteria for education in epidemiology, biostatistics, research design, proposal development, and manuscript preparation/review. Fellows also learn to integrate principles of molecular and cell biology, new pharmacology techniques, genomics, and medical informatics into modern clinical, translational, and basic science research. The primary objective of HIP is to increase the competency of physician-scholars in the investigative process, and the coursework is directed toward young investigators and fellows as well as junior faculty. The curricula may result in a Certificate in Human Investigations (one year), or Master of Clinical Research (two years), depending on the career goals of each individual fellow.

Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI)

Beyond HIP, OCTRI has a wide array of resources to help investigators and research staff plan and implement successful research studies. OCTRI provides funding and support for novel translational research projects and educational opportunities for faculty, fellows, students, and study coordinators. With major funding from the National Institutes of Health through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), and significant institutional commitment from OHSU and Kaiser Permanente, OCTRI's mission is to improve human health by enhancing clinical and translational research. OCTRI provides a coordinated infrastructure of core research tools. The OCTRI research infrastructure supports investigators with expertise, equipment, facilities, and tools in bioinformatics, biostatistics, community-engaged research, compliance and regulatory support, inpatient and outpatient clinical research, and laboratory analysis. There are many other research centers supporting trainees in research, finding funding, and writing grants.

Fellow and alumni peer-reviewed publications

  • Continuing Care For Critically Ill Children Beyond Hospital Discharge: Current State of Follow-up. Williams CN, Hall TA, Francoeur C, Kurz J, Rasmussen L, Hartman ME, O'meara AI, Ferguson NM, Fink EL, Walker T, Drury K, Carpenter JL, Erklauer J, Press C, Wainwright MS, Lovett M, Dapul H, Murphy S, Risen S, Guerriero RM, Woodruff A, Guilliams KP; PEDIATRIC NEUROCRITICAL CARE RESEARCH GROUP (PNCRG)..Hosp Pediatr. 2022 Apr 1;12(4):359-393. PMID: 35314865
  • Prevalence and Risk Factors of Neurologic Manifestations in Hospitalized Children Diagnosed with Acute SARS-CoV-2 or MIS-C. Fink EL, Robertson CL, Wainwright MS, Roa JD, Lovett ME, Stulce C, Yacoub M, Potera RM, Zivick E, Holloway A, Nagpal A, Wellnitz K, Czech T, Even KM, Brunow de Carvalho W, Rodriguez IS, Schwartz SP, Walker TC, Campos-Miño S, Dervan LA, Geneslaw AS, Sewell TB, Pryce P, Silver WG, Lin JE, Vargas WS, Topjian A, Alcamo AM, McGuire JL, Domínguez Rojas JA, Muñoz JT, Hong SJ, Muller WJ, Doerfler M, Williams CN, Drury K, Bhagat D, Nelson A, Price D, Dapul H, Santos L, Kahoud R, Francoeur C, Appavu B, Guilliams KP, Agner SC, Walson KH, Rasmussen L, Janas A, Ferrazzano P, Farias-Moeller R, Snooks KC, Chang CH, Yun J, Schober ME; Global Consortium Study of Neurologic Dysfunction in COVID-19 (GCS-NeuroCOVID) Investigators.Pediatr Neurol. 2022 Mar;128:33-44. PMID: 35066369
  • Cognitive Dysfunction After Analgesia and Sedation: Out of the Operating Room and Into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Turner AD, Sullivan T, Drury K, Hall TA, Williams CN, Guilliams KP, Murphy S, Iqbal O'Meara AM.Front Behav Neurosci. 2021 Aug 16;15:713668. PMID: 34483858
  • A Mixed-Methods Quasi-Experimental Study on Perspectives Among Physicians and Nurses Regarding Use of Palliative Care Teams in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. Broman A, Williams C, Macauley R, Carney PA.Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2021 Feb;38(2):130-137. doi: 10.1177/1049909120937454. Epub 2020 Jul 8.PMID: 32638618
  • Development and Retrospective Review of a Pediatric Ethics Consultation Service at a Large Academic Center. Leland BD, Wocial LD, Drury K, Rowan CM, Helft PR, Torke AM.HEC Forum. 2020 Sep;32(3):269-281. PMID: 32180057
  • Pediatric trauma venous thromboembolism prediction algorithm outperforms current anticoagulation prophylaxis guidelines: a pilot study. Cunningham AJ, Dewey E, Lin S, Haley KM, Burns EC, Connelly CR, Moss L, Downie K, Hamilton NA, Krishnaswami S, Schreiber MA, Jafri MA. Pediatr Surg Int. 2020. PMID: 31900592
  • PICU early mobilization and impact on parent stress. Colwell BRL, Olufs E, Zuckerman K, Kelly SP, Ibsen LM, Williams CN. Hosp Pediatr. 2019. PMID: 30914449   
  • Pediatric minor traumatic brain injury with intracranial hemorrhage: identifying low-risk patients who may not benefit from ICU admission. Burns EC, Burns B, Newgard CD, Laurie A, Fu R, Graif T, Ward CS, Bauer A, Steinhardt D, Ibsen LM, Spiro DM. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2019. PMID: 27798539  
  • Mobilization therapy in the pediatric intensive care unit: a multidisciplinary quality improvement initiative. Colwell BRL, Williams CN, Kelly SP, Ibsen LM. Am J Crit Care. 2018. PMID: 29716905  
  • Hospital-to-home interventions, use, and satisfaction: a meta-analysis. Hamline M, Speier R, Vu PD, Tancredi D, Broman AR, Rasmussen L, Tullius BP, Shaikh U, Li ST. Pediatrics. 2018. e20180442. 
  • North American survey on the post-neuroimaging management of children with mild head injuries. Greenberg JK, Jeffe DB, Carpenter CR, Yan Y, Pineda JA, Lumba-Brown A, Keller MS, Berger D, Bollo RJ, Ravindra VM, Naftel RP, Dewan MC, Shah MN, Burns EC, O'Neill BR, Hankinson TC, Whitehead WE, Adelson PD, Tamber MS, McDonald PJ, Ahn ES, Titsworth W, West AN, Brownson RC, Limbrick DD. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2018. PMID: 30485194  
  • Minimizing variance in care of pediatric blunt solid organ injury through utilization of a hemodynamic-driven protocol: a multi-institution study. Cunningham AJ, Lofberg KM, Krishnaswami S, Butler MW, Azarow KS, Hamilton NA, Fialkowski EA, Bilyeu P, Ohm E, Burns EC, Hendrickson M, Krishnan P, Gingalewski C, Jafri MA. J Pediatr Surg. 2017. PMID: 28941929  
  • Rear-facing car safety seat use for children 18 months of age: prevalence and determinants. Jones AT, Hoffman BD, Gallardo AR, Gilbert TA, Carlson KF. J Pediatr. 2017. PMID: 28712520

Current fellows

A professional photo of Dr. Matthew Hudkins.

Matthew Hudkins

Dr. Hudkins grew up near San Francisco in the East Bay. He received his undergraduate degree in physiology and English from UCLA. He stayed in LA for two years after graduation working in a neuroimaging lab before attending New York Medical College. With an MD degree, he returned to the west coast and completed his pediatric residency at Children's Hospital Oakland. He spent a year after residency working as a hospitalist in the pediatric cardiac ICU at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco while moonlighting as a general pediatrics hospitalist in Oakland. With this added experience under his belt, Matt joined us in July 2019 as a PICU fellow, and we couldn’t be happier to have him. He’s a natural when it comes to caring for complex congenital heart patients, but he’s also passionate about his scholarly work surrounding ventilator physiology. When he’s not hard at work in the PICU, he enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors and hiking, and exploring new restaurants and breweries with his wife, Danielle.

A professional photo of Dr. Kurt Drury.

Kurt Drury

Dr. Drury comes to us originally from a small town in northern Indiana. After graduating from Indiana University with degrees in political science and biochemistry, Kurt joined Teach for America, and spent two years teaching high school physics in South Los Angeles. He credits this challenging experience with developing a passion to help young people. Kurt returned to Indiana University to obtain his MD, while maintaining a strong interest in advocacy related to healthcare disparities. From there, he completed a residency in pediatrics at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where he met his boyfriend Chris (an Oregon native). We were excited to match Kurt to join us in July 2020. With plans to tackle scholarly work related to post-intensive-care syndrome (PICS), he will be of great service to our PICU team and our PICU survivors!

A professional photo of Dr. Divya Nagarajan.

Divya Nagarajan

Dr. Nagarajan is from India and was brought up in the Middle eastern countries of Oman and Qatar throughout her childhood. She went to India for medical school at Kasturba Medical College, in Manipal, India. After completing medical school, she came to the United States for several elective rotations at various universities, and decided to pursue her career here. She spent some time doing research in adolescent medicine, before matching into the University of Kentucky for her Pediatrics residency. She knew early on that she wanted to pursue a career in critical care. She also has an active interest in Global Health, and was able to be a part of the medical brigades to Ecuador in residency prior to the pandemic. She has also studied Indian classical dancing for 10 years and has a passion for continuing training in various dance forms. In her spare time, she likes to watch movies, read fiction and spend time with family and friends.


Alia Broman
Dr. Broman, our finishing third-year fellow, earned her undergraduate degrees of music and German from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She completed her post-baccalaureate pre-medical requisite courses at Portland State University, then completed her medical degree at University of Colorado. Alia did her pediatric residency at University of California, Davis before joining our team for fellowship in 2017. During fellowship, Alia found a passion for providing palliative care. Her research projects reflect this interest and include a palliative care simulation curriculum for pediatric critical care fellows, completed as part of her certificate for the Education Scholars Program. For her fellowship project, she undertook a systematic review assessing the impact of palliative care usage on goals of care discussions in the PICU. Finally, as part of the certificate completion for the Human Investigations Program, she performed a qualitative study highlighting current practices and barriers to placing palliative care consult in the PICU after out of hospital cardiac arrest. This has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Following completion of her fellowship, Dr. Broman will be joining the faculty at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque. She is excited to move back to the mid-Southwest closer to family and collaborate with the newly established palliative care program at UNM. We will miss Alia and know she will make us proud. She is known for her outstanding communication skills, compassion, and teamwork.

Avi Kopstick
Dr. Kopstick received his medical degree from the Medical School for International Health - Ben Gurion University, in Israel, in collaboration with Columbia University. He completed a pediatrics residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, where he received the Laurence Finberg, MD Memorial Award for Excellence in Pediatric QI for his efforts in increasing hospital-wide sepsis recognition and for improving preventive care of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He presented poster abstracts at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Summit on Improving Patient Care. During his first year of pediatric critical care fellowship at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Dr. Kopstick received a certificate from the OHSU Educational Scholars Program. He is currently working on a qualitative research project to investigate trainee learning experiences in the PICU and a quality initiative to standardize care for patients with pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome. When not hard at work, Avi enjoys snuggling with his French bulldog/dog-baby Oates, playing music, singing karaoke, being active, and knitting while watching TV.

Theresa Graif
Dr. Graif joined our fellowship in 2015. Dr. Graif is a graduate of Carleton College where she earned a BA in French and Francophone studies. From there she obtained a pre-medical certificate at Northwestern University and her medical degree at Columbia University. Theresa completed her pediatric residency at OHSU before joining us for her fellowship training. While completing her fellowship, Dr. Graif also completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research. Theresa displayed a remarkable love for research and explored many topics during her time with us, including bedside lung US, sedation practices, sleep hygiene, and ICU liberation. She also developed a passion for and expertise in the longitudinal care of medically complex children. Dr. Graif joined the faculty at University of Oklahoma as an assistant professor and attending in their PICU. She is developing their chronic care program to help improve the medical care delivery for this ever-growing population. Dr. Graif is known for her steadfast advocacy for her patients, and evidence-based practice.

Blair Colwell
Dr. Colwell joined our fellowship in 2014. Blair obtained her BS in biology at Humboldt State University, and subsequently attended the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency there, as well as a fourth year as pediatric chief resident. Her scholarly work focused on the safety of early mobilization of patients in the PICU and barriers to mobilization. She identified and addressed concerns raised by families in efforts to improve acceptance and implementation of mobilization protocols. Her work received numerous awards and was presented at the SCCM Congress in 2017. Dr. Colwell is now an assistant professor at UC Davis Medical Center and attending physician in their PICU. Blair has ongoing interests in early mobilization in the pediatric intensive care unit, medical education and teaching, and working with a multidisciplinary and multi-professional team to provide the best care to critically ill children.

Ashley Jones
Dr. Jones joined our fellowship in 2013, and was our second fellow. Like our first fellow, Ashley was a very patient PICU fellowship pioneer, and helped shape our developing program. She completed her BA in sports medicine at Pepperdine University. Ashley went to medical school at the University of Washington and completed her pediatric residency at the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly project centered on car seat use and the (AAP) recommendation to keep children rear facing until at least 2 years of age. The purpose of her study was to examine the prevalence and determinants of rear facing car seat use among children 17-19 months of age in order to identify targets for education and reduce deaths from automobile accidents. Her work was presented in several forums and has helped guide newborn discharge teaching for families. Dr. Jones is now an attending physician at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma, WA. She is known for her amazing teamwork, communication, and clinical skills (in addition to a wonderful sense of humor!).

Erin Burns
Dr. Burns is a New England native, growing up in Connecticut and receiving her BS in biology with a minor in Asian studies from Boston College in 2005, and her MD from the University of Connecticut in 2009. She completed both general pediatrics residency and PCCM fellowship here at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, graduating in 2015 as the first fellow graduate of our program. During and following training, Dr. Burns has had the opportunity to travel widely through various global health initiatives, providing direct patient care to post-operative congenital heart surgery patients in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as teaching pediatric critical care skills to emergency medicine physicians at a sister hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. While stateside, she has practiced as a pediatric intensivist and hospitalist in Billings, Montana. Erin was excited to return to an academic position in 2016, when she rejoined the DCH PICU division as an assistant professor and associate program director for the fellowship. Her scholarly interests have included pediatric traumatic brain injury and care of the critically ill surgical patient. She is also passionate about leading and teaching quality improvement. She is honored to now be in the role of fellowship director for her alma mater program. When not working at work, she is busy at home with her husband and their 2 small children. Great times are had exploring the Pacific Northwest in their camping trailer!

How to apply

Applications to the PCCM Fellowship Training Program must be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), and should include the following:

  • Personal statement: Please describe how the OHSU PCCM Fellowship Program aligns with you and your career goals.  This can be included as a brief addendum to the end of your personal statement.
  • At least three letters of recommendation (including one from your residency program director; we do not require a letter from the chair of the department)
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (formerly known as the “Dean's Letter”) and Medical School Transcript
  • USMLE and COMLEX scores

International graduates:

Applicants to OHSU’s PCCM Fellowship program must have completed a US Residency program by the time of matriculation. Applicants must be legally able to work in the US, or eligible to obtain work. Applicants must also provide a copy of a valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and apply through ERAS.

Please also see the OHSU GME information on Applying to OHSU Residencies and Fellowships.

Oregon Health and Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or

Application Deadline: August 6


Applicants are invited for an interview based on holistic review of their application. All interviews will be conducted virtually until further notice. Timing of interviews will range from September to November. For more information on virtual interviews, please refer to the AAMC tips for applicants.

Upon receipt of an application, our selection committee will review and notify each applicant by email of the decision to interview. Decisions may take several weeks. Applicants may then schedule an interview online through Thalamus. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications, we are unable to interview all applicants.

Invited applicants will virtually meet 1-on-1 with up to 4 faculty members during a half-day session of interviews (morning or afternoon.)  Program Overview and Virtual Tour videos will be made available to invitees to review asynchronously. Additionally, these candidates will be invited to attend one of several informal Q&A sessions with the PD and current fellows.

OHSU Terms & Conditions of Employment

After your interview

We hope that you find your virtual interview experience with us to be informative, efficient and enjoyable! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any follow-up questions. 

Fellowship Coordinator: Sarah Nolte, MS, C-TAGME

Program Director: Erin Burns, MD

We are happy to provide additional emails for faculty and fellows upon request.

Written correspondence to anyone you met can be mailed to:

Oregon Health & Science University
Mail Code CDRC-P
707 S.W. Gaines Street
Portland, OR 97239

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

We welcome everyone. 

  • All races 

  • All religions 

  • All countries of origin 

  • All sexual orientations 

  • All genders 

  • All abilities 

Our PICU fellowship has a track record of equity and inclusion in how we recruit candidates and support fellows from all backgrounds.  

This is in the larger context of a University that strives for the same. OHSU’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) leads and supports university-wide initiatives to create an environment of respect and inclusion for all people. This includes Unconscious Bias Training for all campus faculty, staff, and trainees, with a goal of mitigating the effects of unconscious bias in our everyday interactions and behaviors.   

Being a patient or provider in a pediatric intensive care unit is stressful enough. It is absolutely our duty to strive to mitigate any added stress from inequities or microaggressions in our fellowship and unit.

Contact us

Erin C. Burns, M.D.
Fellowship Program Director 

Sarah Nolte
Program Technician 
cell: 360-961-7860

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