Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

Physician Scientist Training Program

The McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University pediatric residency program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (Lurie Children's) wants to recruit residents with MD-PhD degrees or otherwise have unique experiences that indicate a strong commitment to a career in research. The Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) experience is designed to facilitate the development of accepted candidates into academic clinician-investigators.  Please scroll down for application information.

Program Structure

The standard pediatric residency-fellowship sequence lasts six years. Acceptance into the Pediatric PSTP includes the offer of a guaranteed fellowship position in the PSTP Scholar's subspecialty of choice, contingent upon maintenance of satisfactory progress in the residency program. We are committed to working with the prospective resident to develop a schedule that supports his or her career aspirations, including the possibility of fast-tracking residency training or adding an additional research year at the end of fellowship. For those applicants who already have chosen a specific direction for their fellowship training, we will arrange for a second visit to meet with the faculty of that training program prior to the deadline for commitments to the National Intern and Resident Matching Program.

Several training pathways are available. The PSTP Scholar is expected to develop excellent clinical skills during residency. Residents may pursue one of three elective pathways. The Traditional Residency pathway involves all of the opportunities for clinical learning and research experience of residents who are and are not PSTP Scholars, and includes three years each for residency and fellowship. The Integrated Research Pathway permits the Scholar to aggregate elective time during the third year of residency in order to achieve an advanced start in the laboratory. In the Accelerated Research Pathway, a Scholar who has shown superior clinical skills may elect to enter fellowship after two years of pediatrics residency. It is anticipated that Scholars electing this pathway will remain as fellows for a fourth year of fellowship, spending most of their time in the laboratory in order to consolidate their research careers.

Guidance and Support

Each participant in the PSTP will receive guidance from two members of the faculty. Upon joining the program, the PSTP Scholar is linked with a Career Mentor who serves as a sounding board for decisions involving program structure, choice of a research mentor, and long-term career issues. The Research Mentor is chosen after the Scholar determines the ideal research environment for career development. This can occur at any time during the first several years in the program. Trainees may work with any research program at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

During Residency and Fellowship training, the PSTP Scholar is supported with supplemental funds for books, journals and travel to programs at which he or she is making scientific presentations. Additional support is available for some laboratory expenses.

Application Process

Applicants should apply to the Categorical Pediatrics Training Program of the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University through ERAS. In addition to their application through ERAS, applicants should submit the Pediatric PSTP Application. If not already included in ERAS, applicants should also submit a letter of recommendation from their principal research mentor, one additional letter from an individual familiar with their research potential, and copies of all published research publications to the two email addresses listed below. In addition, they should specifically contact the Department of Pediatrics office at, regarding their intent to apply to the PSTP. Whenever possible, potential applicants will be interviewed on dedicated days in conjunction with the Medical School-wide PSTP program. Acceptance into the program will be via the National Resident Matching Program and will be based on commitment to and potential for a career in academic medicine as a physician-scientist.

Additional Pediatric Program Benefits


PSTP Scholar is assigned a Career Mentor at the beginning of residency.

Career Mentor and PSTP Director will work with the PSTP Scholar to: Identify a research Mentor as soon as the Scholar is able to do so.

Design, in collaboration with residency program director, a residency and fellowship program track to fulfill the PSTP Scholar's needs.

Guaranteed position in Fellowship of choice with the following conditions: PSTP Scholar remains in good standing as a resident, Application is made at the time that others in that postgraduate year would be applying for a similar fellowship, PSTP Scholar is not required to make a commitment to remain at NUFSM/CMH as a fellow, but will be held to such a commitment if it is made.

Opportunity to accelerate by completing residency in two years, or to spend concentrated elective time in third residency year working in a lab.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Fellowship years (PGY-3 or -4, depending upon track)

Potential Research Year

Current Scholars

Divakar Mithal, MD, PhD

Divakar Mithal, MD, PhD
Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 5

BS: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MD: Northwestern University
PhD: Neurophysiology

Angela Desmond, MD, PhD

Angela Desmond, MD, PhD

Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 3

BS: University of Pennsylvania
MD: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
PhD: Immunology

Kyle MacQuarrie, MD, PhD

Kyle MacQuarrie, MD, PhD

Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 4

BS: University of Massachusetts-Amherst
MD: University of Washington, School of Medicine
PhD: Molecular and Cellular Biology

Julia Mattson

Julia Mattson, MD, PhD

Current PSTP Scholar, PGY 3

BS: University of Washington
MD: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
PhD: Neuroscience

View their profiles.

Contact Us

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E. Chicago Avenue, Box #86
Chicago, IL 60611

Housestaff Research Portal

Feinberg has the infrastructure and resources to assist McGaw trainees interested in conducting scientific research. Visit our Housestaff Research Portal to learn more.