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Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Announces New Combined Residency for Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is joining forces with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the McGaw Medical Center at Northwestern University to offer a new, Chicago-based five-year combined residency program in pediatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R).

The residency program combines expertise from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab — ranked the No. 1 rehabilitation hospital by U.S. News & World Report for 33 consecutive years — with a core foundation in pediatrics from Lurie Children’s Hospital, one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation. McGaw Medical Center sponsors, administers and supports graduate medical education for more than 1,200 residents and fellows.

This program marks the first of its kind in Chicago, and is one of four combined residencies in pediatric rehabilitation medicine in the United States.

“We’re excited to open up a new, streamlined path for medical students interested in pediatric rehabilitation medicine, as well as to work alongside the other combined residencies in the country to add much-needed pediatric physiatrists to serve children with complex medical and rehabilitation needs,” said Emily Kivlehan, MD, who is the program director for the new combined residency program.

Dr. Kivlehan is an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an attending physician in pediatric rehabilitation medicine at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Uchenna Pelzer, MD, is an attending physician in the department of Hospital Based Medicine at Lurie Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Feinberg. She currently serves as an associate program director for the McGaw Medical Center’s pediatric residency program, and will serve as the associate program director for the combined program as well.

Applications will be accepted in summer 2024, via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The Program Number is 7351600001. The streamlined, five-year program will recruit one resident per year. At the successful completion of the combined training program, residents will be eligible to be “triple-boarded” — that is, eligible for Board certification in Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Pediatric Rehabilitation without needing to complete an additional fellowship.

This residency program will provide diverse educational opportunities across the clinical continuum of care for both common and complex rehabilitation diagnoses, as well as provide comprehensive training in research, leadership, medical education, advocacy and quality improvement.

Emily Kivlehan, MD


Emily Kivlehan, MD


Emily Kivlehan, MD

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