Pediatric Residency Program

  • Welcome: Chief Residents

    Alicia Alcamo, MD:

    Congratulations on embarking on another big milestone! I remember how overwhelming it was to research about all the different pediatric residency programs, so thank you for taking the time to learn a little about Cincinnati Children’s. During the application and interview process, I had a list of things that I thought were important in my future training program. This ranged from ensuring I would have a broad clinical exposure, to knowledge of available research opportunities, to ensuring I would be a part of a supportive training environment. These were things that I was able to find in many programs. But there was one thing that I could not learn from a website that made Cincinnati stand out amongst the rest – it was the embodiment of collegiality and team work that was palpable on my interview day. I had that “feeling” when I left my interview day that Cincinnati would be the program for me and I was right.

    There are several things that make training at Cincinnati great, but without a doubt it is the people that create such a memorable impression. Yes, our residents get superb medical training by experiencing everything from primary care to tertiary and quaternary care. But it is the environment from which they receive this training that makes Cincinnati Children's so unique. The residents truly embrace the concept of team work in all aspects of patient care, our program directors and chiefs are always there to support the residents, and our attendings and fellows strive to provide the best educational and clinical experiences. Cincinnati Children’s has made me a better physician and has prepared me well for my next steps. However, I am most thankful for the people I have met along this journey who have been my mentors and strongest supporters.

    I hope you will decide to visit and see why we are all so excited to be a part of the Cincinnati family and how we can help prepare you for your future. Best of luck with your residency search and enjoy the interview season!

    Alicia Alcamo, MD.Alicia Alcamo, MD 


    Brandy Blackwell-Ford, MD:

    Welcome and thanks for checking out our program website! Vivid memories arise of visiting many program websites and starting my list of each program’s details and pros / cons. There were so many pediatric programs to choose from, and each website was filled with cute kids and happy faces! I could easily figure out how many weeks of vacation or call months I would have when I conducted these searches. But what I really wanted to know was if I would truly feel happy and if I would find a “family-feel” environment similar to the one in which I had been fortunate to experience while training at the University of Chicago for medical school. That part was harder to figure out with just a web search. Luckily, interviews await you! When I visited Cincinnati Children's, I felt first-hand the caring and supportive environment that I was looking for and after training here for 3 years that has been a lasting quality of this program. But don’t take my word for it! We would love for you to come and visit us and see for yourself!

    Brandy Blackwell-Ford, MD. Brandy Blackwell-Ford, MD


    Jacob M. Redel, MD:

    Congratulations on choosing Pediatrics and entering the next step of your career. I’m excited you are considering Cincinnati Children’s for your Pediatric Residency training. When I was in your shoes, I remember applying to many different places, usually due to word of mouth or the recommendation of my mentors. I applied to Cincinnati Children’s because I had heard great things, but did not really have a grasp on why people regarded it so highly. After 3+ years here, let me share with you what I have learned.

    Cincinnati Children's is a quaternary care center that is recognized nationally, and globally, for its work in improving care for children. At the same time, it serves as the community hospital for the greater Cincinnati area. This institution is the only one in the area primarily focused on providing pediatric care. Because of its unique standing as both a worldwide referral center, as well as the local community hospital, Cincinnati Children's is a wonderful place for residents to train. Whether you are planning to practice in a private office, engage in academic general pediatrics, or pursue a subspecialty, you will have the opportunity to tailor your experiences accordingly. For those of you entering residency unsure of which path you will ultimately take, myself included, this also lets you test your preferences..

    Moreover, your residency training will be colored by other experiences. I have been blown away by Cincinnati Children’s dedication to quality improvement and research initiatives. You will have opportunities to engage in such projects, which undoubtedly will continue to be important to your future medical career. We are constantly teaching residents a family-centered approach to medical care. You will learn to teach, both informally and formally. This institution is dedicated to improving care for children worldwide, and fosters resident participation in global health pursuits. In all, I have experienced a breadth of medicine that prior to residency, I had no clue even existed.

    Most importantly for me, however, was that even though I am not a Cincinnati native, I feel at home in this city and in this program. My co-residents and program directors are truly invested in my personal growth and improvement. I now have friends from all over this country, and many others. There is an energy and friendliness here, that was palpable from the moment I first came to interview. I encourage you to come see it for yourself, and I hope to meet you in the near future. Best of luck with all of your pursuits!

    Jacob M. Redel, MD.Jacob M. Redel, MD


    Chuck Varnell, MD:

    Welcome to our residency website! If you are here you must be interested in hearing more about our pediatric residency training program. As a medical student on the east coast, I can tell you that Cincinnati was initially not anywhere on my radar for programs to consider. My initial plan was to stay at a big program on the east coast. But while all of those programs were amazing, there was something special about Cincinnati.

    My interview day in Cincinnati changed my feelings about moving to Ohio and “the Midwest” (I know, I know, if you’re from the Midwest you probably don’t consider Cincinnati the Midwest, but I lived 20 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean my whole life prior to moving so this is the Midwest for me!) The residents, administrators, and house staff ladies all felt like this was not just a residency, but a big family. The residents seemed genuinely happy to be here and to brag about the program. In addition, the national rankings in the subspecialties speak for themselves.

    By the end of my interview day, I knew that Cincinnati would be number one on my rank list and I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to train here for residency. The cost of living in Cincinnati is very affordable, it’s large enough to have a professional baseball and football team, and still small enough that you feel like somehow everyone knows one another. Given the chance I would do this all over again. Please feel free to contact me or any of our residents to learn more about our city and our amazing residency program!

    Chuck Varnell, MD.Chuck Varnell, MD 


    Matt Kelleher, MD:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to check out Cincinnati Children's. What an exciting time of life as you begin to blaze the interview trail! I hope that you will consider visiting us along your way. As the Med-Peds chief, I must mention that our Med-Peds program has excellent relationships with both categorical programs and our residents fit seamlessly into the mix.

    When my wife and I interviewed at Cincinnati we loved everything about it. Cincinnati Children's serves children from around the world by providing top-notch complex subspeciality care and conducts cutting edge research, all while serving the basic and routine health needs of children in the area. This creates a great variety of experience for learning. However, the best part of Cincinnati Children's is without a doubt the people. Nowhere else did I find such a large academic institution that felt like a tight knit family. Starting with the program leadership knowing you by name and being invested in your development, to the music and dancing before conferences, this place is full of great people. Over the past 4 years, my feelings that I felt the first day have only grown stronger. I have continually found a welcoming and supportive family full of talented unique residents that always look out for one another. It is this attitude that allows our Med-Peds residents to feel welcomed and at home when they return from their months of adult medicine. This truly is a special place and I hope you take the opportunity to experience it for yourself. 

    Matt Kelleher, MD.Matt Kelleher, MD