Daniel J. Lesser, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Pulmonary Training Program

The Rady Children’s San-Diego/University of California, San Diego fellowship program provides clinical and scholarly training with the goal of developing future academic leaders in the field.

Application Process
We participate in the National Residency Match Program pediatric specialties fall match. Registration begins in July and interviews run July through November. Please submit your application via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Clinical Training

Pediatric pulmonary fellows complete a substantial amount of their clinical training during the first year of the fellowship. Approximately seven months of the first year are spent on the inpatient wards. Rady Children’s serves the majority of children in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties requiring inpatient care. Fellows provide care to children affected by the entire breadth of pediatric respiratory disorders.

During the inpatient rotation, fellows care for patients on the pulmonary service, provide consultations and perform bronchoscopy. The fellow also conducts rounds with the UC San Diego pediatric house staff and contributes to the education of both residents and medical students. Training in outpatient care is accomplished via a continuity clinic in which patients referred from the community are assigned to be seen by the fellow. The continuity clinic is continued throughout fellowship, enabling fellows to develop long-term relationships with families while observing the evolution of pediatric respiratory disease. In addition, fellows gain additional experience in outpatient care by attending various specialty clinics on cystic fibrosis, neuromuscular disease and sleep disorders.

Throughout the first year, fellows are also trained in the performance and interpretation of pulmonary function testing, polysomnography and respiratory clearance techniques. Some flexibility is built into the clinical training, and fellows are encouraged to develop clinical expertise within a particular area of pediatric respiratory medicine.

Research Training

The world-class biomedical research community at UC San Diego offers fellows a myriad of opportunities to become involved in scholarly work. Within the first year, fellows will determine an area of academic interest and identify a faculty mentor. By the completion of the first year, the foundation for the fellow’s scholarly project will have been established. The second and third years of post-doctoral training afford the fellow adequate time to make a significant contribution in their chosen area of interest. The scholarly work culminates with a written work-product and presentation to the Division of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, with the goal of producing peer-reviewed publications and presentations at national scientific meetings.

The Division is pleased to offer fellows the opportunity to receive research training under the guidance of physician-scientists who are leaders in the field:

  • Gabriel G. Haddad, M.D., Physician-in-Chief at Rady Children’s and Chair of the UC San Diego Department of Pediatrics, heads an active laboratory focused on investigating the biological consequences of hypoxia.
  • James Hagood, M.D., Chief of the Division of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, has focused much of his research career on cellular and molecular investigation of the role of fibroblasts in lung remodeling. Learn about the Hagood lab.
  • Xin Sun, Ph.D., heads a research program is to understand the genetic control of lung organogenesis in mammals.

Fellows also have the opportunity for mentorship and collaboration with other physician-scientists in the UC San Diego Department of Pediatrics and throughout the university. For more information about our fellowship program, contact Cristina Del Muro, fellowship coordinator, at the phone number or email below.

Teaching Conferences

  • “Walk” Rounds – Our main teaching conference. Topics are covered weekly via informal case presentations; lectures on pulmonary topics by faculty, trainees, and guest speakers; journal clubs; and M&M.
  • Lung Lunch – A monthly conference in which various topics that may not be covered otherwise are discussed by faculty; topics from academic promotion to home ventilation have been covered.
  • Lung Club – Our physiology conference. A fellow is assigned a chapter out of the West textbook to teach to co-fellows and faculty.
  • Western States Pediatric Pulmonary Case Conference – A monthly video case conference among western pediatric pulmonary centers. The conference is “headquartered” by our division.
  • Radiology / Pathology Conference – A monthly conference in which chest imaging and pathology are reviewed bu pulmonologists, radiologists and pathologists.
  • Divisional Research Conference – Pulmonary faculty review progress with research projects, and fellows are invited to attend and participate.
  • Enquiry Program – Pulmonary fellows satisfy the ACGME requirement for training and participation in quality improvement projects through this program, specifically geared for pediatric residents and fellows.

Contact Us

Cristina Del Muro, Fellowship Coordinator
3030 Children’s Way, MS 5070
San Diego, CA 92123-4227
Phone: 858-966-5846
Fax: 858-569-9052
Email: cdelmuro@rchsd.org