A Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome to the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV Pediatrics Residency Program. This program started in the 1990s and continues to successfully graduate pediatricians into the workforce, totaling over 350 pediatricians. Many of our graduates have stayed in the Las Vegas area to practice general pediatrics while others have gone on to become subspecialist physicians. Regardless of your career choice, training at our institution makes you well prepared for your future. Although I believe this, many of our residents have personally come back and said the same.

The pediatrics program brings together the best of both academics and community practice. Based at two large children’s hospitals – the Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC and Sunrise Children’s Hospital – our residents treat a diverse population of children with a wide variety of medical problems. Further, community subspecialists complement the academic subspecialists in providing expanded educational experiences. Our program is like none other, allowing you to get a taste of the different settings in medicine.

Our program places a strong emphasis on academics and scholarly activity, with a requirement for a scholarly project prior to graduation. Residents have been able to present their work at many local, regional, and national meetings sharing what they have successfully accomplished. Our robust mentorship program has been impactful in making scholarly activity a priority.

Our residents are an extremely close-knit group. We have built a system that feeds off a family dynamic that you will not find at every institution. It sets us apart from the others. Las Vegas is more than “the Strip” and provides a terrific venue for outdoor activities and family life. Whether you come into residency with an entire family unit or alone, there is a space for you here at this program and in our city. With almost 300 days of sunshine each year, the climate is exceptional.

I look forward to personally meeting you and discussing your future at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV Pediatrics Residency Program. Take time and peruse our website, but most importantly, join us in Las Vegas on the interview trail.

Headshot of Fateh Peera
Fateh Peera Digital Signature

Fateh Peera, MD, FAAP (Pronouns: he/him/his)
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatric Residency Program Director

A Welcome from the Department Chair

Dear Applicant,

On behalf of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV Department of Pediatrics, I extend to you a warm welcome from our pediatric residency program.

Our mission is to prepare our residents to excel in the practice of pediatric medicine. We seek to empower you to make sound medical assessments and decisions using the knowledge, technical skills, and reasoning abilities acquired through our training. We will offer you opportunities to develop leadership skills, to be advocates for young people, and to provide high-quality medical care for the children of Southern Nevada and the surrounding community. You will become teachers of tomorrow for your patients and their families and for your fellow pediatricians and health care providers. You will take the initiative to produce innovative ideas in programs and research. You will benefit from the diversity and inclusivity that touches every aspect of our curriculum, residency, faculty and patient population. We will provide you with unique experiences, which will prepare you for the career path you seek.

You will have the opportunity to work in two excellent teaching institutions, Sunrise Children’s Hospital and UMC Children’s Hospital of Southern Nevada. You will see patients in the emergency departments of both hospitals, as well as inpatients on the pediatric wards, nursery, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Outpatient care is provided at the UNLV Health Pediatric Clinic where you will work with our academic general pediatricians as well as our pediatric subspecialists. They are distinguished leaders in their respective fields and will be your mentors to help guide you along your path. It is vitally important to us that you excel and fully develop relationships with the faculty who will provide clinical experience and teaching and foster research.

Las Vegas is one of the world’s most exciting cities. It is dynamic and futuristic, and there is something new and exciting to do every day. Those who love to run, hike, or do any outdoor activities can do so in Red Rock Canyon. Several scenic and truly spectacular national parks are nearby and easily accessible. We are one of the sunniest cities in the country, with well over 300 days of sunshine annually. If you like winter sports, you can find them at Mount Charleston and Lee Canyon, both a quick 40-minute drive from downtown. Our city boasts several professional sports teams, including our beloved 2023 Stanley Cup winners — NHL Golden Knights hockey team, the NFL Raiders football team, the WNBA national champion Aces women’s basketball team, and the triple-A Las Vegas Aviators baseball team, housed in a beautiful new stadium in Summerlin. In addition, there is the opportunity to watch high-level, Division I college sports at UNLV, as well as to partake of great golf, terrific tennis, biking trails galore, boating on Lake Mead, and so much more.

Our shopping and restaurants are second to none. In addition to the varied entertainment to be found on the world-famous Strip, the Smith Center provides every form of artistic endeavor, from concerts by our renowned philharmonic orchestra, to dance, jazz, opera, and the best Broadway shows. Residents can mingle with locals in our burgeoning and youthful dining, arts, entertainment, and music scene in the Arts District downtown, or can become immersed in a wonderland of art, music, and amusement at the otherworldly AREA15 attraction.

Our new state-of-the-art Kirk Kerkorian Medical Education Building has recently opened, and the medical district within which the school is located continues to modernize and expand to serve the growing population. It is an exciting time at UNLV and in our city of Las Vegas. We are extremely positive about what the future will bring to our university and to our city. We hope to hear from you, and we welcome you into our family as future guardians and advocates for our children in Las Vegas.

All the best,

Dr. David Di John

David Di John, MD
Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics

Program Overview

The UNLV Pediatrics Residency Program is a three-year categorical training program based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the program has participated in the self-study process and has had a 10- year site visit. One of the clearly recognized strengths of the program is its receptiveness to resident and faculty feedback. This characteristic is a pillar on which the program is built.

The program has an innovative curriculum that is structured to provide its learners a comprehensive educational experience. Highlights of the curriculum include:

  • Didactics are in the academic half-day model
  • Board review is incorporated into many didactics sessions and is done separately for the PL3 residents beginning in July/August of the academic year
  • is simulation sessions with high fidelity simulators, standardized patients, and task trainers every two weeks
  • Rotations in education, chronic disease, community, and advocacy
  • Individualized curriculum for second and third year residents
  • Wellness curriculum that complements that of the institution

The program is university-affiliated and has all of the advantages associated with being at a medical school. However, because the residents provide care to patients at a large, safety-net hospital – The Children’s Hospital of Nevada at University Medical Center and at a community hospital, Sunrise Children’s Hospital — they have the opportunity to gain clinical experiences that are highly diverse.

Pediatrics Residency Program

Curriculum

The focus of the first year (PL-1) is to differentiate between well, ill-appearing, and critically ill children. Four months of the year are spent in the inpatient setting divided between the two children’s hospitals. Additional time (two months) is spent learning about newborns both in the well-baby unit and in the neonatal intensive care unit. This is supplemented with a block each of adolescent medicine, emergency medicine, and endocrinology. The year is rounded out with two blocks each of outpatient and two subspecialties of choice.

The second year (PL-2) lets the residents begin to take on leadership roles in the inpatient setting, as they are now tasked with leading the team for three blocks divided between the two children’s hospitals. The residents will also be required to spend one block each divided between the outpatient setting, the intensive care unit, the emergency department, the community, and on developmental and behavioral pediatrics. The remaining blocks can be utilized to help each resident explore various areas of pediatrics that they believe will be helpful in their future and tailor their schedule to meet their needs.

The final year (PL-3) encourages residents to take ownership of their experience and develop a curriculum that meets both their educational needs as well as their career goals. Opportunities for electives and completing their individualized curricula are the primary emphasis. However, residents also spend time as the inpatient senior for two blocks, one at each children's hospital, two blocks in the intensive care units (both general and neonatal) and a block each in the emergency department and the outpatient clinic.

Throughout all three years of the curriculum, residents attend their continuity clinic at the UNLV Health Pediatric Clinic. Accompanying the continuity clinic experience is a well-organized curriculum that rotates and repeats over the course of the residents’ training. During years one and two, all residents are required to see general pediatric patients at the UNLV Health Pediatric Clinic. However, if residents are pursuing subspecialty training and they wish to have a continuity experience in their subspecialty, they are able to arrange an outpatient longitudinal clinic in that venue. Advanced planning is required.

All residents participate in a quality improvement (QI) curriculum and are required to complete a QI project either individually or in a team/group. In addition, all residents are required to complete a scholarly project. They have the opportunity to select from a menu of options that includes but is not limited to case reports, research, or academic grand rounds. Publications and/or presentations at local, regional, or national meetings satisfy the requirement. In the years since the projects have become required, there have been approximately 30 resident presentations/publications each year.

Block Schedule

  • UMC Wards Days/Nights / Sunrise Wards Days – 4 blocks
  • UMC Nursery – 1 block
  • UMC NICU – 1 block
  • UMC Pediatric ED – 1 block
  • Ambulatory – 2 blocks
  • Adolescent – 1 block
  • Endocrinology – 1 block (RS)
  • Electives – 2 Block (ICS)

  • UMC Wards Days / Sunrise Wards Days – 3 blocks
  • UMC PICU – 1 block
  • Sunrise Pediatric ED – 1 block
  • Ambulatory - 1 block
  • Community Rotation– 1 block
  • Behavior & Development – 1 block
  • Peds ID – 1 block (RS)
  • Peds Pulmonology – 1 block (RS)
  • Electives – 3 blocks (ICS/ICE)

  • UMC Wards Nights – 1 block
  • Sunrise Wards Days – 1 block
  • UMC Pediatric ED – 1 block
  • UMC NICU – 1 block
  • Sunrise PICU – 1 block
  • Peds GI – 1 block (RS)
  • Child Advocacy Peds – 1 block
  • Ambulatory - 1 block
  • Electives – 5 blocks (ICS/ICE)

Program Leadership

Fatehali Peera, MD

Assistant Professor
Fatehali Peera, MD

Rebecca Scherr, MD, MPH

Rebecca Scherr, MD, MPH

Dodds P. Simangan, DO, MPH, FAAP

Dodds P. Simangan headshot

Josephine Sun, MD

Josephine Sun

Resident Life

Advisor/Mentor Program

  • During the first six months of residency, the program director and associate program directors will provide advising and mentoring until the intern feels comfortable choosing their academic advisor. Numerous social activities will be scheduled throughout intern orientation and the year to allow new residents to meet faculty.
  • By January of intern year, residents will have the opportunity to choose an academic faculty advisor who will meet with the resident at least biannually, but typically quarterly throughout residency to provide any resources and support needed for success.
  • Core and community faculty are also always available as mentors to assist resident career decisions. They are eager to participate in resident career and personal development.

Wellness

  • The program’s wellness initiative is multipronged. It consists of a curriculum presented in didactics with various activities and speakers, a wellness committee focusing on social events, and planned class retreats.
  • The program works with the medical school’s director of wellness for yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and relaxation strategies.
  • Wellness activities over the past few years have included: holiday potluck lunches with white elephant gift exchanges, weekend-long retreats for each class, and yoga and meditation during didactics.
  • Interns are also call-free on Friday nights for the first half of the academic year. Intern classes in the past have used this opportunity to do group activities together.

Resident Families and Committees

  • Beginning in July 2018, the residents have worked together to form 13 families composed of a PL1, PL2 and PL3. They will serve as one of the core programs in the wellness initiative. The families serve to provide guidance to new interns and support amongst themselves.
  • Residents also have the opportunity to join House Staff Committees. These committees include community outreach, organizing social events, quality improvement, recruitment, and many others.

Graduates

Evins Clauther, MD

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, University of Washington

Sonial Lam, DO

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico

Freya Shroff, MD

Pediatric Pulmonology, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles

Joanne Thio, DO

Pediatric Gastroenterology, Orlando Health

Cherry Choong, DO

Pediatric Endocrinology, Johns Hopkins Children's Center

Arianna Griffin, MD

Pediatric Critical Care, University of California San Francisco

Erik Pennell, DO

Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, Children's Health Orange County

Pavandeep Rakhra, DO

Pediatric Endocrinology, Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital

Manisha Singh, DO

Pediatric Neonatology, Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's Medical Center 

Mahdika Underwood, DO

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV

Gerard Holder, DO

Pediatric Pulmonology, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

Joseph Stathos, DO

Pediatric Pulmonology, UC Irvine

Makayla Romboy, MD

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Nicholas Regas, DO

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Riley Children’s Hospital

Sadie Acquah-Asare, MD
Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Daniel Grissom, MD

Emergency Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

Eun Ji Jang, MD

Infectious Disease at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Harris Khawaja, DO

Neonatology at The University of Chicago

Carlene Samuel, MD

Rheumatology at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital

Stephen Smith, DO

Hematology-Oncology at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital-Oakland

Vonita Chawla

Neonatal Critical Care Medicine, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, Loma Linda, CA

Akeem George

Neonatal Critical Care Medicine, Loyola Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Zubin Mehta

Neonatal Critical Care Medicine, UCLA Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Rupesh Kumar Natarajan

Pediatric Cardiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Grant Perry

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, Loma Linda, CA

Rishika Sakaria

Neonatal Critical Care Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN

Danielle Rachel Fisher (Chief Resident)

Pediatric Hospitalist, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI

Alvaro Galvis (Chief Resident)

Pediatric Infectious Disease, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange, CA

Senthil Bhoopalan

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, University of Tennessee, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

Ambika Chidarambaum

Pediatric Pulmonology Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Kaushal Dosani

Pediatric Cardiology Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH

Emma Fisher

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Children’s Hospital of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Sehyr Imran

Pediatric Pulmonology Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO

Bhuvi Jagadesan

Neonatology Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN

Gagandeep Singh
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Loma Linda School of Medicine

Other Recent Fellowships Obtained by Our Residents

Mallory Cohen
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Washington University, St Louis, MO
Petrina Kaluzhny

Developmental Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, CA

Uche Nwokidu-Aderibigbe

Pediatric Neonatal Critical Care, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Scott Pangonis

Pediatric Infectious Disease, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH

Shannon Riley

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, University of Tennessee, St Jude, Memphis, TN

Lynsey Zuar

Pediatric Gastroenterology, Cornell University, New York, NY

Manjiri Tule
Pediatric Critical Care, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Davis, CA
  • Great Falls, MT
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Loma Linda, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • New York, NY
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Omaha, NE
  • Orange, CA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Portland, OR
  • Prosser, WA
  • Redding, CA
  • Riverside, CA
  • Roy, UT
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Valdosta, GA
  • Yakima, WA

Why Come to Las Vegas for Residency?

Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and provides opportunities for different activities you might be interested in, both indoor and outdoor. If you love activities such as shopping, concerts, shows, hiking, bowling, sports, boating, or anything else it can all be found here in the city. Not only does it provide you with diverse opportunities, it allows you to work with a diverse population from a clinical standpoint. Our patients come from all over the world as tourists, immigrants, or refugees and speak multiple different languages. We pride ourselves in the multiple clinical opportunities, but also in the different cultures we serve. Las Vegas will give you a well-developed training environment while allowing you to blossom as a physician and an individual. Joining the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV is one of the main highlights of our program. Clinical and research opportunities will expand greatly, providing us with the avenue to impact our community further.

Training Sites

Children's Hospital of Nevada/UMC

UMC is a county-owned acute care medical center with 545 beds, housing Southern Nevada's only Level I Trauma Center and the state's only Burn Care Center. Pediatric services include a 29 bed General Pediatric Unit, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with 26 Level III and 10 Level II beds, and a 14 bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The Pediatric Emergency Room and all inpatient pediatric facilities are located in a free standing building shared with the Trauma Intensive Care Unit, with the exception of the NICU and newborn nursery located in the main hospital with labor and delivery.

Children's Hospital of Nevada/UMC website

Sunrise Children's Hospital and Medical Center

Sunrise Children's Hospital is an investor-owned hospital with 688 beds. It houses a free-standing, state-of-the-art pediatric tower consisting of a 32 bed General Pediatric Unit, a 15-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and a 9-bed Hematology/Oncology Ward. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has 44 Level III beds and 10 Level II beds.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital is located on the same campus as Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center – Nevada’s largest acute care facility and level II trauma center. Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital is an 834-bed facility.

Sunrise Children's Hospital website

UNLV Health Pediatric Clinic

The UNLV Health Pediatric Clinic is the university-operated pediatric clinic located adjacent to UMC Hospital. The current site holds both general pediatrics and sub specialty clinics including pediatric gastroenterology, pulmonology, endocrinology, infectious disease, and adolescent medicine. All residents have their continuity clinic at this site one half-day per week. This clinic primarily serves central Las Vegas and North Las Vegas communities.

Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas

The Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas (or CSCLV) is a 31,000 square-foot facility that opened on the Shadow Lane Campus in August 2009 and is shared among the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Schools of Nursing and Medicine, as well as the Nevada State College School of Nursing. With the use of state-of-the-art technology and infant and adolescent high fidelity simulators, mock scenarios are run with the guidance of attending physicians as well as the chief residents. These activities are performed in a stress-free environment followed by constructive feedback sessions in order to prepare the residents for the real-life situation if it were to arise. The CSCLV is also used for procedural skills training and for standardized patient exercises.

Clinical Simulation Center for Las Vegas website

Grant a Gift Autism Foundation Ackerman Center

The Grant a Gift Autism Foundation Ackerman Center provides clients with a multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, and speech and behavioral therapists for a comprehensive diagnosis, treatment plan, follow-up care and support services.

Grant a Gift Autism Foundation Ackerman Center website