Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship - LECOM Health

Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship

Program Director: Gary Esper, DO, LECOM Health, Millcreek Community Hospital and Assistant Director, Stephen Kovacs DO, UPMC Hamot

We are in the process of applying for ACGME accreditation.


The mission of the Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Training Program at Millcreek Community Hospital is a three (3) year program designed to prepare fellows to function as consultants and teachers in all aspects of pulmonary and critical care medicine, and to prepare them for board certification in pulmonary and critical care medicine by the American Osteopathic Association through the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine

Program Overview

The clinical rotations and curriculum are offered at Millcreek Community Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, and Allegheny General Hospital. The curriculum is designed to give pulmonary and critical care fellows a well-rounded exposure to all aspects of clinical pulmonary and critical care medicine. Fellows are to achieve competency in pulmonary diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, specifically in pulmonary histology and diagnostic imagining. Fellows are responsible for giving lectures and participating in an integral part of the teaching program. A fellow’s responsibilities increase commensurate with his or her cognitive skills.

This fellowship program develops proficiency in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of pulmonary diseases. During this program, fellows participate in a clinical research project and acquire needed skills to perform and interpret procedures related to medical diseases of the chest.

The Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program is based at Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH). MCH is an osteopathic acute care hospital offering comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services and 24-hour emergency care in Erie, PA. MCH is also recognized as the regional leader in Behavioral Health Care, with 62 inpatient beds, a partial hospitalization program, and special units for adolescents, adults, and seniors; Senior Services, which include an Ace unit (Acute Care for the Elderly), Transitional Care  where patients can more fully recover following acute care before returning home, and an Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation unit. In addition, the LECOM Senior Living Center is a skilled nursing and sub-acute rehabilitation facility connected to the hospital for maximum patient convenience and access to full hospital services. MCH has a six bed intensive care unit and is an HFAP accredited stroke center. Fellows will spend a large amount of rotation time at our partner Allegheny Health Network Hospitals: Saint Vincent Hospital (SVH) and West Penn/Allegheny General Hospital (WPAHS). SVH is a 440 bed tertiary care center with well-established pulmonary, critical care, cardiac, thoracic, and lung institutes. Fellows will rotate at SVH for Cardiac ICU, Consult Service, Pulmonary Function Lab/Clinic, and Medical and Surgical ICU. Fellows will be exposed to scope, volume, and variety for procedures and pathology. SVH has a full service Pulmonary Function Lab and Sleep Clinic.

Fellows will rotate at Allegheny General Health Hospital twelve months over the three year curriculum in Pittsburgh, Pa for Consult Service, Medical ICU, Neurosurgical ICU, Trauma, and Sleep. AGH is a 381 bed tertiary hospital and is part of the Allegheny Heath Network. AGH has an established Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship Program and will include the MCH fellow (s) in their already established teaching program and didactics. AGH has a full service Pulmonary Function Lab.

Allegheny General Hospital is a general medical and surgical teaching hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. It performed nearly at the level of nationally ranked U.S. News Best Hospitals in ten adult specialties. High-Performing in Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonary, and Urology. The hospital had 23, 835 admissions in the latest year for which data was available. It performed 11,209 annual inpatient and 12,568 outpatient surgeries. Its emergency room had 38,078 visits.

Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Faculty

Name MD/DO Certification Position Appointment
Gary Esper DO AOBIM Prg. Director LECOM
Stephen Kovacs DO AOBIM Faculty LECOM
Anil Singh MD ABIM AGH PD Temple University
Raj Adurty MD ABIM Faculty LECOM
Omer Bajwa MD, FCCP ABIM Faculty Temple University
Marvin Balaan MD ABIM Faculty Temple
Eric Bihler DO ABIM Faculty LECOM
Tariz Cheema MD ABIM Faculty Temple University
Mark Lega MD, FCCP ABIM Faculty Drexel/Temple Universities
Khalid Malik MD ABIM Faculty Temple University
Daniel A. Shade, Jr. MD, FCCP, ABSM ABIM Faculty LECOM
Raghukumar D. Thirumala MD, MPH, FCCP ABIM Faculty UPMC
Anthony Zikos DO, FCCP ABIM Faculty Drexel University
Shameen Salam MD ABIM Faculty LECOM
Abdul-Karim Haffar MD ABIM Faculty UPMC Hamot
Ronaldo Sevilla Berrios MD ABIM Faculty UPMC Hamot
Carlos Racedo Africano MD ABIM Faculty UPMC Hamot

Typical Schedule for 3 years

The fellowship experiences may be tailored to meet the individual fellow’s interests, goals and career plans. A typical schedule is as follows:

Pulmonary / Critical Care Medicine:

Months Spent During Fellowship

Rotation Year I Year II Year III Total
Medial ICU 4 3 2 9
Surgical / Neurosurgical ICU 2 2 2 6
Outpatient Pulmonary (1 ½ days per week or 1-2 full days due to out-rotations)
Inpatient Consults 2 2 2 6
Bronchoscopy /Procedures 1 1 1 3
PFT’s / Exercise 1 1 0 2
Sleep Medicine 0 1 1 2
Pulmonary HTN 1 1 0 2
Radiology 1 0 0 1
Research / Elective 0 2 2 4
Anesthesia 1 0 0 1
TOTAL 36 Months

Residents applying to our Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, are encouraged to submit a Residency/Fellowship Application (on-line application) to Medical Education, Millcreek Community Hospital. The new LECOM Health Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship is a three-year program for physicians who have completed an AOA-accredited Internal Medicine Residency. A copy of the Resident’s/Fellow’s board scores, transcript and at least two letters of recommendation are to be included. Selected candidates will be asked to personally interview in Erie.

Contact Information
Anand Popuri, D.O., apopuri@mch1.org
Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellow

For questions or more information, contact:

LECOM Health – Millcreek Community Hospital
Medical Education
5515 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16509

Kaitlin Hanes
Medical Education Program Coordinator
Internal Medicine Residency
Gastroenterology Fellowship
Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship
Geriatrics Fellowship
Integrative Medicine Fellowship
(814) 868-8217

Residents applying to our Sports Medicine, OMM, Geriatric FM, Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, Integrative Medicine, and the Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowships and Residents wanting to apply to a PGY-2 Year (or beyond) are encouraged to submit a Residency/Fellowship Application (on-line application) to Medical Education, Millcreek Community Hospital. A copy of the Resident’s/Fellow’s board scores, transcript and at least two letters of recommendation are to be included. To apply to any of our Internships (PGY-1 Residency Positions), our Gastroenterology Fellowship and our Geriatric Internal Medicine Fellowship, please submit an application through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Services). Selected candidates will be asked to personally interview in Erie. LECOM Sports Medicine does not participate in the match.

Thank you for your interest in our exciting program.

Selection of residents and fellows shall not be based on race, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, color, or disability, which would not directly impede the training process or any other characteristic protected by law.