Pediatric Residency Program


The UAB Pediatric Residency Program is a resident-driven program that provides diverse general pediatric training through extensive hands-on experience and scholarly activities. During their training, residents have the opportunity to explore every aspect of pediatrics from outpatient to critical care medicine and every subspecialty within the field. Additionally, residents are able to participate in a variety of research projects with department faculty and community outreach and advocacy.

The residency program consists of 73 categorical pediatric residents. We also have three combined programs that participate in pediatric training. Our combined programs include Internal Medicine/Pediatric Residency, Child Neurology Residency and Medical Genetics/Pediatrics Residency. Our programs are diverse. The backgrounds of our residents are:

  • African American—11%
  • Asian—10%
  • Hispanic—5%
  • Native American—1%
  • White—73%

2021 Graduates

Categorical Pediatric Graduates

Bradley Anding, M.D.
Chief Resident 2021–2022

Jordan Ashcraft, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Critical Care

Aubrey Coleman, M.D.
General Pediatrics
Eufaula, Alabama

Laura Crocker-Mitchell, M.D.
General Emergency Medicine

Cecilia Drennen, M.D.
General Pediatrics
Paris, Texas

Blake Foxworthy, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Meghan Harrison, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Christine Herman, M.D.
General Pediatrics
Indio, California

M. McGee Hopper, M.D.
Chief Resident 2021–2022

Stephen Hudson, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Cardiology

Adria Luk, M.D.
General Pediatrics
Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Anne Byrd Mahoney, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Kylee Miller, M.D.
Fellowship, Neonatology

Nathaniel Owens, M.D.
General Pediatrics
Homewood, Alabama

J. Alexandra Paulsen, M.D.
Academic Pediatrics

Emily Poindexter, M.D.
Chief Resident 2021–2022

Adam Powell, M.D.
General Pediatrics
Huntsville, Alabama

Alexis Ricci, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Jeremy Ruhlmann, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Critical Care/Emergency Medicine

Patrick Snyder, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Critical Care
University of Colorado

Sarah Spencer, M.D.
General Pediatrics
Hoover, Alabama

Austin Wheeler, M.D.
Fellowship, Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Combined Medicine/Pediatrics Graduates

Elizabeth Barton, M.D.
Academic Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
University of South Carolina–Greenville

Channing Brown, M.D.
Academic Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

Elizabeth Fix, M.D.
General Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
New Mexico

Anderson Marshall, M.D.
Chief Medical Resident VA
Birmingham, Alabama

Combined Pediatric/Genetics Graduate

Katherine Mascia, M.D.
Pediatric Genetics
Belleville, Pennsylvania

Clinical Education

Our program provides residents with a stimulating, challenging, yet nurturing environment for learning. Our dedicated and bright faculty are critical elements in fulfilling this goal. They are dedicated to our program and residents, serving as teachers, role models, advisors and friends. Residents are trained to treat and diagnose a wide range of pediatric illnesses and diseases from common conditions to rarer “zebras” due to the large volume, high acuity and variety of patients seen at Children’s of Alabama. During their training, residents have the opportunity to participate in simulation education that greatly enhances their hands-on education.


Research is an important part of our residents’ education and is encouraged and supported by the program. While research is not a requirement of our program, the majority of our residents have ongoing research projects, extensive involvement in quality improvement projects and/or experience in clinical case presentations. Several residents present at regional and national meetings. For the past 10 years, 57% of our graduates have continued into academic fellowships.

The program offers multiple opportunities for the residents to participate in research during their residency. Some of these include:

Pediatric Research Academic Program: research interest group that meets monthly to discuss basic research topics, set monthly goals and network with each other as well as faculty.

Senior Talks: Every graduating resident (PGY-3 Pediatric and PGY-4 MedPeds and Peds/Genetics) presents a 30-minute evidence-based medicine topic at a Resident Noon Conference throughout the year. Below are some of the topics that were presented in 2021:

  • “Nutrition, Obesity & Metabolic Health”—Dr. Laura Crocker Mitchell
  • “Chronic Disease in Adolescence”—Dr. Anne Byrd Mahoney
  • “Intimate Partner Violence: The Power of The Pediatrician”—Dr. J. Alex Paulsen
  • “Legislative Advocacy for Pediatricians in Alabama”—Dr. Aubrey Coleman
  • “Engaging Fathers in Primary Care Pediatrics”—Dr. Adam Powell
  • “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope”—Dr. Sarah Spencer
  • “Myths of Medicine”—Dr. Anderson Marshall
  • “Just Plain Genetics: Amish Paradise”—Dr. Katherine Mascia
  • “Whitewashed Medicine: Health Care’s Systemic Racism and Need to Do Better”—Dr. Patrick Snyder

Quality Improvement Projects: Every resident must participate in a QI project during their residency. They are able to join projects that have already been started by previous residents or create a new one, depending on their interests. Below is a sampling of resident QI projects.

  • Obesity Prevention
  • Firearm Safety in PCC
  • Improving the Discharge Process for Spanish-speaking-only Patients
  • Bridging the Gap: Improving Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care
  • Inpatient Interventions for Improved Infant Safe Sleep
  • Increase Influenza Vaccinations in PHM Admissions
  • Enhanced Provider Communication and Facilitated Workflow to Reduce Excessive Fluid Accumulation in Extremely Low Birthweight Infants

UAB Pediatric Science Day: Pediatric residents can attend or present at this all-day Department of Pediatrics conference. (See fellowship program section for more information.)

UAB ENRICH (Educational Research & Innovation in Clinical & Health Sciences) Week: A weeklong conference for health care educators that promotes teaching skills, fosters curriculum innovation and showcases research in health education for the 21st century.

Founders’ Fund Grants: These research grants are awarded annually to peer-selected projects to help residents accomplish research goals. Each project is given $1,000. (See the Founders’ Fund Grants section for a list of projects from this year).

Attendance at national and regional meetings is supported by the Department of Pediatrics throughout the year. Below is a list of conferences our residents have attended virtually (due to COVID-19) this year.

  • Southern Society for Pediatric Research (SSPR)—11 residents presented at the 2021 conference.
  • UAB Department of Pediatrics Patient Safety and Quality Day—11 residents presented at the 2020 conference.

Abstracts were also accepted to:

  • Pediatrics Academic Society



Acad Med. 2021 Feb 1;96(2):176-181. Admissions Is Not Enough: The Racial Achievement Gap in Medical Education. Alana C Jones‏, Alana C Nichols‏, Carmel M McNicholas‏, Fatima C Stanford‏.

Acad Med. 2021 Feb 1;96(2):241-248. Are We Measuring What Matters? How Student and Clerkship Characteristics Influence Clinical Grading. Mary A Ingram‏, Joseph L Pearman‏, Carlos A Estrada‏, Anne Zinski‏, Winter L Williams‏.

Cardiol Young. 2021 Jan 28;1-4. Heart failure in an elderly man: where is that coronary? Charlie J Sang‏, Stephen A Clarkson‏, Elizabeth A Jackson‏, Firas Al Solaiman‏, Marc G Cribbs‏.

Cardiovasc Pathol. 2021 Jul 14;107370. Cardiac Pathology in COVID-19: A Single Center Autopsy Experience. Charlie J Sang‏‏, Alison Burkett‏, Brittain Heindl‏, Silvio H Litovsky‏, Sumanth D Prabhu‏, Paul V Benson‏, Indranee Rajapreyar‏.

J Pediatr. 2021 Apr;231:55-60.e1. Early Skin-to-Skin Care with a Polyethylene Bag for Neonatal Hypothermia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Colm P Travers, Manimaran Ramani, Samuel J Gentle, Amelia Schuyler, Catherine Brown, Madeline M Dills, Claire B Davis, Musaku Mwenechanya, Elwyn Chomba, Inmaculada Aban, Albert Manasyan, Namasivayam Ambalavanan, Waldemar A Carlo.

We are very proud of the research accomplishments of our pediatric residents and grateful to the Department of Pediatrics faculty and fellows who have mentored and inspired their work.


Our program also offers residents opportunities to get involved in community outreach and advocacy. The Coat of Arms Committee (Community, Outreach and Advocacy) was founded in 2003 to help to facilitate and organize residents’ advocacy efforts by providing volunteer opportunities for residents and partnerships with community organizations.

Over half of our residents are involved in community outreach activities and advocacy. Several residents are involved with the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and participate the state’s AAP meetings in the spring and fall as well as Pediatric Legislative Day in Montgomery. Our interns have an injury prevention and advocacy experience to help them discover ways to become involved and make a difference.

Since 2007, the residents have organized the Spring Scramble 5K in the spring to promote healthy choices among our community’s youth and raise funds to directly support the health and well-being of the children in our community. This year’s 5K took place in the heart of Homewood with Patrick Snyder directing the fundraiser.

Additional advocacy and community outreach projects and opportunities include:

  • working in free health clinics
  • medical directing in pediatric camps
  • volunteering at health fairs
  • serving on international medical teams
  • partnerships with local schools
  • Primary Care Clinic holiday gift collection
  • Primary Care Clinic and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit book drive

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The UAB Pediatric Residency Program is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The program has worked to increase diversity, equity and inclusion through a variety of initiatives, including the Residency Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, opportunities for underrepresented in medicine (URiM) medical students, education programs and recruitment efforts.

During the 2020–2021 academic year, the Pediatric Residency Program appointed Chrystal Rutledge, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care, and Michael Lopez, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Neurology, as co-directors of the Resident Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. Vida Laudarji, M.D., PGY-3 resident, and Jasmine Capers, M.D., PGY-2 resident serve as resident leaders for the council. The leadership for the council helps to support and foster relationships where residents may voice concerns and suggestions. The Resident DEI Council works in conjunction with the department DEI Council to sponsor activities throughout the year to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment.

The department has established a partnership with Meharry Medical School, a historically black institution in Nashville, Tennessee. Through this partnership, third-year medical students complete a two-week inpatient pediatric rotation at UAB and attend a networking lunch with faculty, residents and fellows hosted by the DEI Council. The department has also established a one-month visiting fourth-year medical student clerkship for URiM students, offering three scholarships for this opportunity.

The Pediatrics Residency Program sponsors a health equities morning report six times a year and quarterly noon conferences that focus on DEI topics (e.g., implicit bias, micro-aggressions, social determinants of health, systemic racism) that are led by department DEI faculty. They also sponsor in-person and virtual simulations focusing on recognition and understanding social determinants of health and health care equity.

In July 2021, Dr. Rutledge was appointed as an assistant program director with the focus of leading the program’s DEI efforts. Under her leadership, the department began sponsoring and financing the opportunity for residents to participate in a Birmingham Civil Rights tour to learn about Birmingham’s role in the Civil Rights movement and the path forward to create a more inclusive local and national community. The PGY-3 class took the tour in Spring 2021, and plans are in place to continue this event. Dr. Rutledge also helped to establish the Health Equity Scholars Program, which works to train pediatric and medicine-pediatric residents to lead advances in child health equity through a two-year longitudinal and experiential curriculum. See the Scholars Program section below to learn more about this program and their activities this year.

The program participates in several recruitment events and opportunities focused on URiM student. Informational sessions for potential pediatric residency candidates are hosted by DEI faculty and the program directors. Invitations are sent to organizations serving historically underrepresented students, including the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and medical school clerkship directors. The core program participates in the recruitment events at historically black institutions (Morehouse and Meharry Medical Schools) and URiM medical student associations (SNMA and LMSA).

Program Directors

Michele Holloway Nichols, M.D.
Program Director
Professor in the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Nancy Tofil, M.D., M.Ed.
Senior Associate Program Director
Professor in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care

Candice Dye, M.D.
Associate Program Director
Associate Professor in the Division of Academic General Pediatrics

Lauren Nassetta, M.D.
Associate Program Director
Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Chrystal Rutledge, M.D.
Assistant Program Director
Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care

Will Sasser, M.D.
Associate Program Director
Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care