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Message from the Program Directors

John G. Frohna, MD, MPH

John Frohna, MD, MPH
Program Director

Melissa A. Cercone, MD

Melissa Cercone, MD
Associate Program Director

Kathleen A. DeSantes, MD

Kathleen DeSantes, MD
Associate Program Director

Daniel J. Sklansky, MD

Daniel Sklansky, MD
Associate Program Director

Grant D. Syverson, MD

Grant Syverson, MD
Associate Program Director

We strive to prepare pediatricians who will be leaders in their communities and in academics. Beyond the care you provide to individual children, we want you to have an impact on patients you may never see – through advances in clinical care, public health, research, and education. We promote a learning environment that encourages you to:

  • Actively engage in your educational pursuits, with support from your peers and the faculty
  • Collaborate with your colleagues and other health care professionals to provide outstanding patient- and family-centered care
  • Become an intellectually curious and reflective professional


Residency is a challenge, and it is one that our residents enjoy. These three years are called “training” for a reason – the purpose is to prepare you for a vital role in society: caring for children. This profession is one that we cherish and we want you to be the best pediatrician possible. Toward that end, our faculty will encourage you and push you to broaden your medical knowledge, expand your abilities to provide the highest quality care, and reflect on the pediatrician you are becoming. As a group, our residents enjoy working with each other, learning together, and becoming excellent doctors.


Medicine is a team sport. In our program, we value collaboration among primary care physicians and subspecialists, between surgeons and pediatricians. We foster relationships between residents and nurses so that we can all achieve the best care for our patients. For example, residents participate with faculty and nurses on the unit council leadership teams; these teams help drive the quality initiatives on the units and across the hospital. Our residents also work closely with and learn from the mid-level providers in the intensive care units and in subspecialty clinics. All of our patient care units emphasize a family-centered rounding model.

A Supportive Program


The size of our program provides many opportunities for connections: between residents and faculty, between residents and patients, and, of course, between residents. Our faculty members truly love working with and mentoring residents! From the day you interview until graduation and beyond, we aim to help you meet your personal and professional goals. As program directors, we enjoy developing close and meaningful mentoring relationships with our residents. We know residency can be both exciting and challenging, and we want to share in the journey with you! Our residents will also have the chance to provide longitudinal care to patients and families – you will often care for the same patients over time in the hospital or clinic, which is a real opportunity to see the evolution of their condition and to get to know the families. And, importantly, in our program, residents have lots of opportunities to get to know each other, both in and out of the hospital. Outside the hospital our residents get together to play ultimate Frisbee or soccer, see concerts, go on hikes, share dinners, and hang out at the Memorial Union Terrace and watch the sun set over Lake Mendota.

Last updated: 03/12/2014
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