Pediatric dentistry residency program

Residency program

Children's Wisconsin dental residency program participants

The two-year pediatric dentistry residency program starts after graduation from dental school to immerse dentists in scientific study and clinical experience. The trainee learns advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures, along with child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation, and general anesthesia.

Pediatric Dental Residency Program
Children's Wisconsin

8915 West Connell Court
MS 310
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226

Administrative coordinator: Hugo Tran

Phone: (414) 266-6527

Fax: (414) 266-5677

Program length and number of positions

This is a 24-month program commencing on July 1 of each year. Mandatory orientation begins mid-June. 

Each year the program will accept four applicants through the PASS/Match Application services. Four residents will be compensated with salary and full benefits as hospital employees.

Program type

Photo of Children's Wisconsin pediatric dentistry residents at Halloween in 2014

Hospital-based certificate program


Applicants must have the following to be considered for admission:

  1. D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree obtained at a CODA accredited dental school
  2. National Boards and Part I and Part II or INBDE 

Applicants must:

  1. Submit an application through the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS). Application instructions can be found at the PASS website.
  2. Register with the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Service (MATCH). Information about the MATCH >>
  3. Upon invitation, a personal interview is required. At that time, a high-resolution photo will be requested. No photos are needed before the invitation to interview. Interviews are held in November and December.

The application deadline for PASS is October 1st of the year preceding matriculation.

All correspondence regarding program information and application should be directed to:

Carli DiGioia, D.M.D.
Director, Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program 

Children’s Wisconsin 
MS 310
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226
Director email:
Director phone: (414) 266-1788


The residency program in Pediatric Dentistry is a hospital-based clinical program with didactic courses provided through the faculty of Children’s Wisconsin, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University. The program prides itself in a unique commitment to continuity of care. Each resident follows a specific patient pool during their two years of training and completes comprehensive care for each of those patients. 

Patient Profile

Children’s Dental Center serves the needs of nearly 14,500 unique patients, including more than 34,000 patient visits/year and is one of the busiest specialty clinics at Children’s Wisconsin. Every patient gives residents an opportunity to learn pediatric dentistry in a hands-on environment. 

The Children’s Dental Center-Main Campus cares for a very diverse patient population. Approximately 60% of patients are healthy children that come from varied socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The remaining 40% of patients present with health issues and have either a physical/cognitive challenge or complex medical condition. The resident patient load is significant, but with each encounter, the residents learn about children, families, and ultimately, develop an expertise in delivering dental services to a broad scope of children. The Children’s Dental Center receives direct referrals from the Midwest Children’s Cancer Center, the Herma Heart Center, the Blood Center of Wisconsin, the Child Protection Center, the Emergency Department/Trauma Center, and numerous other departments and providers within the hospital. 

The Children’s Dental Center-Forest Home serves the area with the greatest population density of children in the state, located on the south side of Milwaukee and the Children’s Dental Center-Metcalfe Park at the Next Door Foundation serves the north side of Milwaukee. Most of these children and families come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The program emphasizes resident community involvement and endeavors to promote the resident’s understanding of poverty and the barriers families encounter in their daily lives. 

Community Service: The program is directly involved with Give Kids a Smile annually. Residents actively volunteer with other organizations, such as Special Olympics and the Hunger Task Force. Residents also may provide educational seminars to area dentists and medical staffs regarding topics in pediatric dentistry.


Courses and Seminars 

The program offers a wide variety of courses and seminars to support a robust academic curriculum that enhances the resident’s education. Courses and seminars include: Craniofacial Growth and Development, Board Preparation Review, Pulp Therapy in Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatric Dental Trauma, Pediatric Dental Infections, Pediatric Medicine, Preventive Concepts in Pediatric Dentistry, Practice Management, Transition of the Human Dentition, Cephalometrics, Oral Pathology, Orthodontic Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Literature Review, Public Health and Advocacy and Concepts in Pediatric Dentistry (Behavior Guidance, Complex Special Needs, Case Reviews). In addition, numerous lectures are provided within the hospital including Grand Rounds, Pediatric Trauma Rounds and Craniofacial Anomaly Rounds. Residents are given time to attend these lectures with their medical colleagues. 


All residents must complete an original research project. Each resident is paired with a faculty member to serve as a research mentor. Projects are presented to the entire CW Dental Center staff at the annual Resident Research Day in June.

Poster Presentation

All residents are expected to present a poster at a major meeting during their 2-year program.

American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) Certification 

All residents are expected to complete the Qualifying Exam of the ABPD prior to completion of the program. In addition, mock oral boards are given with experienced faculty members to help the residents prepare for the Oral Clinical Exam portion of the ABPD Certification process. 


Residents teach pre-doctoral students at Marquette University’s School of Dentistry in the pediatric clinic and also provide a lecture for the second year pre-doctoral students. Each resident will also lecture a group of medical resident colleagues on topics in oral health and pediatric dentistry.



Residents receive training in the full scope of advanced pediatric dental techniques including preventive dentistry, restorative procedures, behavior guidance, sedation, pulp therapy, oral pathology, hospital dentistry including OR procedures, pediatric medicine, and oral/facial trauma, as well as training in interceptive and select comprehensive orthodontics. The program includes extensive training in dentistry for the medically compromised child, as well as the physically and cognitively challenged patient. Residents are expected to expand their knowledge of pediatrics and integrate dental diagnosis and treatment with the comprehensive medical needs of their patients. 

Hospital Training 

The hospital experience for the resident is extensive. Operating room cases, inpatient consultations, management of oral/facial infections and traumatic injuries, and consultations with medical departments are a part of the resident’s daily life. 


Throughout the residency, various rotations are offered including pediatric primary care (1 week), anesthesiology (4 weeks), community health care (2 weeks), and specialty medicine including: craniofacial surgery, otolaryngology, child advocacy, speech/audiology, feeding/nutrition, child development and special needs. (1 week). Residents also staff various interdisciplinary teams, such as Craniofacial/Cleft Palate  and the Leukemia/Lymphoma team. They attend regularly scheduled lectures and various department seminars with the pediatric medical staff. 

Emergency On-Call 

The residents provide 24-hour-7-days/week on-call emergency care. Emergency call is done via pager and is rotated daily. A 1st and 2nd year resident are paired on-call so as to share information and provide assistance for procedures. Each resident will be on-call approximately 1 week/month through the 2 years of training.

Program stipend and tuition

Resident Stipends:
First Year: $48,402
Second Year: $49,650
Chief Resident: $51,410

Upon approval of the program director and at the end of 1st year, weekend moonlighting during the 2nd year is an option at various dental practices in the community.

Hospital Employee Benefits: malpractice insurance, short-term disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, 10 days paid vacation per year, 6-8 paid holidays per year, and 8 paid sick days (total).

Residents are also given 8 education days beyond their regular vacation days to attend educational conferences and meetings. Major meetings that residents will attend include the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) Annual Session during the second year of training, the AAPD Sedation Course, and the AAPD Comprehensive Review of Pediatric Dentistry Course or the AAPD Qualifying Exam Prep Course. Residents also attend the WDA Legislative Day to supplement their advocacy training. Attendance at the required courses is subsidized approximately 80% pending budget allowance. Additional meetings and courses may be attended upon approval of the Program Director. Lectures and seminars presented at Children’s Wisconsin are tuition-free or eligible for full tuition reimbursement.


Children’s Wisconsin is located on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Campus and is devoted solely to the care and treatment of sick and injured children. Services include primary, secondary and tertiary care to children throughout Wisconsin and beyond. Children’s Wisconsin has approximately 300 medical/surgical beds. The hospital employs approximately 5,000 full, part-time, and casual employees and maintains a Medical/Dental staff of approximately 1000 individuals. With approximately 26,000 admissions annually and over 680,000 outpatient visits each year, Children’s Hospital and Health System is a regional leader providing treatment and research for various childhood illnesses and diseases. 

The Children’s Dental Center has one primary and two satellite outpatient clinics where residents practice. The Children’s Dental Center-Main Campus clinic is a 6,400-square foot, 13-chair clinic in the Children’s Hospital Clinics Building, which is linked to the hospital via a skywalk. The Children’s Dental Center-Forest Home facility is an eight-chair clinic that is located on the south side of Milwaukee. The Metcalfe Park Clinic is a five chair clinic that is located on the Next Door Foundation Campus. As a community clinic, the center not only serves the children at Next Door, but also children from the surrounding community.

All clinics are furnished with up-to-date equipment and materials, including digital radiography and an electronic dental record. The hospital has 18 operating rooms which may be used for dental cases. Three of these rooms are located in the Special Procedures-Day Surgery where a vast majority of dental general anesthesia cases are performed. Mobile operating and supply carts along with a mobile X-ray machine are available for OR cases.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have the following items completed and/or submitted for consideration:

  1. Graduate from a CODA accredited dental school
  2. Completed PASS (Postdoctoral Application Support Service) application
  3. Register with the National Matching Service
  4. Personal interview upon invitation. Upon interview invitation, a high-resolution photo (.jpeg file) must be sent directly to Hugo Tran at

Program strengths

  1. Patient volume: Large, diverse patient population with a significant portion of children with special needs. Residents have a very active patient schedule exposing them to a wide range of pediatric dental procedures and diagnostically challenging cases.
  2. Continuity of Care: The entire dental department is strongly committed to ensuring that children are seen by the same provider for the duration of resident training. Residents are scheduled with the same patients consistently and can build relationships with patients and families while closely following their treatment outcomes.
  3. Staff: Attending faculty and supporting staff with long-term dedication to resident education. All faculty see their own patients every week in clinic alongside residents, which allows for daily mentoring and guidance. Residents are always supported by a dental assistant except during certain elective orthodontic visits.
  4. Behavior guidance: Extensive training and experience in the understanding and guidance of child behavior utilizing behavior guidance techniques including non-pharmacological methods, sedation, and general anesthesia. Residents complete more than 50 cases of oral conscious sedation using midazolam (oral and intranasal), hydroxyzine, morphine, valium, and lorazepam.
  5. Orthodontics: Residents successfully complete 6+ cases of full brackets with orthopedic appliances in addition to various fixed and removable appliance cases. Weekly didactic training and strong clinical supervision provided by a board-certified orthodontist.
  6. Trauma/Emergency care: As a Level I trauma center, the emergency room provides a large and diverse group of patients requiring treatment of dental-facial trauma.
  7. Didactics: Comprehensive seminar/lecture curriculum, including advocacy training and hospital lectures such as Grand Rounds and Craniofacial Conference with medical residents and fellows.
  8. Facilities: Esthetic, modern, well-maintained facilities with ample natural lighting.
  9. High quality residents from diverse backgrounds.

Externship Opportunity

Children's Wisconsin (CW) Pediatric Dental Residency Program offers a well-rounded externship experience for interested applicants. Time spent at CW may include experiences shadowing in the dental clinic including our special needs population, operating room, minimal and moderate sedation cases, craniofacial team, orthodontic procedures, lectures, and on-call services with the current CW residents. The externship is limited to rising D4 dental students or practicing dentists seriously interested in applying this year for the following year’s starting resident class. Minimum dental school GPA is 3.4 for externship candidates (students at pass/fail dental schools are welcome to submit a CV for consideration). 

If you are ready to request an externship, please submit a CV that notes a current GPA, or final dental school GPA for graduated dentists not currently in advanced training to Amy Lemm at on or after January 1. Once qualifications are confirmed and an externship is offered, applicants may request an externship date from the list of dates still available. About twenty externship experiences (three-day or five-day experiences) are offered from March-June, August and September. They are reserved by qualified candidates on a first-come first-served basis.

Program faculty


  • Lori R. Barbeau, D.D.S., Medical Director
  • Carli DiGioia, D.M.D.**, Program Director
  • Danielle Barstad, D.D.S.**
  • Wesley Chiasson, D.D.S.**
  • Colleen Greene, D.M.D. M.P.H.**
  • Jonathan Hanna, D.D.S.**
  • Ahmed Mohamed, D.D.S.**


  • Michael Melugin, D.D.S., M.S., Orthodontics (ABO board certified) & Oral Surgery (ABOMS board certified)
  • Philip Hawkins, D.D.S. Oral Surgeon

Adjunct Faculty

  • Elizabeth Eggert, D.D.S
  • Amy Getz-Niedziela, D.D.S.**
  • Pamela Hanson, D.D.S., M.S. (ABO board certified)
  • Munizeh Khan, D.D.S.**
  • Cliff Hartmann, D.D.S.**
  • Brian Hodgson, D.D.S.**
  • Macaire Hulderman, D.D.S., M.S.**
  • Nicole Simonetti, D.D.S.**
  • Randal Stelzner, D.D.S. General Dentist
  • Cleo Yi, D.D.S., M.S., Craniofacial Orthodontist
  • Chad Zambon, D.D.S.

**ABPD Board Certified


School profile

Program type:  Hospital-based certificate
Program director:  Full-time 
Program faculty:  Full-time
2 Part-time
11 Adjunct
15 Board-certified
Program length:  24 Total months
July 1 (Mid-June orientation) Start date
Program accreditation:  Approved 
State licensure:  Not required 
Number of entering positions: 
Tuition In-state:  none
Tuition Out-of-state:  none
Salary/Stipend:  48,402 First Year
49,650 Second Year
51,410 Chief Resident
Application:  October 1 deadline 
Participant in National
Matching Service:
Participant in PASS:  Yes 
Only US citizens from ADA
accredited dental schools
US citizens from foreign dental
schools considered:
Non-US citizens from ADA
accredited dental schools
Non-US citizens from foreign
dental schools considered:
Acceptance applicant ratio:  4:135
Clinic experience:  Orthodontics
Hospital rotations
General anesthesia
Emergency call
Operating room
Oral surgery
Infant oral health
Medically compromised
Craniofacial Disorders
Minimal and moderate sedations
Special healthcare needs
Behavior guidance
Didactic experience:  Seminars
Literature review
Case conferences
Research requirement:  Research paper
Data collection project
Teaching experience: Yes Clinic
Yes Lecture/Presentations
Facilities:  21 Chair/Operatories
7 Clinic receptionists
16 Dental assistants
5 Dental hygienists