Chiefs' Welcome

        2014 Chiefs      

Having just finished residency, who better to tell you about the program than us? As very different people with very different interests within the field of pediatrics, we can offer a complete perspective on what it means to be a UAB pediatric resident. When you visit our program you will hear a common theme, the people. Our residents are a close group that genuinely care about each other and have fun together, both inside and outside of work. This environment is so important, especially during the long days or nights we are all guaranteed to have during residency. The program leadership, Drs. Nichols, Tofil, Hartig, and Barnett are extremely invested in each individual resident and truly care about not only the resident’s training but also the experience. We applied to UAB because of the strength of training it provides but chose the program because of the residents and faculty that you will spend day and night with for three (or four for Med-Peds) years. 

We also wanted a busy, resident driven program that would allow for the best learning experience. What is a resident driven program? It is a place where residents are expected to lead by having the opportunity to perform procedures first, develop differential diagnoses and plans, and run their team allowing for hands on experience. By having the opportunity to rotate through every pediatric subspecialty, you will learn how to take care of medically complex children and feel comfortable doing so. It is not a place where you learn by only reading but by doing as well. Education is strengthened through our Stagno morning report and noon conferences which provide opportunities for unique case presentations and didactic lectures from experts in every field. The result is graduating residents prepared for all aspects of pediatrics whether it is general pediatrics or a subspecialty fellowship.  Within our graduating classes approximately half will go into general outpatient pediatrics and the other half pursue a subspecialty fellowship.

We wish you the best of luck choosing the residency program that is right for you. Please contact us with any questions that you have.

2014-2015 UAB Pediatric Chief Residents

Nicki Sims (

Cassi Smola (

Clay Cohen (