Catherine A. Polak, MD, FAAP

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Associate Program Director, Pediatric Residency Program
  • Co-Director, Advanced Practice Provider, Pediatric Fellowship Program

Dr. Catherine Polak joined the Paul C. Gaffney Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine in 2016 immediately following completion of her pediatric residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, including a year as chief resident. Dr. Polak practices full-time as a teaching attending for the evening hospitalist group. A dedicated clinician-educator, she was named an Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Residency Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2020. Academic Interests: Quality Improvement Dr. Polak participated in a pilot program within the division aimed at familiarizing junior faculty with the process behind designing and performing quality improvement projects. The program's first project involves assessment of asthma education in hospitalized patients through collaboration with nursing staff as well as respiratory therapists. Education and Curriculum Development Dr. Polak is actively involved in the development of a general pediatric curriculum for advanced practice providers in clinical roles at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She also facilitates the curriculum for Quality and Safety for the pediatric residency program. She serves as an instructor for the Advanced Physical Examination course for medical students.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, 2012–Present
  • Association of Pediatric Program Directors, 2015–2016

Education & Training

  • BA, English, Georgetown University, 2006
  • MD, West Virginia University, 2012
  • Residency/Internship in Pediatrics, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2012-2015
  • Chief Pediatric Resident, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2015-2016

Selected Publications

McCormick A, Polak C, Fox M, Carlson M, Guthrie C, Decker M, Hupp D, Butler G, Urbach A. Condition Help: 10 years of Experience Enhancing our Culture of Family Engagement. Patient Experience Journal. 2018 July Vol 5: Iss 2.

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Research Interests

  • Care of Hospitalized Children