Sylvia S. Choi, MD, FAAP

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Medical Director, Observation Unit

Dr. Sylvia Choi joined the Paul C. Gaffney Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine in 1998 following completion of her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, including a year spent as chief resident. Since then, Dr. Choi has dedicated herself as a clinician-educator to advancing the care of hospitalized children as well as providing robust learning opportunities for trainees and clinicians at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the surrounding tri-state area. She was promoted to associate professor in 2007. Dr. Choi has been instrumental in the incorporation of observational medicine to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She was instrumental in the development of the Feeding and Swallowing Center, serving as its medical director from inception until transition to a multispecialty-staffed program in 2018. Dr. Choi practices full-time as a teaching hospitalist for the PHM Division on the general pediatric wards.

Academic Activity

Dr. Choi’s academic efforts are focused in the following four areas:

  • Observational Medicine: Dr. Choi was responsible for the development of the Limited Stay Unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh which focused on the care of pediatric patients with straightforward admission diagnoses and an estimated length of stay of 48 hours or less. After several years, this concept evolved into the creation of a new 10-bed Observation Unit within the hospital adjacent to the Emergency Department. Dr. Choi then lead a 1-year pilot program within the Observation Unit involving advanced practice providers. She continues to provide oversight to the Observation Unit as its staffing has transitioned to include residents and medical students.
  • Curriculum Development: Dr. Choi is invested in the education of pediatric residents, particularly regarding communication skills. She co-directs courses aimed at developing effective communication techniques for everyday bedside use (Pediatric Resident Communications Course) as well as for end-of-life care (Death and Dying Conference).
  • Continuing Medical Education: Dr. Choi has a long-standing commitment to development of educational opportunities for pediatric providers locally as demonstrated by her co-direction of several academic meetings, including the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Annual Feeding and Swallowing Center Conference and the Three Rivers Pediatric Update. She is a facilitator for Schwartz Rounds for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as well as a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) instructor.

Professional Affiliations/Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Ambulatory Pediatric Association
  • Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
  • Alpha Omega Alpha

Education & Training

  • Bachelor of Arts in Medical Science, Boston University - 1990
  • Doctor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine - 1994
  • Residency in Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh / Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh - 1997
  • Chief Residency in Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 1998

Representative Publications

Dr. Choi’s publications can be reviewed at the National Library of Medicine’s public database.

May 6, 2018 “Use of an Experiential Communications Course with Role Play to Prepare Residents to Address Prejudice in the Workplace,” workshop co-leader.  PAS 2018 Meeting, Toronto, Canada. 

March 27, 2015 “CSI Pediatrics: Communication Skills Instruction using role play with simulated patients to optimize residents’ medical error disclosure,” workshop. APPD 2015 Annual Meeting, Orlando FL

May 27, 2016 “Providing Care to Chronically Ill Children: Care Coordination.” 5th Annual Palliative Care Conference: Bridging the Gap between Providers & Families, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

September 23, 2016 “Pediatrician’s approach to feeding problems in early childhood,” Practice and Patience: Strategies to Address Feeding Problems in Early Childhood. Pittsburgh PA

October 20, 2016 “Death and Dying: A One Day Course to Enhance Pediatric Resident Education.” 21st International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal, Canada.

April 6, 2017 “Teaching Residents to Mitigate Prejudice (TRMP): Role Play with Simulated Parents to Address Prejudice in the Workplace,” workshop. APPD 2017 Annual Spring Meeting, Anaheim, California.

Hartog R, Choi S. Getting to the Heart of the Matter. Clinical Conundrums poster at the 2017 Pediatric Hospitalist Medicine Conference, July 20, 2017, Nashville TN

Boyajian AJ, Choi S. The Proof is in the Pudding. Clinical Conundrums Poster at the 2017 Pediatric Hospitalist Medicine Conference, July 22, 2017, Nashville TN.

October 6, 2017 “Approach to Failure to Thrive in the Pediatric Patient,” 21st Annual Pediatric Update Symposium, Cole Memorial Hospital, Coudersport, Pennsylvania.