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Pediatric Anesthesia Clinical and Research Internship(PACaRI)

Izabela Leahy, MS, BSN, RN

PACaRI Program Director

The Pediatric Anesthesia Clinical and Research Internship was started in 2010. The program offers a unique opportunity for students to work on a research project while also training as an anesthesia technician (9-month internship only) or observing/shadowing in the operating room (summer internship). Students are matched with a distinguished member of the Boston Children's Hospital faculty, and are involved in a research study from inception to manuscript preparation. Both clinical and lab environments provide challenging projects and involve a broad range of research techniques. The program culminates with a research symposium, where students engage in discussions and present findings on their individual projects in front of their peers, faculty, and program leaders.


The curriculum complements students’ education by providing foundational clinical research-based knowledge, targeted medical and technical lectures that cover protocol development, data collection and analysis, as well as presentation of research data and manuscript composition. Other highlights of the PACaRI include activities that provide short lectures designed to aid in the development of skills that stress independent knowledge acquisition, rigorous experimental study design, data analysis, communication and teamwork. In addition to skill development, through hands-on exercises and mentoring, students learn how to overcome challenges to keep up with the rapidly evolving and increasingly complex research and medical field.


Since its inception in 2010, 127 students have participated in the PACaRI and worked with 36 of the Department's Principal Investigators on both clinical and laboratory-based research protocols. In the last five years, the Program has emphasized the importance of student participation in scholarly activities, which has yielded 18 publications in peer-reviewed academic journals and over 45 abstracts that have been presented by PACaRI interns at professional conferences around the country.  Perhaps the most compelling evidence of the quality of the PACaRI is displayed by the placement of the PACaRI graduates: 100% medical school acceptance rates by students pursuing acceptances as compared to the 7% national average, 9 (7.7%) pursuing careers in research and 4 (3.5%) gaining acceptances to advanced healthcare related programs (NP, PA, PhD). 

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