Christina L. Cifra, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
Boston Children’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA
Christina L. Cifra, MD, MS

Dr. Christina L. Cifra is a health services and patient safety researcher in the field of diagnostic excellence in pediatrics and critical care. She completed pediatric critical care fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and received formal quality improvement training as a resident scholar at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. She completed her MS degree in Translational Biomedicine, focusing on translation to populations, at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She is currently an attending pediatric intensivist in the Division of Medical Critical Care at Boston Children’s Hospital and a member of the faculty of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cifra has published foundational studies on the frequency and causes of diagnostic error in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and has proposed a unified research agenda for diagnostic excellence in critical care medicine. She is currently investigating diagnostic error and the role of diagnostic uncertainty in the assessment of critically ill children on PICU admission and is conducting ethnographic work in the PICU to delineate the influence of referral communication on the PICU diagnostic process. She is also leading innovative work on diagnostic process handoffs across institutions, which includes studies aiming to standardize referral communication for inter-facility transfers to the PICU and improve feedback to PICU-referring clinicians. In addition to her scientific contributions, Dr. Cifra has also devoted considerable effort to facilitating wider recognition and support for scholarship in diagnostic excellence. She is the current Chair of the Research Committee of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and is an Associate Editor for Diagnosis, the premier journal for diagnostic safety research.