CCFA Students, Residents and Fellows :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Students | Residents | Fellows at CFSH

At the Child Assessment Center (CAC) at the Center for Family Safety and Healing (CFSH), we strive to provide diverse educational experiences for all levels of professional training. Students, residents and fellows work directly with child abuse faculty as well as a multidisciplinary team of forensic interviewers, mental health advocates, children services workers, detectives and prosecutors.

Educational activities are individualized to meet the needs for each specific learner and include:

  • Participation in evaluations for suspected child abuse in both the inpatient and outpatient settings

  • Daily teaching sessions with faculty and/or fellows on various child maltreatment topics

  • Observation of court testimony by faculty (as available)

  • Observation of home visits with Franklin County Children Services

  • Child abuse literature review: Online teleconference with child abuse experts at different institutions across the country

  • Child abuse pediatrics fellow conferences

  • Child abuse online teaching sessions (as available): Learners will have the opportunity to be taught using teleconferencing by child abuse experts across the country. Participants include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Riley Hospital for Children, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Arkansas Children's Hospital.

  • Monthly inpatient consult review team meeting

  • Trauma grand rounds

  • Participation in the Franklin County fatality review process

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Medical Student Elective Rotation:

The elective rotation for medical students at The Ohio State University College of Medicine exposes medical students to family violence and child maltreatment issues and how they affect the lives of patients and their families. As part of this rotation, students can elect to spend time at CFSH learning about child abuse and the long-reaching effects of family violence. During this rotation, students will actively participate in the evaluation of children for suspected child abuse or neglect both in outpatient and inpatient settings. For clinic visits, students will have the opportunity to participate in the pre-assessment staffing, observe the forensic interview, perform the physical examination, formulate a differential diagnosis and management plan and participate in the post-assessment staffing. The importance of the role of a multidisciplinary team will be reinforced as students spend time with social service workers and mental health advocates, representatives from the Columbus Police Department’s Juvenile Bureau, Franklin County Children Services and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, students will have the opportunity to observe various child abuse prevention efforts, including home visitation of high risk families, to gain experience in addressing chronic social problems associated with child maltreatment. Lastly, students will have opportunities to learn about domestic violence and the co-occurrence of child abuse and domestic violence from the staff of the Center for Family Saftey and Healing as well as domestic violence victim advocates from CHOICES.

In addition to learning through the above clinical experiences, students will be provided with a library of pertinent child abuse literature and have daily teaching sessions with faculty based on their readings. Students will also be expected to design and complete an independent research project over the course of the month with guidance from our faculty.

Pediatrics, Medicine/Pediatrics Resident Rotations:

Pediatric and Medicine/Pediatric residents at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have the opportunity to rotate through CFSH during their training.
Intern Year:
Resident exposure to a child maltreatment curriculum begins in the first year of residency with dedicated time at the CAC during the ED-CMR rotation. Residents spend approximately 4 half day sessions participating in clinic assessments and inpatient consults (as available) in addition to receiving case based teaching sessions on various child maltreatment topics with faculty. The curriculum is designed to provide residents an overview of child maltreatment and develop a foundation of knowledge and skills in the recognition, evaluation, management, and reporting of child abuse.
Resident Elective Rotation:
Upper level residents may choose to complete a 2 week or 4 week elective rotation at the CAC. This elective is designed to enhance residents’ experiences caring for suspected abuse patients and build on the knowledge and skills gained during their intern year rotation. Residents are provided with a library of pertinent child abuse literature that will serve as foundations for daily teaching sessions with faculty. Residents become a member of the multidisciplinary team for evaluations of suspected abuse. They are challenged to critically appraise the child abuse medical literature and apply this knowledge to their evaluations.

Residents are also given the opportunity to identify an interesting clinical question in the field of child maltreatment, to conduct an in-depth literature review to help answer this question, and to develop a brief presentation summarizing his/her findings to be given at the end of the rotation.

In addition to evaluating child sexual abuse and physical abuse allegations, residents will gain experience with the continuum of issues related to child maltreatment. Residents will participate in the Fostering Connections Program which serves as the medical home for a select group of children placed in out-of-home care. This clinical experience exposes residents to the unique and complex challenges faced by children and families in the foster care system.

Fellowship Training in Child Abuse Pediatrics:

The Department of Pediatrics of Ohio State University School of Medicine has long established its reputation in providing excellent training in general pediatrics as well as many pediatric and pediatric surgical subspecialties. The Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship program was established in 2004, and is one of over thirty fellowship programs offered at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As the newest subspecialty approved by the American Board of Pediatrics, efforts to comply with the ACGME requirements have been made to provide a learning experience which is consistent with this accreditation organization. In 2010 the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowhsip at Natiownide Children's Hospital was among one of the first Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship programs to be accredited in the U.S.

The goal of the Child Abuse Pediatrics fellowship program is to train pediatricians to become medical experts who are knowledgeable and competent in all areas of child maltreatment, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect (supervisional, medical and nutritional), psychological maltreatment and medical child abuse. It also focuses on the continuum of family violence and provides a learning environment to support exposure to other types of family violence besides child maltreatment. These goals are fundamentally based upon the six ACGME core competencies. Rotation-specific and fellowship level-specific goals and objectives of this program are consistent with the ACGME core competencies.

Clinical experience in the Child Assessment Center (a child advocacy center for the evaluation of sexual and physical abuse), the Fostering Connections Program (a medical home offering initial assessment and ongoing primary care to children placed in out-of-home care), inpatient consultation service, forensic pathology, pediatric emergency medicine, post-injury clinic, genetic/ metabolic clinic, physical medicine and rehabilitation, ophthalmology, radiology, advocacy, home visitation, trauma focused treatment program and a host of other elective options are available for the fellow to acquire the clinical skills and expertise in child abuse pediatrics. Fellows learn the approach to court testimony through mock trial experiences, direct observation of faculty, and direct experience, throughout the training. An active bi-weekly literature review and core conference schedules offer consistent didactic learning and a scholarship oversight committee is established for each fellow to ensure success in his/her scholarly research. 

Overview of Fellowship Program

For more information, contact:
Megan Letson, MD MEd
Program Director
Child Abuse Pediatrics
Phone: (614) 722-3279

Learn more about the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship.

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000