Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Training & Experience :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Training and Experience

The training program covers a period of one or two years, begins in early September, and consists of clinical, research, and educational activities. Individuals selected for clinical fellowship positions will have approximately 65% of their time devoted to clinical service and supervision, 25% time to educational activities, and 10% time to research. Research fellowship positions are also available that allow trainees to obtain more extensive research training and experience. Depending on the nature of grant funding for a particular year, research fellows may have 50-75% of their time devoted to research activities and training. In these positions, the remaining 25-50% of a fellows time would be spent in clinical service, supervision, and training activities. Teaching is an integral part of our mission at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and fellows are provided opportunities to provide informal instruction, structured didactic training, and clinical supervision with other medical and psychology trainees. These opportunities will be planned with the fellow’s supervisors as s/he sets his or her own training goals. Opportunities for teaching may vary over the course of fellowship in accordance with their growing areas of expertise.

Clinical Training

Fellows participate in diverse inpatient and outpatient clinical services. Fellows, along with interns, have primary responsibility for the consultation-liaison service. The C&L Service receives consults from a wide variety of medical services, including Hematology/Oncology, Rehabilitation, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonary, and General Medicine. Consults may involve assisting in medical procedures, assessing nonadherence to medical regimens, or facilitating patient and family adjustment to a medical diagnosis. A postdoctoral fellow completing fulltime clinical training typically responds to about 75 medical consultations during each year.

Fellows also are expected to serve as liaison to a chosen service or division, depending on interests of the fellows and needs of the Department of Psychology. Opportunities are available for fellows to supervise interns on individual consults received from this chosen service or division and to develop programs with specific divisions or populations.

Fellows maintain an outpatient treatment caseload. Referrals are varied and include developmental psychoeducational assessment or treatment with children and adolescents that experience difficulties secondary to chronic illness. Fellows also participate in outpatient medical clinics as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Research fellows typically provide consultation-liaison services and outpatient therapy and assessment services to a defined clinical population that is related to their area of research training. For example, we have recently had postdoctoral fellowship positions in Hematology/Oncology that involve a 50-50% balance of clinical and research activities in pediatric oncology.

Research Training

The Department of Psychology is committed to evidence-based practice and support of behavioral research in pediatrics. The Center for Biobehavioral Health represents the outgrowth of this commitment as well as the investment of Children’s Hospital and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital to behavioral research. This includes applied investigations directly aimed at developing and improving clinical care to more basic research developing and testing models for understanding health risk, responses to medical treatment and health challenges, and influences on child development.

Interested clinical fellows are provided time and opportunities for research activities during the training year. Research activities in the training program consist primarily of collaboration with faculty in the Department of Psychology, or with physicians, nurses, and/or social workers in other Divisions. The collaboration usually involves ongoing research programs, but can involve initiation of an independent research project.

Research fellows typically have one or two research mentors who help them develop goals for research training and productivity. Research positions typically involve collaborating with the mentor(s) on funded or programmatic research (e.g. as a research coordinator) while also developing independent areas of research interest. There are expectations for scholarly productivity for research fellows, such as co-authoring peer-reviewed manuscripts or collaborating on grant submissions. Opportunities also exist for submission of research abstracts to professional conferences, and resources are available to support conference travel for research presentations.

Didactic Training

The Pediatric Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides both formal and informal didactic experiences. One required activity is a monthly Pediatric Psychology seminar that focuses on topics pertaining to professional development such as preparing and negotiating for different types of positions, the business side of psychology, and reviewing manuscripts for journals. A second seminar is offered to help fellows preparing for licensure. Attendance to other seminars offered throughout the hospital, such as Grand Rounds, Ethical Problems Conferences, Tumor Board, and topical educational conferences presented by invited speakers in the fields of child health and mental health are recommended. Another requirement is participation in the monthly Research Seminar in the Department of Psychology. Fellows and interns present their current and future research projects in an informal setting. This seminar also offers the fellow an opportunity to receive feedback on formal job talk presentations. Finally, The Research Institute offers an ongoing series of educational seminars for research trainees and junior faculty that emphasizes research methods, ethics, and technical skills (e.g., manuscript and grant preparation). Attendance at optional seminars is negotiated with clinical and research mentors and is tailored to the individual fellow’s interests and training goals.

Supervision and Evaluation

Clinical fellows work closely with a faculty member as their primary mentor during their fellowship training. Read more about the faculty and their clinical and research interests. Fellows and their mentor(s) work together to ensure that the fellowship goals are being met throughout the training program. Supervision on assessment and therapy cases is weekly and divided between faculty members.

Formal written evaluations are completed at six-month intervals during the fellowship program. Evaluations are obtained from all faculty who have provided supervision during that period of time. The fellow's mentor is responsible for conveying the results of these evaluations. Fellows also provide feedback to individual faculty every six months. Informal feedback is provided and solicited at regular times throughout the fellowship program.

Continuation beyond the first year of the fellowship is determined by the faculty members of the Department of Psychology. The final decision for a second year of training depends on the fellow's progress and accomplishments during the first 6 months of the program.

Salary

Fellows receive a competitive salary in line with NIH recommendations for postdoctoral trainees. All fellows also receive a comprehensive Nationwide Children's Hospital employee benefit package for paid time off and health benefits. A limited amount of financial support also is available to cover moving expenses or attendance at professional conferences.

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