Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant Postgraduate Program :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant Postgraduate Program

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital trains Physician Assistants to deliver comprehensive, team-based care for children and adolescents with mental health disorders.

Anna Kerlek, MD
Program Director
(614) 722-2454

About the Program

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant Postgraduate Program, the first of its kind in the country, was established in 2015 in response to an increasing need for advanced psychiatric practitioners in Central Ohio and its surrounding communities. The program has been approved for provisional membership with the Association of Postgraduate Physician Assistant Programs (APPAP).

During the 12-month program, trainees participate in didactics and supervised clinical experiences in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Trainees are exposed to the entire continuum of mental illness and behavioral health care. Special emphasis is given to developing competency in psychiatric evaluation, medication management, inpatient psychiatric consultation, crisis intervention, outpatient psychotherapy, and community behavioral health.

The program is designed to train Physician Assistants to deliver comprehensive, team-based care for children and adolescents with mental health disorders.

What you need to know


The postgraduate program encompasses two major aspects of training; 13, four-week rotation blocks in conjunction with formal weekly didactics. Direct and indirect supervision will be provided throughout the program to prepare trainees to obtain prescriptive authority.

Clinical Rotations

Trainees will see a wide variety of normal development, as well as psychopathology, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Clinical rotations may include:

  • 16-bed Inpatient Unit
  • Youth Crisis Stabilization Unit
  • Consultation-Liaison Service
  • Autism/Developmental Disabilities
  • Center for Family Safety and Healing
  • Forensics
  • Substance Abuse
  • School Consultation
  • Neurology
  • Primary Care
  • Other specialty clinics


Trainees participate in didactics alongside the first and second year child and adolescent residents. This assembly of practitioners from different educational backgrounds and varying experience levels allows for enriched educational experiences for all involved.

  • Interviewing
  • Normal Development & Neuroscience
  • Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
  • Evidence Based Treatment
  • Pediatric Psychopharmacology
  • Family Therapy
  • Forensics
  • Pediatric Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
  • Religion & Ethics
  • School Consultation
  • Social Welfare
  • Special Topics in Psychiatry
  • Readiness to Practice
Salary & Benefits


Trainees will receive a stipend of $60,000 for the 12-month program.


Trainees in graduate medical education programs sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital are employees of the hospital and as such are eligible for the same benefits that other full time staff receive – with the exception of paid time off, as well as some additional perks that are outlined below:   

Paid Time Off/Vacation

Two weeks of vacation per academic year. A week is 5 weekdays + 2 weekend days.

14 days/equivalent of two weeks of sick leave for duration of program.


The hospital recognizes the following as paid holidays: 

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Trainees may be required to work some holidays, dependent on patient care responsibilities.  

Professional Conference Funding

Trainees in good standing are encouraged to attend professional conferences.  Programs receive funding annually for trainees to attend and present at conferences.  Funds may be used toward conference fees, hotel, travel and meals. Final decisions on conference funds are made by the Program Director.

ACLS/PALS Certification

Trainees are eligible to receive ACLS and/or PALS certification and/or recertification paid by program.

Association Memberships

Memberships for some professional organizations (e.g. Association of Physician Assistants in Psychiatry) are covered by the program. 

See theEmployees Benefits and Perks brochure for more information about insurance, financial and retirement plans, education and scholarship and wellness programs.


Required Qualifications

  1. Master of Physician Assistant Studies from an accredited university
  2. Active certification by National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
  3. Active Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA) licensure
  4. Commitment to practice at Nationwide Children's Hospital for one year following training

Required Application Materials

  1. Completed application form
  2. Current resume
  3. One page typewritten narrative stating why you are interested in becoming a Child & Adolescent Psychiatry PA
  4. PA Program transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  5. Three current professional letters of recommendation
  6. Official copy of NCCPA scores (if certified) – sent directly from NCCPA 

Those who have not taken the certification exam prior to the application deadline should include their anticipated test date on the application form.

Application Timeline

December 2, 2016 All Application Materials Due
January 2017 Interviews (required for all candidates)
February 2017 Candidate Selection/Notification
March 20, 2017 Program Start Date




Application materials must be submitted, preferably via email, to the program director, Dr. Anna Kerlek ( by December 2, 2016.

Applications may also be submitted by mail:

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Attn: Anna Kerlek
700 Children’s Drive
Tower Building, 4th Floor
Behavioral Health
Columbus, OH 43205

The Admissions Committee will review completed applications and select candidates to be invited for in-person interviews. All candidates will be notified if they were selected to interview by January 22, 2017.

Psychiatry & Community Behavioral Health

Learn more about Psychiatry and Community Behavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


For more information regarding the program, please contact:

Program Director
Anna Kerlek, MD

Program Coordinator
Evan Frere
(614) 722-2454


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