Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship

The Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship prepares pediatricians for an academic career in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics.

Our developmental behavioral pediatrics fellowship program was established in 1984 and has been ACGME-accredited since 2003. The program is designed to prepare pediatricians for an academic career in developmental behavioral pediatrics through training in the identification and management of clinical conditions, the conduct of research, and the development of teaching and administration skills.

Upon successful completion of the program, fellows will have met training requirements for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics certification by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Fellowship Program Goals:

  • Clinical Care: To train DBP fellows to provide evidence-based, family-centered care for the diagnosis and treatment of developmental and behavioral conditions.
  • Leadership: To prepare DBP fellows for leadership roles within the medical field.
  • Advocacy: To provide training in systems-based practice to prepare DBP fellows to effectively advocate for children and families affected by developmental and behavioral conditions.
  • Research: To train DBP fellows in research and quality improvement methods in order to inform innovative and evidence-based care for individuals with developmental and behavioral conditions.
  • Teaching: To prepare DBP fellows to participate in the education of other healthcare providers and trainees regarding the behavioral, psychosocial, and developmental components of pediatric care in order to increase early identification of developmental and behavioral conditions and to improve care for children with these conditions.
  • Reduce Health Disparities: To prepare DBP fellows to provide culturally/linguistically-competent care in order to reduce health disparities for individuals with developmental and behavioral conditions.

What You Need to Know

Why Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics?

Developmental and behavioral disorders are among the most common conditions in pediatrics.  Developmental behavioral pediatricians are trained to consider both the medical and the psychosocial aspects of children’s development and behavior and are uniquely positioned to diagnose and manage these conditions.  Developmental behavioral pediatricians must be competent in providing care both independently and within the context of interdisciplinary teams including psychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and a wide range of other medical specialists and disciplines.  They work closely with parents and families as well as schools and other community agencies. 

Conditions commonly managed by developmental behavioral pediatricians include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Depression
  • Disruptive behavior disorders (e.g. Oppositional defiant disorder)
  • Genetic conditions (e.g. Down syndrome)
  • Global developmental delay
  • Intellectual disability
  • Learning disabilities
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Sensory impairments
  • Sequelae of prematurity and other adverse perinatal conditions
  • Sleep disorders
  • Speech and language disorders

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s

  • Mission: To achieve best outcomes for children with developmental and behavioral needs through evidence-based, family-centered, inter-professional practice
  • Vision: All children achieve optimal developmental and behavioral health

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Nationally

  • Society for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics:

Curriculum Overview

Subspecialty training in DBP requires at least 12 months total clinical time and least 12 months total time on research/scholarly activity.  The remaining 12 months can be structured based on the fellow’s interest and career goals. 

The general training timeline for our program is detailed below.  There is flexibility to modify this timeline depending on the individual fellow’s specific interests and research project.  In addition, fellows receive didactic instruction through a number of lecture series and case conferences. 

First Year

  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic: 6 months
  • Child Development Center: 3 months
  • Research: 2-3 months
  • Other clinical experience: 0-1 month

Second Year

  • Clinical experiences (core blocks and electives): 6 months
  • Research: 6 months
  • LEND: weekly didactics throughout academic year, weekly clinic for 1 semester

Third Year

  • Clinical experiences (core blocks and electives): 3-9 months
  • Research: 3-9 months

Clinical Experiences

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics clinics and programs include:

We also offer experiences with specialty clinics outside DBP. 

Learn More About Our Clinics and Programs

Didactic Curriculum

  • Core Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Didactics
    • DBPeds Essentials
    • Wednesday Morning Fellow Didactics
    • Journal Club
    • Interdisciplinary Care Conference
    • DBP-Psychology Inter-professional Conference
  • LEND Didactics
    • Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Developmental Disabilities
    • Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • LEND Leadership Seminar
  • GME Required Didactics
    • Fellowship Core Competency Lecture Series
    • Clinical & Translational Fellows' Research Series
    • QI Education
  • Other Didactic Opportunities
    • Pediatric Grand Rounds
    • Psychology Internship Seminar
    • Psychiatry Grand Rounds
Learn More About Our Didactic Curriculum

Scholarly Activity

Each fellow must complete a scholarly project as outlined by the American Board of Pediatrics subspecialty program requirements. Fellows are expected to engage in projects in which they develop hypotheses or in projects of substantive scholarly exploration and analysis that require critical thinking. Areas in which scholarly activity may be pursued include, but are not limited to: basic, clinical, or translational biomedicine; health services; quality improvement; bioethics; education; and public policy.

Involvement in scholarly activities must result in a specific written "work product" as outlined by the American Board of Pediatrics.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • A peer-reviewed publication in which a fellow played a substantial role
  • An in-depth manuscript describing a completed project
  • A thesis or dissertation written in connection with the pursuit of an advanced degree
  • An extramural grant application that has either been accepted or favorably reviewed
  • A progress report for projects of exceptional complexity, such as a multi-year clinical trial

Scholarship Oversight Committee:  Each fellow has a scholarly oversight committee (SOC) consisting of 3-5 faculty members, including at least one member from another discipline, which provides group mentorship to develop a research project and to ensure successful completion of the project. The program director and other faculty assist the fellow in forming the SOC at the start of training.  A single faculty member is identified to serve as a specific research mentor for the fellow.  The SOC meets at least semi-annually throughout the fellowship. 

Quality Improvement: All fellows are expected to demonstrate understanding of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) quality improvement (QI) process through didactic education and experiential learning by meaningful engagement in an approved QI project at the Basic or Advanced level.  GME Quality Improvement

Advanced degree: Fellows have the opportunity to explore the potential of an advanced degree such as a Masters in Public Health or a Masters of Science in Medical Science. Fellows may apply for tuition support through the Department of Pediatrics Advanced Degree Program. Ideally, interest should be identified at the onset of the fellowship. Approval from the Program Director, Section Chief and Department Chair are all necessary.

Meet Our Faculty and Fellows

Salary & Benefits

Fellows training in graduate medical education and dental education programs sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital are employees of the hospital and as such are eligible the same benefits that other full time staff receive.

Learn More About Fellowship Salary and Benefits

Application & Selection

Applicants for the Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship Program must be registered with National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and should submit their application via Association of American Medical Colleges' Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Applications must be submitted through ERAS; paper applications will not be accepted.

Applications are considered July through October of each year. Interviews are conducted August through October. The fellowship program commences each year on July 1. We encourage applicants to apply early in the application process to insure flexibility with interview scheduling.

Required application documents to be submitted via ERAS:

  • Complete ERAS Application

  • Medical School Transcript (certified English translation if from foreign institution)

  • Three letters of recommendation (more than three is optional)

  • Personal Statement

  • Current CV

  • USMLE transcript with scores to date

  • MSPE/Dean's Letter (Required for U.S. medical schools; provide if available for foreign medical schools)

  • Photograph for ERAS system (optional)

International Graduates

In accordance with Nationwide Children’s policy, foreign medical graduates must have a J1 VISA, which will require approval from the Designated Institutional Official and the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Program Director.


Please direct questions to Katherine Steingass, MD, Program Director at