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The Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children’s Hospital is a multi-disciplinary program dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with developmental, learning, and behavioral difficulties and their families through integrated and collaborative clinical care, training, translational research, and community engagement and collaboration. The interdisciplinary staff is comprised of developmental-behavioral pediatricians, educational specialists, nurse practitioners, child psychologists, and child psychiatrists; in addition, there is the opportunity to consult, as needed, with specialists in Speech-Language, Sleep Disorders, Neurology, and Genetics. As a tertiary care site, the DMC accepts referrals for children with developmental and behavioral challenges that are not well met in the general medical and mental health communities. Established in the 1980’s, the goals of the DMC Postdoctoral Fellowship Program are:
Established in the 1980’s, the goals of the DMC Postdoctoral Fellowship Program are:
To prepare fellows to pursue careers in academic health centers or other health care settings by providing them with the requisite skills to become outstanding clinicians, inspiring teachers, and contributors to the profession of psychology through active involvement in professional organizations.
To provide fellows with advance practice competency in assessing challenges in child and adolescent development -- including attention deficits, autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and regulatory problems -- by integrating the tenets of clinical psychology, developmental psychopathology and cognitive neuroscience, evidence-based interventions, and principles of child and family development in order to provide psychological services and conduct scientific research.
To facilitate advanced scholarly skills as psychologists, demonstrated by being active consumers and producers of psychological research and employing such knowledge in making informed decisions regarding assessment and intervention.
Postdoctoral fellows are involved in direct clinical service in the DMC for 60% of their time, including performing diagnostic assessments on multi-disciplinary teams; consulting in hospital-based and community settings; and providing short-term treatment for anxiety, disruptive behaviors, social skills deficits, elimination disorders, and feeding problems. The number and variety of programs contained within the DMC generally makes it possible to adapt the fellow‘s clinical experience to his or her learning needs and professional goals. Rotations are six months in length. Fellows are involved in consultation and assessment, participate in multi-disciplinary teams and clinics, and provide feedback to parents and schools. The goals of rotations are to expand knowledge base of learning, developmental, medical, and behavioral disorders and co-morbid psychiatric conditions; provide timely and tailored evaluations; and develop consultation and communication skills in a fast-paced medical environment. There also are opportunities for fellows to work closely with psychology staff to develop supervision and administrative skills. The DMC clinical programs available for fellowship rotations include:
INFANT & TODDLER TEAMS: This program serves children birth to 3 years of age who may be developmentally delayed and/or have an autism spectrum diagnosis. The pediatrician takes a history from the parents and performs the physical examination. The psychologist evaluates the child, including neurodevelopmental assessment, such as the Bayley and ADOS-2.
PRESCHOOL TEAM: This program serves children ages 3 to 6 years presenting with developmental and behavioral problems, including language, cognitive, and motor delays; social communication problems; regulatory issues involving toileting and sleep; question of an autism spectrum disorder and emotional and behavior concerns such as attention deficits, noncompliance, learning disorders, mood concerns, and anxiety.
SCHOOL TEAM: This program serves children ages 6 to 11 years presenting with learning challenges, developmental delays, question of an autism spectrum disorder, and social-emotional and behavioral problems, such as attention deficits, learning disorders, mood concerns, and anxiety.
ADOLESCENT TEAM:This program services adolescents from 12 to 17 years of age who are having academic, social-emotional, and/or behavioral difficulties. During this developmental period, attention deficit disorders are often subtle, and learning disabilities may be masked by “acting-out” behaviors. Alternately, adolescents with a history of an early history of developmental and social-communication problems may present with mental health issues, like depression or anxiety.
ADVOCATING SUCCESS for KIDS (ASK) PROGRAM: This program is a collaboration between Boston-area community health centers, the Community Care Alliance and the Office for Child Advocacy at Boston Children’s Hospital. The program serves children ages 3 to 14 years within four urban-based primary care centers who are referred by primary care providers because of concerns about developmental, learning, social-emotional, and/or behavioral problems. Additionally, children often present with complex psychosocial situations, possible prenatal substance exposure and/or trauma history. The goal of this program is to screen children for such concerns and to advocate for appropriate services and interventions. In depth consultations are available at Children’s Hospital Primary Care Center (CHPCC) for complex cases.
ADOPTION PROGRAM. This program is a consultation team for children who have been adopted domestically or internationally and their families, as well as children in foster care. Common concerns may include long-term abuse, neglect, or a history of institutionalization
CHILD & PARENT PROGRAM (CPP): This program is a unique clinical program providing psychological assessment, short term parent and child treatment, and school consultation services for young children and their families. CPP specializes in working with children birth to 4 years with complex medical, developmental, and psychological profiles. The program also accepts referrals for older children with parents or siblings who are coping with severe mental health disorders and or physical illnesses. CPP is the former “Brazelton Clinic" and uses the Touchpoints care model for working with families.
DOWN SYNDROME PROGRAM: This program offers multidisciplinary clinical evaluations for children with Down syndrome from birth until the age of 18. Program staff work closely with children, parents, medical specialists, community physicians, and educators. The Down Syndrome Program Team consists of a developmental pediatrician, genetics fellow, speech pathologist, physical therapist, nutritionist, dentist, and audiologist as well as a program coordinator and a resource specialist. Additionally, ongoing psychology consultation, including assessment, parent training, and psychotherapy, is provided.
GROWTH & NUTRITION PROGRAM: This program is staffed by physicians, nurses, psychologists, nutritionists, speech and language pathologists, and social workers and provides care to children who are severely underweight. Children are treated for organic and nonorganic feeding disorders and failure to thrive. A broad range of disorders are diagnosed and treated with high-calorie diets, education, federal food assistance, family therapy, behavioral feeding therapy, and general behavior modification programs.
CONSULTATION & THERAPY: This service provides individual, group, and family therapy, such as Toilet Training School for parents and children with encopresis and enuresis; Parent Training for children with ADHD; behavioral and family-based treatment for feeding disorders; school consultation; and cognitive behavioral treatment for anxiety in children and adolescents with social-communication disorders.
The research rotation allows fellows the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects in the division and/or quality improvement efforts. Fellows are matched with research advisors from the psychology faculty and receive mentorship from Noelle Huntington, PhD. Along with developmental-behavioral pediatrics fellows, psychology fellows participate in research seminars comprised of didactic sessions, journal club, and skills training in research design, methods, and analysis. Fellows are expected to present their finished scholarly projects at the end of the training year. Additional activities include attending lectures in the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience directed by Dr. Charles Nelson. Based on availability of research grants, a psychology fellow may elect to spend a second year in ongoing clinical research projects and/or define a discrete project that can be completed within a fellowship year.
Research projects in the Developmental Medicine Center encompass topics and methods in basic science, translational, clinical, and health services research. There are methodologists and statisticians available to assist in planning studies and analyses, and when financially feasible, research assistants may be assigned to help with aspects of research. Research computers and standard statistical software are available for use by fellows in all the programs. Please see the following for most updated information regarding ongoing research studies in the division: http://www.childrenshospital.org/centers-and-services/departments-and-divisions/division-of-developmental-medicine/research-and-innovation/current-studies.
The DMC dedicates one-half day a week for education and professional development of staff and fellows, including a monthly interdisciplinary meeting and forum for special presentations; morbidity & mortality conference; case conference; and journal club. There also are weekly seminars for psychology fellows focused on neurodevelopmental, medical, and psychiatric disorders; feeding, sleep, and toileting disorders; psychological assessment of complex cases; evidence-based interventions; educational methodology for teaching; advocacy; and professional development. There are several opportunities each year to visit community agencies, specialized schools, or other clinical programs at BCH.
Supervision is provided by the staff in the DMC Psychology Program and involves in-vivo observations as well as one-to-one meetings. Each fellow receives a minimum of three hours of supervision per week. There is a supervisor assigned for each clinical rotation and fellows have the opportunity to work with several different supervisors over the course of their training. Group supervision experiences are provided to address clinical analysis skills, professional development, and preparation for licensure and board certification. At the beginning of the training year and, on a regular basis thereafter, the fellows training needs are reviewed and discussed. Participation in other clinics in the hospital to obtain specialized training can be arranged on an individual basis. Progress, competencies, and training goals are evaluated on a regular basis.
There are opportunities for fellows to become active participants in the Division’s robust Quality and Performance Program (QPP), which oversees all quality improvement activities. Fellows can attend team leadership meetings and quality improvement seminars, develop quality metrics for clinical outcomes and processes, review data for ongoing projects, and propose, implement, and present their own mentored QI project. Emphasis is on developing solid working knowledge of quality improvement principles and strategies for rigorous and effective implementation.
Finally, within the Division of Developmental Medicine and in the broader Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School community, there are a plethora of educational opportunities, including seminars, lectures, and trainings, that the fellows are required or encouraged to attend.
The DMC is offering 3-4 postdoctoral fellowship positions for the 2016-2017 training year. This is a full time, one year training experience in which the fellow’s time will be divided between clinical service delivery, didactics, and scholarly activities. The option for a second year advanced fellowship may be available with consideration of funding and matching fellow / program interests. The current stipend is $42,840 for the first year. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, 20 vacation and professional leave days, and nine Hospital holidays per year. Psychology fellows hold clinical appointments in the Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry and academic appointments in the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry.
The successful applicant will have a PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology or school psychology from an APA/CPA accredited doctoral program and have completed a predoctoral internship at an APAP/CPA accredited program. Additionally, applicants should have substantial clinical experience with children, including use and interpretation of psychological and neuropsychological tests, coursework in child development and developmental psychopathology, and experience with evidence-based treatment and developmental disabilities; training and competence in addressing issues of diversity and individual differences; and a commitment to clinical research. Boston Children’s Hospital is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The starting date for fellowship is Thursday, September 1, 2016.
Interested applicants should complete the Boston Children’s Hospital Postdoctoral Fellowship application (“Application for Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship”) and send the completed application, letter of interest, curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, two psychological or neuropsychological reports, and certified transcript of doctoral work to Ms. Carol Berne, Department of Psychiatry, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. Her phone number is 617-355-4563 and her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications materials need to be received by Monday January 4, 2016.
Questions about the DMC fellowship are best addressed via E-mail to Dr. Carrie Mauras (email@example.com).
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