Observership Rotations

The BCHGP Observership Program has multiple components to allow visiting professionals to participate for varying periods of time in a variety of clinical settings which are described below. The clinical rotation experiences will be developed based on individual interest.

Psychiatry Consultation Service

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the Psychiatry Consultation Service (PCS) rotation are to provide opportunities to observe the diagnostic assessment and management of children and adolescents with behavioral health needs who present in medical settings.

DESCRIPTION: The PCS provides psychiatric consultations to all inpatient medical and surgical units at Boston Children's. In providing these clinical services, the PCS targets the teaching of consultation-liaison psychiatry to trainees in child psychiatry and psychology, and aims to expand the academic knowledge base of pediatric psychosomatic medicine.

One of the largest pediatric consultation-liaison programs in North America, the PCS is comprised of attending psychiatrists, attending psychologists, clinical social workers, child psychiatry fellows, post-doctoral psychology fellows, and pre-doctoral psychology interns. Clinical care on PCS includes involvement with over thirty medical subspecialty programs including neurology, gastroenterology, oncology, transplant, pulmonology, and endocrinology.

ROTATION: Opportunities will be provided to observe consultations on the inpatient medical and surgical floors, including interactions with patients and families, exposure to different behavioral interventions, and collaborations with other disciplines in the hospital. There will be case-based teaching and discussions about diagnostic and safety assessments, management, and disposition planning.

Psychiatric Intensive Treatment Programs - Inpatient Psychiatry Service (IPS) and Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT) Programs

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the psychiatric intensive treatment program rotation are to provide opportunities to observe the evaluation and management of children and adolescents who present with severe psychiatric illnesses, or co-morbid medical-psychiatric illnesses, and require a higher level of psychiatric care in an inpatient or acute residential treatment program.

DESCRIPTION: The IPS is a 16-bed secure unit that specializes in caring for children ages 8 to 17 years who struggle with anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, and trauma and stressor related disorders. The IPS also provides unique expertise in treating children with serious co-occurring physical illnesses that can often be affected by emotional and behavioral problems. The clinical team at the IPS includes attending psychiatrists, clinical social workers, child psychiatry fellows, general psychiatry residents, and social work interns. In addition, there is a full staff of nurses and milieu counselors as well as a school teacher, a pediatric nurse practitioner, an occupational therapist, a nutritionist, a recreational therapist, and a group therapist.

The Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT) program is a 12-bed unit that specializes in caring for children ages 8 to17 years who struggle with anxiety, depression, psychosis, trauma and stressor related disorders. The clinical team at the CBAT program includes an attending psychiatrist, a full staff of nurses and milieu counselors and clinical social workers.

ROTATION: Opportunities will be provided to observe initial evaluations, clinical rounds, and follow-up sessions with the assigned clinicians. There will also be opportunities to observe communications with outpatient clinicians, schools, families and discuss changes in patient status, management plans and disposition plans.

Outpatient and Community Programs

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the Outpatient and Community Programs elective are to expose visiting professionals to models for evaluating and managing children and adolescents who present with a wide range of psychiatric needs in an outpatient clinic and other community settings, including schools.

DESCRIPTION: The Outpatient Psychiatry Service located at Boston Children's Longwood and Waltham campuses offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to children and their families. The service primarily cares for children and adolescents 4 to17 years of age and provides assessment and treatment for a range of psychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder, trauma and stress related disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity and children with difficulty coping with physical illnesses or medical treatment.

Observing other subspecialty clinics at the hospital such as the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), Developmental Medicine Center (DMC), and Gender Management Service (GeMS) Program may be arranged upon request.

The Boston Children's Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships (BCHNP) is an innovative community mental health program based in multiple public and private schools, and community health centers in Greater Boston. BCHNP concentrates its efforts on providing mental health services to children and families living in neighborhoods with a high prevalence of risk factors associated with poor mental health outcomes such as single parent households, poverty, substandard housing, or community/domestic violence.

Observership Didactics

Opportunities will be provided to participate in rounds and seminars specific to the above clinical programs, as well as Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, and selected seminars offered in the core training programs for psychiatry and psychology.

An integration seminar series specific to the observership is offered to aid the participant in understanding the clinical experience in a cross-cultural context. Participants will meet regularly with observership faculty at arranged times during the rotation. The focus of these meetings is to understand the clinical experience at Boston Children’s in an international, cross-cultural context. Discussion will include the review of clinical issues, relevant literature, global child mental health policy, and service delivery. Special attention is paid to areas of clinical work that may form the basis for longer-term interest and/or clinical research collaborations.

Application Guidelines

The BCHGP Observership accepts a limited number of individuals for specified periods of time. The average length of stay for each visitor is 1 to 2 months; two weeks is the minimum requirement.

Clinician Selection Criteria

- Proficiency in English-language is required.

- Must be a Physician (medical school graduate) or Doctoral-level Psychologist from outside the United States (U.S). Undergraduates, medical students, or clinicians who plan to train or practice within the U.S. are not eligible for this program.

Medical students interested in a child psychiatry rotation at Boston Children's participate in a different process through Harvard Medical School. Instructions for medical students can be found here.

Observership Application Process

Please register via this web portal and complete the online application.

Please have the following documents prepared when submitting your application:

  • An up-to-date resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letter of support from your home institution
  • A recent photograph.

Information about fees will be provided after completion of the online application.

For more information, please contact: