Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship

Thank you for your interest in our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Children’s National Health System. On this site you will find information about our training program, our department, and our institution – please take a look and feel free to contact us for any questions.

The fellowship program is especially strong in treatment of severely disturbed children and youth, pediatric consultation liaison, infant and toddler psychiatry, and broad-based outpatient services. From its inception, the training program of the Department of Psychiatry has leveraged its location in our nation’s capital to engage in advocacy for child and adolescent mental health. Many graduates from the Children’s National residency program continue to devote their time in clinical and/or academic work to promote better care for children and youth. Faculty members of the Department of Psychiatry are active in child and adolescent mental health affairs locally, nationally, and internationally.

History

History

The Department of Psychiatry at Children's National was founded by the late Dr. Reginald Lourie and is one of the oldest in the nation. Its history of providing care to children with emotional and behavioral disturbances and advancing the understanding and treatment of these disorders is well established.

Education is a core component of the departmental mission, and teaching is a high priority for the faculty. Several have been trained in the George Washington University School of Human Resources Development/ School of Education Master Teachers Program.

In addition to training child and adolescent psychiatry fellows in our program, we are a training site for general psychiatry residents and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, general psychiatry residents and medical students from George Washington University, and general psychiatry residents from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

The faculty members also train pediatric and neurology residents from Children's National and senior medical students from regional and national medical schools. 

Thus, there is a lively educational culture in the department and fellows benefit from the opportunity both to learn and to teach.

Research

Research

An important feature of the program is its commitment to providing exposure to research methodologies and opportunities for research experience during the second year of residency. Our program is enriched by our links with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in nearby Bethesda, MD, whose faculty facilitate a monthly journal club that allows for exposure to evidence-based treatment approaches and new discoveries in clinical neuroscience. Fellows interested in more in-depth research experience are mentored by faculty members actively involved in research, and are supported by the program with protected time in the second year to participate in a focused project.

Children’s National faculty members are involved in a broad range of research endeavors from basic and translational to clinical and epidemiologic, and fellows can choose extra time in clinical or research electives during their second year. The research interests of the psychiatry faculty are enhanced and expanded by our close collaboration and relationships with our psychology faculty and neuropsychology faculty, who have also welcomed our fellows’ engagement in their clinical and research endeavors.

Children's National/NIMH Combined Track

In collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program (IRP), we also offer a three-year combined clinical and research fellowship for qualified applicants. Fellows in this ACGME-approved program share time between both sites to obtain excellent training in both clinical care and research. The goals are to recruit and train outstanding psychiatrists in the diagnosis and clinical management of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders, and to provide trainees with a mentorship-driven focused research experience that encourages the pursuit of a career in academic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  One to two positions are available each year. 

The combined program consists of three years of training. During the first year, fellows will spend 100 percent of their time in clinical training at Children’s National Health System and follow the general training program for the first year at Children’s National. During year two, clinical training will be comprised of 60 percent of their time at NIMH and 40 percent of their time at Children’s National. During year three, research training will be conducted entirely at the NIMH with designated mentor(s) and/or with research collaborators at Children’s National.

Fellows who follow the above course will have completed their training requirements to be board eligible in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the end of their second year of training. The teaching and formal evaluation of the fellows will be supervised jointly by the Residency Training Directors at Children’s National and NIMH. Participants in the Combined Program are employed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are considered Federal Employees and are appointed as NIMH Clinical Fellows for the duration of their Fellowships. Salaries will be determined by the NIMH and will be consistent with guidelines provided in the DIRP Table of Salaries for Clinical Fellows.

To Apply for the Joint Position

  1. Applicants should complete the Children’s National application process through ERAS, and indicate their interest in the joint program by sending an email to Jackie Jones. Applicants may apply to both the general fellowship program and the Children’s National/NIMH combined program. Application materials are all sent to Children’s National.
  2. Applicants are encouraged to identify potential mentors at NIMH in their areas of interest as they prepare their application. A list of current research programs is available on the NIMH website. Mentors do not necessarily need to be in the Child Psychiatry Branch but fellows are encouraged to select projects with a developmental or pediatric focus.
  3. Faculty at Children’s National and NIMH review applications and select candidates for interviews for the program. Interviews will be conducted by potential mentors and key faculty at both institutions, typically with a day of interviews at each institution.
  4. Decisions about appointment offers will be made jointly between Children’s National and NIMH/IRP staff. Offers will generally be extended prior to the match deadline, so that applicants may choose whether or not to proceed with certifying a rank order list for other training programs.
Education

Education

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children's National Health System provides comprehensive clinical child and adolescent psychiatry training that furnishes abundant opportunities to pursue academic and administrative psychiatry, research, and service to public and/or private populations. The program provides frequent opportunities to meet with leaders in the field who are creating health policy and research that is shaping current practice. Few programs offer such scope, balance, and depth. The program offers a blend of superior faculty, diverse cultural and socioeconomic populations, a broad spectrum of clinical problems, and the opportunity to work in a superb pediatric facility and participate in a wide range of research opportunities. These clinical and academic strengths, coupled with the chance to live in one of the nation’s most attractive and exciting urban centers, make the program at Children's National Medical Center highly desirable.

Clinical Education

Year One (usually PGY-4 or 5):

Year one provides a solid foundation of training in the basics of childhood psychopathology. Fellows rotate in three-month blocks throughout the year in a mix of inpatient, outpatient, and consultative settings. In many clinical settings fellows work in close collaboration with pre-doctoral psychology interns to provide a more in-depth opportunity to learn how to collaborate in patient care.

Adolescent Psychiatric Unit (APU)
Fellows join a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, art and music therapists, education specialists, nursing staff, and child psychiatric specialists providing family-centered care on this 14 bed inpatient unit. Working under the direction of an attending psychiatrist, who also provides weekly individual supervision to the fellow, fellows have the opportunity to provide acute care to adolescents with severe psychiatric illness and gain further experience in the clinical management of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, eating disorders, and substance use problems. They also serve as the senior trainee on the service, providing opportunities to educate general psychiatry residents, medical students, physician’s assistant students, and pediatric and neurology residents about psychiatric illness in adolescents.

Child Psychiatric Unit (CPU)
A similar multidisciplinary and teaching experience occurs on this 12 bed unit for patients up to age 13. Common clinical issues seen on the CPU include disruptive behavior problems, ADHD, behavioral issues arising in the context of autism spectrum disorders, severe anxiety and depressive disorders, and eating disorders in pre-adolescents. On this unit fellows gain more in-depth exposure to behavior management strategies and parent behavior training, and are encouraged to attend our series of Caregiver Education Classes for parents and co-lead family sessions with the unit family therapist. They also gain experience in collaborating with area child protection and foster care agencies and exposure to the special concerns that accompany children and families involved with these services.

Pediatric Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service (PCLS)
We offer a very strong Consultation-Liaison experience. As a major regional medical center, Children’s National serves as a primary hospital for children from the local area with acute medical issues, as well as a referral center for children from the region as well as nationally or internationally who come to Children’s National for subspecialty expertise. During the PCLS block, fellows will generally perform 1-2 new inpatient consultations a day, assessing patients presenting with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive issues during the course of treatment for medical illness. Fellows also receive closely-supervised experience in performing emergency psychiatric assessments for children and families presenting to the ED in crisis. Communication with pediatricians and systems-based care are of particular focus during this block, and fellows also gain broader exposure to neurobiological underpinnings of psychiatric symptoms and management of illnesses at the medical/psychiatric interface, including delirium, eating disorders, and conversion and somatoform disorders. Fellows also have the opportunity to present an interesting clinical case or set of issues at departmental Grand Rounds during their PCLS rotation.

Subspecialty Outpatient Clinics
Finally, fellows also have a three month outpatient specialty clinic block which is composed of the Children’s National Freddie Mac Child and Adolescent Protection Center (CAPC), a child advocacy center evaluating and treating abused and neglected youth; the Gender Development Program, a nationally-recognized program serving gender non-conforming youth; the Feeding Disorders Program, led by Dr. Irene Chatoor, which addresses infantile anorexia and other feeding issues of infancy and early childhood; the Neurogenetics clinic, where fellows learn about genetic disorders affecting development and neurobiology; and the Craniofacial Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic where fellows work closely with Neuropsychology, Craniofacial Surgery, ENT, and other services in a collaborative fashion to assist youth with craniofacial anomalies. Each fellow also co-leads a group with an experienced group therapist during this clinic block.

Longitudinal Outpatient Clinic
A significant advantage of the first-year fellowship program is the opportunity to follow a select group of patients on an outpatient basis. There are ample opportunities to gain experience in acute and longer-term treatment of outpatients. Outpatient activities during the first year provide both broad and in-depth experiences with the course of disorders arising in infancy, childhood, and adolescence.

Didactics
Fellows have 6 to 8 hours of protected didactic time each week throughout the two-year fellowship. Didactic seminars are led by Children’s National psychiatry and psychology faculty and selected community psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. The first year didactic curriculum begins with a summer “crash course” series covering the basics of child and adolescent psychiatry that fellows need to know as they begin their clinical work. A core topics series in the first year covers key aspects of childhood psychopathology. Seminar series covering important aspects of psychopharmacology, child development, ethical issues, and cultural aspects of psychiatry occur in the first year, and therapy seminar series include family therapy, the use of play in psychiatric treatment and assessment, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy. Fellows also participate in a monthly joint case conference with the Adolescent medicine fellows focused on patient-physician relationship issues, a monthly journal club led by faculty from the NIMH, and the weekly departmental Grand Rounds.

Individual Supervision
Fellows are assigned two individual supervisors with whom they meet weekly throughout the academic year to discuss cases and career development. Every effort is made to match fellows with supervisors with similar interests, as well as to provide supervisors with different perspectives and approaches to patient care and career options.

Year Two (Usually PGY-5 or 6):

The second year of fellowship enhances the clinical and didactic foci of the first year by providing deeper experience in community and school consultation, forensics, infant/toddler psychiatry, and outpatient specialty clinics. At the same time, fellows continue their ongoing continuity clinic and have the opportunity to arrange elective experiences that allow them to explore interests in more depth.

Outpatient Psychiatry Department:
Fellows expand their outpatient general continuity clinic to two full days per week. Fellows perform evaluations and carry a selected cohort of patients for psychotherapy and for medication and case management, and assume primary leadership roles for a child’s care in coordination with the child’s family, therapist(s), school, and other community supports. Face-to-face faculty supervision is available for each patient encounter, as well as longitudinal supervision with the fellow’s primary supervisors.

School Rotations
Trainees have the opportunity to observe both typically developing children and children with psychiatric or developmental difficulties in three different school settings, including a preschool, a general education public charter school for grades Pre-K to 9, and a special education public charter school serving children with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. During school rotations, fellows also have a community advocacy experience in which they prepare an educational session about mental health topics for teachers and/or parents.

Forensic Psychiatry
Consistently highly regarded, the forensic psychiatry experience affords fellows the opportunity, in collaboration with staff at the Washington DC Department of Mental Health, to assess youth in the juvenile justice system. Fellows complete forensic evaluations and have the opportunity to testify in court under close supervision.

Subspecialty Clinics
Continuing the subspecialty experiences introduced during the first year, fellows rotate through several multidisciplinary subspecialty clinic areas during year two, and have the opportunity to work with national leaders in the following areas: Sleep Disorders Clinic, directed by Dr. Judith Owens, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, directed by Dr. Haniya Raza, ADHD clinic, directed by Dr. Jay Salpekar, and Infant/Toddler Mental Health Clinic, directed by Dr. Irene Chatoor and facilitated by Dr. Bhavin Dave. Most of these clinics engage a multidisciplinary, multispecialty team to address complex issues, and fellows have the opportunity to learn the role of the child and adolescent psychiatrist within these teams.

Elective and Research Opportunities
Fellows have two to three half-days throughout the year to engage in elective opportunities of their choice. Fellows are provided with a menu of previous electives, but are also supported and encouraged in designing experiences that meet their educational needs. Clinical options include eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, a private psychodynamic psychotherapy clinic, or more in-depth experience in subspecialty clinic areas at Children’s National. Fellows have also participated in research projects internally and with mentors at NIMH, designed a collaborative care clinic with primary care providers and taken education elective time to create a new curriculum for rotating medical students.

Chief Residency
Two rising 2nd year fellows are chosen by the faculty to be Chief Residents during the final year. The Chief Residents learn about administrative psychiatry through experiences managing the call schedule, designing a rotation schedule for their class, and assisting in orientation of rotating residents. They also take an active role in overseeing educational programming, and serve on the departmental fellowship training committee.

Didactics Curriculum
The second year didactics afford increased breadth and depth in topics related to child mental health and the practice of psychiatry. A year-long seminar in psychodynamic psychotherapy hones fellows’ dynamic listening skills and provides opportunity for case consultation. More opportunities for collaborative case-based learning occur in the Difficult Situations seminar and the Scholarly Topics seminar provides a forum for feedback and preparation for the required spring Grand Rounds presentation. Fellows also may participate in the institutional Fellows’ Core Curriculum, joining fellows from across the institution to learn about academic topics such as research fundamentals, quality improvement, and teaching skills. Second-year fellows continue their participation in the family therapy seminar and the NIMH journal club, and are invited to be an ongoing part of first-year seminars as their schedule allows. Finally, special seminars are scheduled throughout the year on selected topics such as financial management for physicians, legislative advocacy, and transition to practice issues.

Individual Supervision
Second year fellows are allowed to select their own supervisors and meet with a minimum of two supervisors per week to discuss clinical cases, research endeavors, and career planning. We are fortunate to have a group of committed and skilled voluntary faculty in various practice settings in the DC area who are willing to serve as supervisors, and second-year fellows benefit from this option to broaden perspectives they receive in supervision.

How to Apply

How to Apply

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The Residency Training Program in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Children's National Health System is open to all qualified applicants who have successfully completed medical school and are anticipated to have completed at least 3 years of general psychiatry training requirements at an ACGME-accredited institution prior to joining the program. Applicants must have passed at least two CSVs (Clinical Skills Verification Examinations) by the time of application to the program. Applicants must also be eligible for an unrestricted medical license in Washington, D.C. and the State of Maryland.

Applications will be accepted through the Electronic Residency and Application Service (ERAS) beginning July 1.

Documents that must be included in your ERAS application are:

  • MyERAS application including CV/Resume
  • A personal statement which describes your interest in child and adolescent psychiatry, what you are seeking in a child and adolescent psychiatry residency program, and your career goals.
  • A letter from the Training Director of your general psychiatry residency training program. The letter must include descriptions of (a) your overall performance during general psychiatry residency, (b) your strengths and weaknesses, (c) rotations and requirements, and (d) a statement verifying that you are in good standing currently or, as applicable, that you previously completed all requirements of general psychiatry training in a satisfactory manner.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation in addition to the Training Director’s letter. It is preferable to have at least one of your letters be from a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.
  • Medical school transcript
  • Complete USMLE/COMLEX transcript
  • A current photograph
  • ECFMG status report, when applicable
  • Documentation of visa status for international applicants

Applicants tentatively selected for interviews will also be asked to provide documentation of two completed Clinical Skills Verification examinations prior to being scheduled for an interview.

All applications are carefully reviewed by program staff, and selected applicants will be contacted by Jackie Jones to schedule an interview. Interviews are conducted between mid- September and early December and include opportunities to meet with the Department Chair, Program Director and Associate Program Director, several members of the program faculty, and current fellows.

Our program participates in the National Residency Match Program Child and Adolescent Psychiatry subspecialty match. To register for the match, please visit the NRMP website. Fellowship positions are generally only offered through the match program.

For all inquiries, please contact:
Jackie Jones
Tel: (202) 476-3932
Fax: (202) 476-2368;
Email: jajones@childrensnational.org

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

Paramjit Joshi, MD
Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Irene Chatoor, MD
Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Infant Toddler Mental Health Program

Lisa Cullins, MD
Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship
Director, Outpatient Psychiatry Department

Bhavin Dave, MD
Director, Infant Toddler Mental Health Program

Deepa Khushlani, MD
Director, Adolescent Psychiatry Unit

Nasima Nusrat, MD
Medical Units Director

Haniya Raza, MD
Medical Director, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Adelaide Robb, MD
Associate Director for Trials Management, Office of Clinical Research Management

Martine Solages, MD
Associate Director, Pediatric Consultation-Liaison and Emergency Department Services and Associate Fellowship Program Training Director

Cathy Southammakosane, MD
Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program

Jorge Srabstein, MD
Psychiatry Faculty

Wendell Wu, MD
Director, Medical Student Clerkship

Jackie Jones
Program Coordinator

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What distinguishes your fellowship?

The breadth of clinical experiences available to our fellows, the flexibility of our curriculum to allow for extensive elective experience especially in the second year, and the collegial relationships enjoyed by fellows and faculty all make this a very attractive program in which to train. Our location in our nation’s capital and our close collaborations with federal agencies like NIMH and SAMHSA and with national organizations including the AACAP also allow for unique clinical, research, and advocacy experiences that would not be possible elsewhere.

Q. Are there benefits to training at your hospital?

Our institution also allows for a unique training environment for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellows:

Serving the nation’s children for more than 140 years, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of acute pediatric care in the Washington metropolitan area. The main hospital, known as the Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Children’s Medicine features 303 beds, 54 of which are level IIIC NICU bassinets; a Level I pediatric trauma center which serves three states; and a critical care transport program via ambulance, helicopter, and fixed-wing airplane. Children's National serves as the regional referral center for pediatric emergency, trauma, cancer, cardiac and critical care as well as neonatology, orthopaedic surgery, neurology, and neurosurgery. As a non-profit pediatric care provider, Children’s National has a mission to serve all children in its service area regardless of ability to pay.

As a result, our fellows care for a clinically and socioeconomically diverse group of patients and families from all over the region and country who see Children’s National as their medical home. Fellows have broad exposure to both “bread and butter” child and adolescent psychiatry and to unique clinical presentations only encountered at a tertiary referral center. The availability of pediatric subspecialty experts enhances fellows’ clinical training and opportunities to collaborate with other specialties.

Q. What about my interest in…?

There’s an elective for that! For fellows who enter training with a distinct career path or interest area in mind, we help connect you with mentors, provide time and space to pursue your interests, and help you find a path to your eventual career choice. For those with more general interests, we can help you create an educational program that allows you to sample from a rich buffet of offerings, enhancing your ability to care for children and families and participate in research, advocacy, and education.

Q. What kinds of positions do your fellows choose after graduation?

Graduates of our program have gone on to a wide variety of positions. In the past few years, fellows positions have included:

  • Outpatient psychiatry in several multispecialty group practices
  • Outpatient psychiatry in community mental health centers
  • Private practice
  • Collaborative mental health director
  • Inpatient medical director
  • Research faculty
  • Clinical faculty at Children’s National Health System and other academic institutions

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