Solid Organ Transplant
This externship is ideally suited for advanced clinical psychology doctoral students seeking comprehensive training in pediatric psychology. Direct supervision will be provided by Kaushal Amatya, Ph.D., pediatric psychologist.
The Divisions of Nephrology and Cardiology provide kidney and heart transplant services to children aged 0-17 and follow-up care to patients up to age 21. The transplant teams are multidisciplinary and include physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, dietitians, social workers, child life specialists, pharmacists and psychologist. Psychological services include transplant readiness evaluations, adjustment to diagnosis and treatment, preparation for transplant and follow-up care for adjustment and adherence. Non-adherence to medications and medical recommendations is the primary presentation for therapeutic services. It is prevalent in a significant portion of the transplant population and is associated with poor graft survival and shorter life expectancy. Psychosocial difficulties can lead to or contribute to non-adherence and need to be monitored regularly. Additionally, psychology is involved in dialysis clinic and provides services to children and adolescents receiving dialysis as renal replacement therapy.
This externship offers clinical, research and didactic experiences as well as opportunities to contribute to program development. Potential experiences include:
- Consultations with families attending the multidisciplinary transplant clinics (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.) and dialysis clinics (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.). Externship schedule is flexible based on extern availability and interest and need for services. Psychology provides services including adherence and psychosocial screening and brief interventions to improve adherence, pain management, healthy diet/weight, sleep and emotional/behavioral functioning.
- Outpatient therapy services for children and adolescents prior to or post-transplant. Services may be provided in-person or via telehealth.
- Consultations with patients and families in inpatient in the Heart and Kidney Unit and the Cardiac ICU.
- Formal didactic opportunities include multidisciplinary transplant and dialysis rounds, program development meetings and pediatric grand rounds. Didactic availability depends on the days of the week for externship.
- Research opportunities:
- Investigating quality of life in pediatric dialysis and transplant patients
- Pre-transplant psychosocial functioning and association with non-adherence
- Transition readiness in adolescents and young adults
- Assistance with and experience in participating and observing program development exist with particular tasks including: Developing a referral network and developing standardized psychosocial assessment screening program.
Prior practicum experience in child or adolescent therapy is required. Preference will be given to doctoral students in at least their third year. Experience with medically ill populations is desired but not required.
One extern will be recruited for this position.
Please email a letter of interest, curriculum vitae and two letters of reference to:
Kaushal Amatya, Ph.D.,
Divisions of Nephrology and Cardiology
Email | 202-476-5059
Interested applicants should also complete this survey one time, regardless of how many externships you are applying for.
- Children's National Hospital, 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Eight to 16 hours per week. Days are negotiable based on extern’s availability and interests. It is anticipated that this will be a one-year externship from July 2023-June 2024.