What patients and families need to know
Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency
Neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) is a pediatric medical subspecialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric patients with:
- Cognitive developmental disabilities (e.g., autism, intellectual disability and learning disabilities)
- Metabolic and genetic conditions (e.g., Trisomy 21, Fragile X and mitochondrial diseases)
- Common nervous system (CNS) conditions (e.g., epilepsy, cerebral palsy)
- Nerve and muscle disorders (e.g., muscular dystrophy, neuropathies)
We are a unique specialty in that we are trained to evaluate and treat children incorporating a multidisciplinary perspective (e.g. medical, social, behavioral, neuroscience) and collaborate with other professionals such as therapists, rehabilitation specialists, educators and the community. We understand neurodevelopmental disabilities from a lifespan model and residency training includes pediatric and adult medicine training.
Differences Between the NDD Residency and Child Neurology Fellowship
- NDD training focuses on longitudinal care of both children and adults with disabilities
- Child Neurology training gives some experience with behavioral and developmental assessment/treatment, but NDD training gives fellowship-level expertise in these valued skills
- NDD offers greater emphasis on working with a therapeutic team and understanding community resources and gives more training in advocacy and team leadership
- NDD offers a strong interaction with therapists and teachers, which gives a physician a solid knowledge of the workings of the therapy team that is key to the treatment for individuals with disabilities
- NDD training offers more protected research time in order to develop academic leaders
Board certification also differs between NDD and Child Neurology. Completion of NDD training allows you to be board eligible for three boards:
- Pediatrics (American Board of Pediatrics)
- Neurology with special qualification in child neurology (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology)
- Neurodevelopmental disabilities (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology)
Child neurology allows dual certification in pediatrics and neurology.
Although NDD is listed as a residency, the more extensive period of training does allow for mentored research opportunities. A strong portion of NDD graduates have chosen to incorporate basic and clinical research into their careers.
Becoming an NDD physician takes a minimum of six years of post graduate (after graduating from medical school) training. This training typically includes:
- Two years of ACGME-approved categorical pediatrics program
- Four years of NDD residency (One year of adult neurology, 18 months of child neurology and 18 months of NDD)
You may also be eligible if you have already completed an ACGME pediatrics residency and would like to do subspecialty training. If you are already in a pediatrics residency program, contact us and your pediatrics program director to learn which rotations you would need to complete during a 2-3 year period to be board-eligible for pediatrics.
The NDD Residency uses the NRMP System.
Elliot S. Gersh, M.D.
NDD Residency Program Director
Tips for Applying
Applicants may interview and rank programs for both NDD and Child Neurology. Some NDD programs offer a combined program with pediatrics, in which you can complete all post-graduate medical training within one institution.
Interested students or prospective applicants can contact individual programs to arrange a visit or meeting to learn more about the NDD programs.
You might also consider scheduling a fourth-year medical school elective or residency elective month in your institution or at an institution with an NDD program.
- Health, dental and vision
- Flexible spending accounts
- Life insurance
- Annual and sick leave
- Disability insurance
- Employee assistance program
- Backup child and elder are
A detailed summary of all benefits can be found in our benefits guide.