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Pediatric Psychology Fellowship

Applications are invited for 4 full-time, 12-month Postdoctoral Fellowships in Pediatric Psychology. The training year starts September 1.  Areas of training include hospital consultation/liaison (inpatient and outpatient settings), various assessment modalities (e.g., psychoeducational, developmental, neuropsychological, behavioral), and psychotherapy.  Training is limited to child and adolescent populations. Specialized populations include youth with pediatric chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities.

Training Program
Goals and Objectives of Training
Nature of Training
Fellow Evaluation
Stipend and Benefits
Application Process
Contact Us
Additional Information

Training Program

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Pediatric Psychology Fellowship is part of a comprehensive interdisciplinary training effort within the Department of Pediatrics at UAMS, and involves medical fellows, residents, students, social work interns, and speech/language pathology interns. The Fellowship is under the direction of the Section of Pediatric Psychology, which consists of 12 doctoral-level psychologists, 4 postdoctoral Fellows, and 2 master's-level psychological examiners. In addition, psychologists are embedded in other sections within the Department of Pediatrics (i.e., Children At Risk, Adolescent Medicine, Behavioral Pediatrics, Center for Applied Research and Evaluation). Fellows receive clinical supervision from psychologists, all of whom are licensed in the state of Arkansas. Typical work hours approximate 45-50 hours/week with 80% time in clinical service and related activities. 

Training sites include Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) and the J.L. Dennis Developmental Center (DDC). ACH is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas. Known for being one of the largest pediatric medical providers in the United States, ACH proudly provides world-class medical care to children and families throughout Arkansas and surrounding areas. Pediatric Psychology Fellows cover several outpatient medical clinics including Cardiology, CPAP Adherence, Pulmonary/CF, GI/Liver, Spina Bifida, Brain Tumor, High-Risk Newborn, Audiology and Hearing Impairment, Weight Management, Sleep, Headache, Burn/Plastics, and Chronic Pain. Also, Fellows cover the Inpatient Consultation/Liaison Service for all of ACH. Fellows may select from various elective experiences, which include developmental disabilities, research, medical crisis and loss, pediatric neuropsychology, and various pediatric subspecialty outpatient clinics.

The DDC is an outpatient interdisciplinary evaluation and treatment center that serves a variety of patient populations with a focus on children with developmental, learning, and/or behavioral problems from birth through 13 years of age. In the DDC, Fellows can participate in psychoeducational assessment, behavioral assessment, multidisciplinary team assessment, and psychotherapy. 

The Fellowship is funded partially by a grant to the Partners for Inclusive Communities. Fellows participate in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) interdisciplinary training program. The LEND program is federally funded through the Maternal Child Health Bureau and currently there are 43 LEND programs nationally. The national LEND objectives are:

  1. Advancing the knowledge and skills of all child health professionals to improve health care delivery systems for children with developmental disabilities.
  2. Providing high-quality interdisciplinary education that emphasizes the integration of services from state and local agencies and organizations, private providers, and communities.
  3. Providing health professionals with skills that foster community-based partnerships; and
  4. Promoting innovative practices to enhance cultural competency, family-centered care, and interdisciplinary partnerships.
  5. The Fellowship includes a variety of training experiences, such as weekly pediatric grand rounds as well as monthly presentations in pediatric psychology, section administrative meetings, and peer review/case conferences. Numerous additional presentations also are available in various specialty areas. In addition to the above clinical and training experiences, Fellows are encouraged to participate in ongoing faculty research efforts.

Goals and Objectives of Training

A. To train postdoctoral Fellows for independent practice in the area of pediatric psychology, including assessment and treatment of individuals coping with a variety of medical and developmental disorders.
B. To provide structured educational and clinical experiences, and corrective feedback, as Fellows progress toward that goal:

  1. Fellows will understand the variety of factors that affect the mental and physical health of individuals (medical, developmental, genetic, familial, social, behavioral, emotional)
  2. Fellows will be able to distinguish normal versus atypical reactions to acute and chronic illness.
  3. Fellows will learn diagnostic assessment for patients across the age span
  4. Fellows will learn a variety of objective measurements of cognitive, developmental, adaptive behavior, academic, emotional, and behavioral functioning in order to supplement their clinical interview and facilitate comprehensive assessment of patients seen in health care settings. Further, they will develop knowledge of health-related assessment including health beliefs, adherence, quality of life, and coping.
  5. Fellows will demonstrate the ability to write a comprehensive diagnostic assessment report including summarizing any relevant objective assessment data, interview data, and clinical impressions. They will demonstrate further the ability to assess a variety of differential diagnoses, provide a concise case conceptualization, and design an appropriate treatment plan for patients and their families, and document these elements within the context of this diagnostic report.
  6. Fellows will understand the behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and other theories of behavioral change as they relate to healthy development, psychopathology, health-risk behavior, and prevention of disease throughout childhood and adolescence.
  7. Fellows will develop expertise in evidence-based interventions with children, parents, and families for use in healthcare settings. Fellows will have a working knowledge of best-practice methods for a variety of behavioral, emotional, and developmental conditions seen in medical settings, and will cultivate a respect and understanding of the empirical support for best-practice methods and treatment protocols.
  8. Fellows will demonstrate the ability to document summaries of the service provision within treatment sessions, as well as overall treatment progress, and revise the treatment plan as needed based on this progress.
  9. Fellows will demonstrate the ability to communicate with and coordinate assessment and treatment efforts with a variety of health care disciplines. Fellows will have experience on multidisciplinary assessment and treatment teams providing clinical care.
  10. Fellows will participate in a consultation-liaison service and understand the consultative role of psychology in the context of an inpatient medical setting.
  11. Fellows will obtain exposure to advocacy in pediatric health care.
  12. Fellows will gain a basic understanding of disease processes and their medical management.
  13. Fellows will appreciate important professional, ethical, and legal issues related to clinical work in healthcare settings
  14. Fellows will cultivate an appreciation for cultural and ethnic aspects of clinical care and have experience working with patients from diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in healthcare settings

Competencies expected for postdoctoral Fellows are outlined within the goals and objectives noted above.  These competencies are consistent with APPIC guidelines, as well as with ACGME General Competencies guidelines suggesting advanced practice in the areas of patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. This Fellowship satisfies the requirements for licensure in the state of Arkansas.

Nature of Training

  • Clinical experience in a variety of medical and developmental clinics
  • Participation in multidisciplinary team assessment and treatment planning
  • Individual supervision with each supervisor
  • Group supervision with Co-Directors of Fellowship Training
  • Direct observation of clinical skills
  • Didactics
  • Core reading/resource manual
  • Supplemental readings
  • Case presentation/peer review
  • Presentation to the section with evaluation/feedback to trainee

Fellow Evaluation

Program requirements and expectations of Fellows are reviewed during orientation and are in accordance with APPIC criteria. In addition to verbal feedback during supervision, a structured evaluation form is used to provide feedback to Fellows. Evaluation forms are completed 3 months and 12 months into the fellowship (or more often as needed). Written evaluations are reviewed during supervision and signed by both the fellow and the supervisor. If concerns arise, then supervisors will document discussions of these concerns, guidance regarding steps toward remediation (if remediable), and the extent to which corrective actions are or are not successful in addressing these concerns.

Stipend and Benefits

The current 12-month stipend is $30,600, and a proposal is under review to increase this stipend.  Also, a $2,000 E-fund is available to each Fellow for professional expenses such as conference travel and fees, association dues, and licensure fees. In addition, fellows receive approximately $100/month toward food purchase in the ACH cafe. Fellows also are eligible for health care insurance (see UAMS HR). Additional benefits include leave time with 11 UAMS paid holidays, 22 accrued vacation days, and 11 sick days. 

Application Process

Applicants must have completed a doctorate in clinical psychology or related field from an APA-accredited doctoral program, and must have completed an APA/APPIC-accredited doctoral internship.

The application deadline is December 1. The application packet includes a cover letter, CV, 3 letters of recommendation, and graduate transcripts. Interested individuals may apply in one of two ways:  

An on-site interview will be scheduled if the invited applicant is able to arrange travel to Little Rock. Travel assistance may be available for on-site interviews. UAMS is an Equal Opportunity Employer; individuals from minority and underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact Us

Brandi N. Whitaker, Ph.D.
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Andrew Cohen, Ph.D.
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Co-Directors of Fellowship Training
Section of Pediatric Psychology
Department of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
1 Children's Way, Slot 512-21
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
Tel: (501) 364-1021
Fax: (501) 364-1095

Additional Information

Section of Pediatric Psychology
UAMS Human Resources
Grievance Policy
Little Rock Chamber of Commerce

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