Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics - Fellowship Training Program

Program Director: Malia Beckwith, M.D.
Program Coordinator: Mona Matta

Program Overview:
The Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship Program at UMDNJ-RWJMS was initially offered in the older unaccredited version from 1981 to 2005. As of July 1, 2009, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited this program as a three-year fellowship training program in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics. The program is served by an experienced faculty with clinical, research and scholarly accomplishments. The fellow is expected to be trained to serve as an expert consultant to pediatricians in the clinical diagnosis and management of all developmental behavioral conditions commonly seen in children, as well as acquire the skills to teach trainees and engage in advocacy. In keeping with the ACGME requirements, research is a required component of the fellowship with the expectation that the fellow will publish a paper or do a poster presentation at the end of the training program.

Goals and Objectives:
1. To train fellows to provide patient care that is compassionate and effective for children with developmental/behavioral problems. The fellow will be taught to diagnose and manage children with developmental/behavioral issues resulting from chronic illnesses, cognitive/adaptive disabilities, language and learning disorders, motor disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, externalizing behavioral conditions, internalizing behavioral conditions, substance use/abuse, child abuse and neglect, somatoform disorders and pain, sleep problems, feeding/eating problems, elimination disorders, atypical behaviors, and behaviors related to sexuality.
2. To help fellows acquire sound medical knowledge of the development of the central nervous system, the biological mechanisms of development and behavior and family and societal factors influencing development and behavior. The fellow will learn about normal milestones, normal behavioral patterns, the structure and functional diversity as well as socioeconomic diversities of various families, methods of screening children’s development and behavior as well as methods of diagnostic assessment, and specific treatments and interventions including medications, behavioral therapies, counseling and technological interventions.
3. To teach fellows to critically review scientific evidence related to the various developmental behavioral conditions and to learn to use this knowledge for ongoing learning and for improving patient care.
4. To educate fellows about the systems of health care and resources in the community available to children and families with developmental/behavioral concerns, learn about the costs of evaluations and intervention, learn to evaluate the quality of patient care and learn to identify insufficiencies in health care delivery and ways of improving the inefficiencies.
5. To teach fellows compassion, integrity and respect for others, to demonstrate sensitivity towards various diverse cultures and to be accountable to patients, society and the profession.
6. To train fellows in methods of effective interpersonal communication with patients and colleagues and other providers involved in the care of children with developmental/behavioral concerns.

Program Faculty:
Faculty include developmental/behavioral pediatricians, neurodevelopmental disability specialists, child neurologists, physiatrists and psychiatrists in the Department of Pediatrics at UMDNJ-RWJMS and Children’s Specialized Hospital. Other pediatric subspecialty faculty such as neonatologists, geneticists, and gastroenterologists are also part of the teaching faculty. The faculty also includes surgical subspecialists such as orthopedists and neurosurgeons. Teaching staff includes psychologists, learning consultants, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists as well as audiologists and nutritionists.

Program Structure:
The rotations take place at the UMDNJ-RWJMS Department of Pediatrics site in New Brunswick, and at one or two sites of Children’s Specialized Hospital (Mountainside and / or Toms River). The sites feature specialty experiences such as autism programs, ADHD trials, rehab programs, high risk neonatal follow up clinic, and other specialty programs.

Length of Fellowship: Three years.

Board Certification Eligibility Upon Fellowship Completion:
Following completion of three years of training in developmental/behavioral pediatrics, the fellow will be eligible for board certification in developmental/behavioral pediatrics.

Number of Fellowship positions available: One per year.

Applicant Requirements:
M.D. or D.O. degree.
Passed COMLEX or all three steps of USMLE.
Completed or would have completed an ACGME approved residency in pediatrics.
Board certified/eligible in general pediatrics.
New Jersey medical license and DEA number.
U.S. Citizen, or permanent resident.

Application Form:
Please contact Program Coordinator, Mona Matta at mattamo@rwjms.rutgers.edu or at 732-235-5709.

Pediatric Rehabilitation Fellowship

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, New Jersey

The fellowship in pediatric rehabilitation thru Rutgers, NJMS is an accredited, dynamic two-year program offered every other year at Children's Specialized Hospital.

The field of pediatric rehabilitation is specialized and diverse, given that the populations served can vary from infants to young adults, and the needs of these populations encompass a wide range of care. Pediatric physiatry addresses those disorders potentially affecting children on a long-term basis, often involving multiple body systems. The emphasis is on helping patients achieve developmental skills and independence in self-care and mobility appropriate to their age. The fellowship develops expertise in diagnosis and specific management techniques, and also addresses the role of the physiatrist as coordinator of multiple services, be they medical, social or educational, as well as the importance of acting as a liaison and advocate for the child and family. The fellowship includes patient responsibilities in both inpatient and outpatient settings, with the common goal of meeting the medical and emotional needs of patients and their families.

Patient conditions seen include brain injuries (traumatic and non-traumatic), spinal cord dysfunction (including traumatic spinal cord injury and spina bifida), cerebral palsy, multiple trauma, orthopedic disorders, neuromuscular disorders, burns, and chronic pain. Emphasis is given to working with and directing a multi-disciplinary team, including therapists, psychologists, orthotists, case managers, social workers, nurses, and other physicians to implement high quality, goal-oriented care for children challenged by special health care needs.

The Pediatric Physiatry fellow works closely with the attending staff to become proficient in clinical care. The attending staff includes Michael Armento, MD, Program Director, JenFu Cheng, MD, Section Chief of Physiatry, Katherine Bentley, MD, Associate Program Director, Martin Diamond, MD, Michelle Fantasia, MD, Director of inpatient Spinal Cord Unit and Marykatharine Nutini, DO. The attending staff has a wide variety of expertise, including Dr. Cheng-adaptive sports, Dr. Bentley-Pain management, Dr. Diamond-EMG, and Drs. Armento and Fantasia-Spinal Cord Dysfunction.

The fellow will gain experience in many different clinical settings, including at our 68 bed state of the art inpatient rehabilitation hospital- PSEG Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, Children’s Specialized Hospital outpatient center in Mountainside, NJ as well as attending clinics at many of the special needs schools in New Jersey that we service. In addition the fellow will attend pertinent pediatric subspecialty clinics to broaden the scope of their knowledge and experience.

There is extensive exposure to neurolytic procedures including alcohol nerve blocks and Botox injections. The physiatry department utilizes ultrasound guided technique for the Botox injections, which the fellow will master by the time of graduation.

In addition to the outstanding clinic experience, there is a strong didactic and teaching component. The fellow will work closely with the residents from the Rutgers NJMS PM&R program as well as medical students from Rutgers NJMS and residents from the JFK Rehabilitation Program. The fellow is also given the opportunity to attend the Kessler Review Course.

In order to facilitate research, the fellow has the assistance of Post-Doc fellows as well as the Kessler research department in developing, preparing and carrying out their research project.

The fellowship was granted accreditation in 2011 for subspecialty certification in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. Graduating fellows are board-eligible and sit for the Pediatric Rehabilitation Board Examination after completing the program. The fellowship is listed under Rutgers NJMS on the ERAS and NRMP.

For further information contact:
Michael Armento, M.D., Program Director, at (908) 301-5416 or e-mail at: marmento@childrens-specialized.org

Click on a name below to learn more about the members of the Children's Specialized Hospital Physiatry department:
Michael Armento, MD
Katherine Bentley, MD
JenFu Cheng, MD
Martin Diamond, MD
Michelle Fantasia, MD
Marykatharine Nutini, DO

Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Fellowship

There are currently very few post-graduate education options available to Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) or Nurse Practitioners (NPs) who opt to work in a specialty field, such as Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP). As such, we are proposing the creation of a Developmental Behavioral Pediatric APN (DBP-APN) Fellowship program at CSH to prepare future APNs in this field.

There are currently no programs available in the US and this will be the first of its kind solely training Pediatric APNs in this specialty.

The Developmental Behavioral APN Fellowship is an intensive 12 month program designed to provide advanced didactic education with focused clinical experience to prepare APNs to provide optimal care to children with developmental needs. The APN Fellowship Program is integrated with the ACGME Fellowship program in Behavioral Pediatrics at CSH so that APN fellows will receive comparable training and experiences in the first year. The goal of the program is to provide APNs with depth, breadth, volume and intensity of clinical training to independently manage children with special health care needs. Graduates of this APN fellowship will receive a certificate of completion from CSH as well as completion from Ohio State University for the online portion of the KYSS mental health fellowship.

The DBP-APN Fellowship program will provide the trainee with varied clinical and educational opportunities to prepare them for autonomous practice at CSH. The fellow will be provided opportunities for the following during their fellowship:

  • Understand the complex developmental processes of infants, children, adolescents and young adults, in the context of their families and communities;
  • Understand the biological, psychological, and social influences on development in the emotional, social, motor, language, and cognitive domains;
  • Understand the mechanisms for primary and secondary prevention of disorders in behavior and development;
  • Be able to identify and treat disorders of behavior and development throughout childhood and adolescence.

Fellowship plan:

Team members:
Oversight of the program will be by the Director, APN in conjunction with the Chief Medical Officer and the Section Chief for Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics. The primary preceptor will be an interested and willing physician who has completed a GME developmental behavior pediatric training program in addition to a senior APN for APN role development.

The program will support one APN per year and be 1 year in length.

Application process:
Qualifications of the applicant include Master’s or Doctoral degree in nursing, with a minimum 3.5 GPA, national board certification as an NP, NJ state RN license and APN certification, CDS, DEA, and BLS. New graduates will be considered and prior experience as an APN is not necessary.

Application will include a narrative statement of interest in this specialty and goals for future professional growth, as well as 3 professional references.

The fellow will be considered a full time salaried employee of CSH. They will be eligible for benefits and will be a member of the medical staff. The individual chosen for the fellowship will sign a three-year employment contract, one year of full-time fellowship, and two years of full-time employment within Children's Specialized Hospital after successfully completing the program.

Core curriculum will be based on the CSH APN Orientation manual created in 2014. The fellow will be expected to meet all core and specialty competencies as set forth in APN orientation manual. The general overview of the fellows education time will be as follows:

  • Didactic lectures (~ 100 hours)
    • Set lectures with developmental peds fellow every Thursday
      • 1st Thursday – Core lecture
      • 2nd Thursday – Board Review
      • 3rd Thursday – Journal Club
      • 4th Thursday – Clinical case presentation
  • Successful completion of KYSS Child and Adolescent Online Mental Health fellowship sponsored by Ohio State University (~20 hours total)
  • Clinical (~1600 hours) – clinical hands-on experience, including conducting standardized DBP screenings and assessments, writing reports (or parts of reports) and becoming proficient in using the EMR.
  • Research (~40 hours) – exposure to research activities
  • Rotate with other specialties (~140 hours) – including physiatry, special needs pediatrics, acute rehab and long term care; other disciplines (OT/PT/speech/EIP); CHI – GI, Neurology, Endocrinology, Pulmonology
  • External educational opportunities – attendance at developmental pediatrics conference as available

For further information contact:
Christine A. Sanpietro MSN, CPNP-PC, PMHS - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/APN Lead:
Call (732) 797-3835 or e-mail csanpietro@childrens-specialized.org

Research Fellowships

For information about research fellowships and internships please click here

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