Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Psychology

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Psychology:

The Texas Child Study Center / Dell Children’s Medical Center

The Texas Child Study Center, a collaboration of Dell Children’s Medical Center and the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School is offering up to three full-time Pediatric Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship position for the 2020-2021 training year. Clinical training activities will take place within hospital, specialty care, and community-based primary care clinics provided by the Psychology Service at Dell Children’s Medical Center.

The fellow may choose between the following 4 training tracks:

  1. Inpatient Medical Consultation-Liaison Service Track
  2. Chronic Disease/Behavioral Medicine Track
  3. Pediatric Substance Use Disorders Track
  4. Primary Care Integrated Behavioral Health Track

Inpatient Medical Consultation-Liaison Service Track

The C/L Service provides mental/behavioral health services to medically ill children and adolescents (and certain adults) in all of the inpatient domains of Dell Children’s Hospital. Psychologists and trainees provide consultative and liaison services from a behavioral medicine perspective with a focus on (1) helping children and their families cope and adjust to acute and chronic medical illness, (2) assessing and managing anxiety/depression, emotional upset, or other maladaptive responses associated with their hospitalization, (3) identifying psychopathology when present, and (4) collaborating with team members from an interprofessional perspective to make appropriate treatment recommendations. The C/L Service is an integrated program, meaning that psychology and psychiatry work together directly to determine how best to support the Dell Children’s inpatient population. Psychology attendings and trainees work alongside psychiatry fellows and their attendings as an integrated service for both straightforward and more complex cases. In addition to benefitting patients and families, an ancillary advantage of the preceding is that learners in both disciplines are afforded the opportunity to learn soft skills from one another through varied interviewing styles and lines of questioning, clinical formulation and organization of differential diagnoses, exposure to additional feedback sources to highlight blind spots, and supervision and feedback from an attending in a different discipline. Learners’ supervision is integrated into the service within morning rounds/case presentations, pre-encounter huddles, intra-encounter modeling and reflective practices, and post-encounter debriefings.

Chronic Disease/Behavioral Medicine Track

This Program serves the psychological needs of youth (ages 2-18) with chronic diseases referred from multiple hospital specialty clinics, including Adolescent Medicine, Developmental Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Cystic Fibrosis, Nephrology, Pulmonology, and others. The patients referred for these psychological services often present with high levels of risk and complex care needs. Common referral concerns include medical non-adherence, self-injury, suicidality, disruptive behavior, reactions to trauma, depression and anxiety. Thus, the fellow will learn to implement specific applications of empirically supported treatments such as PCIT (with certification possible via PCIT Intl.), TF-CBT, Exposure and Response Prevention, and training for full adherence Dialectical Behavior Therapy. In addition to training to provide these interventions, fellows are also expected to engage in collaborative clinical practice and interdisciplinary training with medical residents on rotation in clinic.

Pediatric Substance Use Disorders Track

Fellows in in this track dedicate at least 25% of their training to prevention, treatment, and recovery for Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). This includes minor rotations in specialty treatment centers as well as the implementation of prevention programs within pediatric primary care major rotations. While providing specialized SUD training and experience, fellows in this track may also seek major training rotations within primary care, chronic disease or consultation-liaison tracks at Dell Children’s Medical Center for the remaining 75% of their time. Unique to this program is the addition of specialty didactic trainings offered focusing on SUDs. Fellows in the Pediatric SUD Track participate in the HRSA funded Addiction and Recovery Scholars Program, which offers an additional 20-hours of expert instruction and “flipped classroom” experiential learning activities to enhance program learning. Pediatric SUDs Rotations consists of two consecutive six-month field placements, emphasizing evidence-based approaches to either treatment or recovery-focused programs. There are currently 25 community-based field placements and fellows will have many options for specialized training, mostly with transition-age -youth seeking treatment and recovery support for SUDs. Field placements will prioritize sites that serve the medically underserved; provide evidence-based holistic care; engage families in the treatment or recovery plan; and have appropriate supervision in place to support an interprofessional team of learners.

Primary Care Integrated Behavioral Health Track

This track takes place within a new hospital-community partnership that extends behavioral health services to primary care settings in the Greater Austin Community. Integrated behavioral health services will be provided across four primary care clinics. Clinical services will consist of well child consultations, diagnostic assessments, psycho-education, parent consultation, brief intervention and problem prevention, as well as direct consultation with pediatricians and the medical team. The fellow will have opportunities to learn about adapting evidenced-based mental health assessment and treatment models to meet the needs of a pediatric community clinic setting. In addition to mental health service delivery, the fellow will also gain experience tailoring services toward child clinical populations with potential or emerging issues who are in need of prevention, early identification, or early intervention. The fellow will be expected to contribute to the training of master’s level clinicians learning evidence-based modular interventions for the primary care setting. The fellow will also participate in co-facilitation of physician psycho-educational seminars and dissemination of behavioral health resources. Opportunities for tiered supervision will also be incorporated, as the fellow will provide some level of direct clinical supervision and training for advanced doctoral practicum students.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Structure

The fellow will dedicate 60% of her/his clinical time to the major rotation track and 30% to a chosen minor, such outpatient therapy, consultation/liaison services, or one of the embedded specialty care clinics. Major rotations will be 12-month placements, while minor rotations can be either 6- or 12-month placements. In addition to these clinical placements, postdocs will participate in Training and Professional Development Activities 10% of the time. Specifically, these will include didactic seminars and formal training in evidence-based care. Further, postdocs will be expected to dedicate a portion of their Training and Professional Development time to EPPP study and test preparation.

This is a 12-month appointment at a salary of $50,004.00. In addition, healthcare benefits will be paid by our organization. The Postdoctoral Fellowship year will begin on the first of September and end twelve months later with the option to apply for a second year of post-doctoral training. Fellows receive the standard vacation and sick time afforded to professional staff at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. If you have questions about the position, the financial offer, benefits package etc., please feel free to contact the Director of Psychology Training, Dr. David F. Curtis (dfcurtis@austin.utexas.edu).

Applicants from underrepresented groups and/or with Spanish language ability are encouraged to apply. Employment is through the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.

A fully completed application includes:

  1. A letter of interest indicating your preferred training track, specific training goals and interests, and eligibility for post-doctoral fellowship (i.e. internship completion date, dissertation status)
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Three letters of reference.  Please send the fully completed application set to Dr. David F. Curtis, c/o Mr. Jeff Daily at Jeff.Daily@austin.utexas.edu. Application materials will be accepted through December 31, 2019; however, interviews will be scheduled on an ongoing basis.

The Texas Child Study Center strongly values diversity and believes in creating an equitable, hospitable, appreciative, safe, and inclusive environment for all staff, trainees, and families. TCSC welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds and believes that a diverse training environment contributes to the overall quality of the program. Applicants who are bilingual in English and Spanish are encouraged to apply. TCSC provides equal opportunity to all prospective applicants and does not discriminate because of a person’s race, color, sexual orientation, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other factor that is irrelevant to success as a psychology intern. The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School is the employer for this position and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

About the Texas Child Study Center

The Texas Child Study Center was created in response to the need for pediatric mental health services and training for future mental health practitioners in the Austin area. The Center is a collaboration between Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and all psychologists are employees of the medical school. As of February 2019, The Center relocated to reside directly on the Dell Children’s Medical Center campus within a state of the art, newly designed clinical space. The Center provides evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and developmental disabilities, ranging from adjustment difficulties to more chronic conditions including major mental health diagnoses, mood, and developmental disorders. Providers collaborate with physicians at Dell Children’s Medical Center to provide psychological support to children coping with acute and chronic medical conditions. Patients seen at the Center come from all socioeconomic strata and ethnic and racial backgrounds.

About Dell Children’s Medical Center

Dell Children’s Medical Center (DCMC) is located in Austin, Texas and it is the only freestanding pediatric facility in the region. DCMC is a member of Seton Family of Hospitals, has 176 beds, and serves a 46-county area. The hospital earned the world’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Healthcare (LEED-HC) platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. DCMC values the healing power of the environment and includes a large collection of art, a three-acre multi-level Healing Garden, and several courtyards and gardens that represent eco-systems in the Central Texas Region. The mission of Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is to improve the quality of life and health of children through family centered and family-oriented care, regardless of the family’s ability to pay for care. Central to this mission is developing partnerships with other organizations that share the mission and vision and providing educational activities that are synergistic with provision of care and meeting community needs.