Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship

Program overview

The subspecialty fellowship training program in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is a three-year program offered by the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at CHOP. The program seeks to train pediatricians interested in pursuing an academic career in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. Goals of the program include:

  • Developing a core knowledge of the broad array of clinical diagnoses seen in developmental behavioral pediatrics, as well as the principles and scientific bases of etiology, intervention and research
  • Developing clinical competency in the assessment, diagnosis, anticipatory guidance, different modalities of treatment and continuity of care of children with developmental-behavioral issues
  • Building advocacy skills, teaching experience, leadership skills and research accomplishment in the area of developmental-behavioral pediatrics

The history, expertise and compassion that make Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia unique are also what makes it the best place for medical trainees.

Educational goals

  • Provide direct instruction and/or literature resources covering the core knowledge base of developmental-behavioral pediatrics as specified in the content specifications for the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics subspecialty board examination.
  • Provide supervised clinical experiences in developmental-behavioral pediatrics in a broad range of ages and diagnostic categories in order to gain competence in assessing normal developmental and behavioral variations and in diagnosing and treating patients with developmental and behavioral disorders.
  • Provide instruction in the administration and interpretation of a variety of developmental and behavioral assessment tools for a range of ages and disabilities.
  • Teach the fellow to give families information regarding anticipatory guidance specific to the child's diagnoses, behavioral management techniques, educational interventions, recommended therapeutic modalities and psychopharmacotherapy.
  • Provide interdisciplinary collaborative experiences with the other disciplines involved in providing services for children with special needs, including general pediatrics, psychology, neurology, genetics, psychiatry, physiatry, nursing, social work, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy and physical therapy in order to gain an understanding of the role of other providers and to foster team approaches to the provision of services to children with special needs.
  • Provide opportunities for the fellow to acquire adequate knowledge of healthcare systems, community resources, support services and the educational systems, legislative processes, healthcare policy, child advocacy organizations and the legal and judicial systems for children and families.
  • Provide instruction in research design and statistics in order to facilitate the fellow's own research and to provide skills to critically review the research literature.
  • Provide a meaningful supervised research experience in an area of study related to developmental-behavioral pediatrics, including experience in presenting research and writing research-related grants and manuscripts.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the fellowship to prepare educational material for presentation to community groups, pediatric residents, primary care physicians and colleagues as well as teach pediatric residents in clinical settings.

Curriculum and sample rotations

The first year of the fellowship is 80 percent clinical. The second year is at least 50 percent research, 10 percent advocacy and 10-40 percent clinical. The third year is expected to be 80 percent research and 20 percent clinical. Approximately 10 percent of the first and second year is didactic instructional time.

Clinical experiences for the fellow include:

  • Regional Autism Center 
  • Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic
  • Outpatient Child Development Program
  • Center for Attention and Learning Problems
  • Cerebral Palsy Program
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Child Neurology
  • In-Patient Consult Service
  • Center for Dysphagia and Feeding Management 
  • Fellows Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic
  • Neonatal ICU Follow-up Clinic
  • Genetics and Metabolism
  • Pediatric Behavioral Psychology Outpatient Counseling Service
  • In-Patient Developmental Disabilities and Neurorehabilitation Service
  • Developmental-Behavioral Consultation at the Primary Care Centers
  • Trisomy 21 Program

Elective clinical experiences can include:

The fellow participates in activities of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program (LEND), an interdisciplinary training program funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). 

Topics covered in the LEND Core Curriculum include:

  • Overview of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  • Interdisciplinary Team Function and Dynamics
  • Research methods
  • Coordination of services in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Organization of health services for persons with developmental disabilities
  • Public policy for people with developmental disabilities
  • Learning to teach

The fellow also participates in activities of the Behavioral Pediatrics training program, also funded by the MCHB, which focuses on morbidity arising from biopsychosocial stressors. The clinical, educational and advocacy experiences in this component of the fellowship promotes mastery of:

  • Normal behavioral/emotional development and the various intrinsic and environmental factors affecting this development
  • Assessment of the full range of behavioral concerns ranging from normal variations to problems to disorders
  • Use of diagnostic behavioral instruments, including interviewing technique
  • Behavioral and cognitive behavioral management techniques for a variety of problems at different levels of development and emotional maturity

Community/advocacy experiences include:

  • Visits to community schools and therapeutic programs
  • Health services planning at city and state levels in conjunction with local, regional or statewide Title V agencies
  • Transition to Adulthood Program and the Medical Home Initiative
  • Homeless Health Initiative
  • Presentations to community groups and community pediatricians

Research expectations and opportunities

First year

During the first year, the fellow participates in a course on research design offered through the LEND Program. One month of the first year is devoted to research. During this month the fellow meets with potential research mentors to discuss possible areas of research, chooses a mentor and the area of the research project and begins meeting with the research team. 

A literature review is started in the area chosen and the fellow begins reading the necessary background material. It is expected that by the end of the first year the fellow will have selected a specific research mentor and area of research.

Research seminars are held monthly. The faculty is invited to use this forum to discuss their ongoing research and the fellow provides a progress report on the development of his or her research. 

Second year

At least five, and no more than 11 months of the second year provide 80 percent protected time for research.  In the development of the project and its execution, the fellow works closely with the research mentor and research collaborators. It is expected that by the end of the second year the fellow will have obtained all necessary training, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and funding for his or her research and will be ready to implement the research project.

Third year

The third year provides 80 percent protected time for research activities. It is expected that during the third year, under the guidance of the faculty research mentor, the fellow will complete subject recruitment, data collection and entry, data analysis and prepare a written summary of the research. The fellow is strongly encouraged to present research at local and national meetings as a poster presentation and submit research findings to a peer-reviewed journal.

Conference schedules


  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellows seminars
  • Joint Child Psychiatry-Developmental Pediatrics seminars
  • Neuroscience seminars


  • Collaborative Office Rounds (COR)

Fellowship training faculty

Faculty include developmental-behavioral pediatricians and physiatrists in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, pediatricians in the Divisions of General Pediatrics, Genetics and Gastroenterology and Nutrition, psychologists in Pediatric Psychology and social workers involved in community/advocacy programs. Adjunctive faculty in the Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Audiology and Social Work also contribute to fellowship education.

Nathan Blum, MD
Division Chief, Division of Child Development, Rehabilitation Medicine and Metabolic Disease
Section Chief, Behavioral Pediatrics
Director, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program

Bernadette Burton
Fellowship program coordinator
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

How to apply

You may apply by downloading a PDF version of the application (PDF). Print the application, complete the appropriate fields and mail the application to the address listed at the end of the application form.

Other requirements

To carry out its mission, it is of critical importance for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to keep our patients, families and workforce safe and healthy and to support the health of our global community. In keeping with this, CHOP has mandated all workforce members (including trainees) on site at any CHOP location for any portion of their time be vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

This mandate also applies to workforce members or trainees performing work for CHOP at non-CHOP locations. Additionally, all workforce members based in or regularly scheduled to work at any New Jersey location are mandated to be both vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19, with booster timing consistent with applicable guidelines. The CHOP COVID-19 vaccine mandate is in alignment with applicable local, state and federal mandates. CHOP also requires all workforce members and trainees who work in patient care buildings or who provide patient care to receive an annual influenza vaccine. Employees may request exemption consideration for CHOP vaccine requirements for valid religious and medical reasons. Please note start dates may be delayed until candidates are fully immunized or valid exemption requests are reviewed. In addition, candidates other than those in positions with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey, must attest to not using tobacco products.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other protected category. CHOP is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor seeking priority referrals for protected veterans.

CHOP is committed to building an inclusive culture where employees feel a sense of belonging, connection, and community within their workplace. We are a team dedicated to fostering an environment that allows for all to be their authentic selves. We are focused on attracting, cultivating, and retaining diverse talent who can help us deliver on our mission to be a world leader in the advancement of healthcare for children.

We strongly encourage all candidates of diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to apply.

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