Pediatric Psychology Predoctoral Internship Program

CHOC Children’s (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) is pleased to offer four one-year, full time, pre-doctoral internships in pediatric psychology. The training year begins on August 28, 2017 and ends on August 24, 2018. The internship is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The internship at CHOC Children’s focuses on training advanced level doctoral students in pediatric psychology to work effectively within medical settings with medically fragile children and their families, as well as offering continued training with more traditional child outpatient presenting problems. All of the training experiences take place within the hospital setting. CHOC Children’s is one of relatively few accredited internships which provides year long specialized training in children with medical problems fully within a hospital setting.

Childhood chronic illness is a significant health concern. As medical treatments improve, more children are living longer with chronic illnesses. It has been estimated that 15 to 18% of children in the US are living with a chronic illness. Of these, about half experience a restriction in their ability to participate in normal activities. Medically fragile children and their families experience a wide range of unique stressors, yet many do not have access to quality mental health services. Uniquely tailored psychological services, such as specialized assessments, psychosocial support, more intensive psychotherapy, and consultation with medical teams can have a very positive effect on quality of life for children and their families. In recognition of these positive effects, children’s hospitals and clinics are increasingly working closely with psychologists and other mental health professionals to provide comprehensive services to their patients. The psychology internship at CHOC seeks to train psychologists to work effectively with medically fragile children and their families within the context of hospital based inpatient and outpatient services, as well as multidisciplinary medical clinics. This is a particularly exciting time to be a part of pediatric psychology as the medical field increasingly understands the critical role of psychological factors in overall health and is thus increasingly involving psychology services into standard health care services. In addition to the intensive experiences with children with medical diagnoses, we believe in offering solid training in child psychology, thus interns also receive training and experiences in more traditional outpatient therapy and assessment.

Our past graduates have largely gone on to complete post-doctoral fellowships within a medical setting (85% over the past 9 years), with many ultimately practicing within medical settings (over 50%).

Introduction to CHOC Children’s

CHOC serves much of Southern California as it is Orange County’s only medical facility solely devoted to the care of children and their families. Founded in 1964, CHOC is a tertiary care facility with a 274-bed capacity and a medical staff of over 500 physicians. Virtually every pediatric subspecialty is offered here: Allergy, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious disease, neonatology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, pulmonary medicine, and rheumatology. Most surgical specialties are also available. There are pediatric medical residents at CHOC. CHOC Children’s and the University of California, Irvine Medical School formed an affiliation agreement and starting in 2009 the majority of pediatric care for both facilities takes place at CHOC. Since opening its doors in 1964, CHOC Children’s has provided the highest quality medical care to children. Our regional health system includes a state-of-the-art main hospital facility in the City of Orange, a hospital-within-a hospital in Mission Viejo, and five community clinics — plus over 100 additional programs and services. With admissions growing by 90% over the last eight years, CHOC and CHOC at Mission combined rank as the 15th busiest children’s hospital in the country. To better accommodate the growing needs of our community’s children, CHOC built a new state-of-the-art patient care tower on our main campus that opened in February, 2013. With the opening of the new tower, CHOC Children’s Hospital now features pediatric surgical suites and related services, emergency, laboratory, pathology, imaging and radiology services, as well as private rooms, a dynamic and family-friendly lobby, inviting outdoor gardens, a café and more. Starting in 2014, CHOC made a commitment to expanding mental health services. As a cornerstone of this focus, CHOC is building a new 18 bed inpatient psychiatric unit which is anticipated to open in January 2018. We have also significantly expanded our outpatient services, including opening an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for adolescents and a triage service in our Emergency Department. CHOC is dedicated to providing the highest quality pediatric health care as well as offering specialized programs and services to meet the unique needs of children and their families.

Introduction to the Pediatric Psychology Department

The Department of Pediatric Psychology at CHOC provides comprehensive psychological treatment and assessment services to children and their families. Our team of psychologists attends to the emotional, cognitive, and developmental needs of medically fragile children. Consultation is provided to all inpatient medical services hospital-wide. Psychological and neuropsychological assessment and psychological support and/or therapy occur within inpatient and outpatient settings. The Psychology internship is well integrated within the hospital and is administered in collaboration with other professional training programs in pediatrics, child psychiatry, nursing, social services, and rehabilitation within the hospital. Interns have the opportunity to be involved in a full range of departmental activities. Examples of specific departmental activities are listed below.

Specific Department Activities

  • Evaluation and treatment of psychological factors associated with medical illness; including adjustment issues, adherence to prescribed medical regimens, parent-child issues, and staff-patient-family dynamics.
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Consultation and liaison with physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals
  • On-call services, including assessment of patients at high risk for dangerous behavior
  • Consultation on an emergent basis to the CHOC emergency department, all medical inpatient units, and CHOC medical outpatient clinics
  • Individual, family, and group psychotherapy
  • Child psychiatry services
  • School re-entry services, including participation in IEPs as appropriate
  • Participation in medical services’ rounds and psychosocial rounds
  • Provision of educational seminars to residents and medical staff members
  • Pain management evaluations and treatment services
  • Neuropsychological assessments and psychotherapy conducted in Spanish for children and families (for interns who are Spanish speaking)
  • Infant, toddler, and preschool development and developmental disabilities evaluation, consultation and treatment • Working with Pediatrics Residency Program on wellness activities

The Training Program

The psychology internship program at CHOC specifically focuses on the development of specialized professional skills in pediatric and child clinical psychology. We expect that interns will enter the program with previous experience in child psychotherapy and child assessment. During the year, interns will receive first-hand experience in applying their knowledge of child development and their skills as a child therapist to children affected by medical illness. Interns have the opportunity to do this through a wide variety of experiences, such as inpatient consultation-liaison services to a variety of medical specialty units, more intensive experiences with specific medical specialty teams, and outpatient psychotherapy. In addition, the internship is committed to providing appropriate and relevant services to culturally diverse families. As an intern, you will be exposed to a multicultural context that challenges the professional practice of even the most seasoned psychologists. Orange County offers a very culturally diverse population. In particular, Orange County has significant Latino, Vietnamese, Indian, and Filipino populations.

Internship Structure

Interns at CHOC participate in a variety of training activities. Interns have the opportunity to receive both a breadth of experience with children with medical diagnoses and more traditional child psychopathology along with in-depth experiences with specific specialty medical teams. There are a variety of core training experiences that take place throughout the entire training year. Trainees participate in two six-month specialty rotations through an array of CHOC specialty services and clinics. Trainees also participate in up to three targeted three-month minor rotations. Each training experience is described below.

While time spent in each activity can differ on a week to week basis, the basic breakdown of time spent in each activity is as follows (chart based on 40 hour week):

psychology-internship-structure

 

Core Rotations

Consultation and Liaison Service (6 month rotation): Breadth of experience with a variety of medical diagnoses comes from an intensive 6-month rotations with the consultation and liaison service at CHOC. Interns not only serve as consultants for the patient and/or family, but for the medical team, around a variety of issues. Consults are requested by attending physicians, residents, nurses, or other health care providers for children who are hospitalized for medical diagnoses and are experiencing concomitant psychological problems. Referral questions range from behavioral emergencies to coping with an initial diagnosis to adherence to complicated medical regimens to parental discipline to coping with death and dying issues. Medical diagnoses also run the gamut from diabetes to epilepsy to eating disorders to hemophilia to sickle cell disease to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to oncology to pain disorders. After an initial assessment, interventions may range from a referral for outpatient psychotherapy to referrals for psychological or neuropsychological assessment to interventions with the child and/or family while in the hospital to consultation and interventions with the medical team. Interns participate on a more general consultation service two days a week with a faculty supervisor. Interns will learn to conduct a brief clinical evaluation, formulate an impression, and formulate disposition plans. While cases can be complex, interns always work with a supervising faculty member, are part of a consultation liaison team which includes psychology attendings, psychology postdoctoral fellows, and another psychology intern, and participate in weekly C & L rounds. The C & L team also includes child and adolescent psychiatry fellows and psychiatry attendings. It is a busy consultation service, so you will be able to see 2 or more cases per week while on the service.

Neuropsychological/Psychological Assessment Experience: All interns will participate in 6 months of assessment experience during the internship. Depending on interest and rotations selected, interns can participate in an additional 6 months of neurodevelopmental assessment and/or neuropsychological assessment. Within the 6 months of neurodevelopmental assessment, interns will complete 40-60 neurodevelopmental evaluations within a multidisciplinary high risk infant follow-up clinic with a broad age range of infants and toddlers. Within the 6 months of additional neuropsychological assessment, interns will complete 1-2 neuropsychological evaluations per month (please see below for a further description). All interns participating in the assessment experience will complete 4-5 assessments during the 6 month rotation. The assessment clinic receives a wide variety of referrals ranging from ADHD evaluations to complex neuropsychological assessments to diagnostic questions regarding learning to developmental assessments and screenings. The general approach adopted in the clinic is one of hypothesis testing and testing to the referral questions. At the end of the training year, all interns will have proficiency with a variety of assessment instruments, referral questions, ability to provide difficult feedback to children and families, and the ability to recognize when to seek consultation. In many cases, you will also work with the child’s rehabilitation therapists, community agencies, and/or school in order to assist them in appropriate educational planning and may attend IEP meetings.

Screening Clinic: All interns participate in CHOC Children’s Department of Pediatric Psychology Screening/Triage Clinic. Patients referred for outpatient psychological treatment are first seen in an initial screening clinic. Through the screening clinic interns receive exposure to a wide range of referral questions and in making decisions about what services are needed. The screening clinic sees children referred by primary care physicians or medical specialists due to suspected psychological concerns affecting medical care or for more traditional child oriented psychological services. Participation in this clinic provides interns the ability to refine their skills in rapid interviewing, diagnosis, and disposition of outpatient therapy cases.

Outpatient Therapy: In addition to cases that are followed on a major rotation, over the course of the year, each intern will carry –up to 5 outpatient cases at any given time depending upon rotations selected. Referrals will include children and families coping with a medical diagnosis, noncompliance with medical treatment recommendations, pain control, and more traditional outpatient referrals, including depression, attention and behavior problems, anxiety, and family conflict. Interns will have the opportunity to see a variety of clients ranging in age, socioeconomic status, and cultural diversity.

Behavioral Emergency Services/On Call: A distinctive feature of our program is that all interns receive training in managing behavioral emergencies through the provision of consultation services to the CHOC Emergency Department and hospital inpatient medical units. Interns and postdoctoral fellows rotate taking after hours call throughout the year for high risk consults. Trainees are always paired with a faculty member for this coverage. High risk consults include assessment of suicide risk or acute mental status changes. Interns will conduct a brief clinical interview, provide crisis intervention and immediate disposition plans for the suicidal patient, the potentially aggressive patient, and the psychotic patient. This training experience helps to increase your competence and comfort in assessing and managing behavioral emergencies.

Specialty Rotations

Specialty rotations are designed to be an in-depth experience within a specific area. By focusing on a single medical service for six months, interns have the opportunity to become an integral part of the medical team. Interns will play a central and vital role in providing psychosocial interventions and consulting with the medical team. Rotations may vary each year, but at least 4 of the following rotations will be offered each year.

Possible rotations include:

  • Oncology (Main supervisor: Nadia Torres-Eaton, Psy.D., ABPP)
  • Young Child (Main supervisor: Marni Switkin Nagel, Ph.D.)
  • Neuropsychology (Main supervisor: Amy Veenstra, Ph..D.)
  • Emergency Department/Primary Care (Main Supervisor: Sharonne Herbert, Ph.D.)
  • Endocrinology/ Cystic Fibrosis (Main Supervisors: Kelli Rugless, Psy.D., Adrianne Alpern, Ph.D.)
  • Feeding Disorders (Main Supervisor: Cindy Kim, Ph.D., ABPP)

The Oncology rotation involves working with infants, children and teens with many types of cancer and following them throughout their inpatient medical treatment and frequently beyond. It is common on the Oncology Rotation to work not only with patients, but also parents, siblings, and even extended family members at times. The Oncology intern will work on the Oncology inpatient floor (as well as on an outpatient basis) to assist families with a new diagnosis, address depression, pain management, anticipatory anxiety and noncompliance, and help patients and families maintain hope throughout their treatment. Fortunately, the majority of children diagnosed with cancer will survive their illness. However, families are also assisted in dealing with issues of loss and grief, as appropriate. Some assessment may be included to establish the patient’s baseline cognitive functioning and to follow any cognitive changes after bone marrow transplantation.

The Oncology rotation has a large interdisciplinary training aspect, as Psychology plays an important role within the Oncology Division, and is involved in ongoing coordination with physicians, nursing, and the other members of the Oncology Psychosocial Team (social workers, child life specialists, CHOC schoolteachers, and chaplains).

The Young Child rotation includes the screening and assessment of infants and toddlers who are at higher risk for developmental delays due to prematurity, medical diagnoses identified at birth or shortly after, or term infants who are not achieving their developmental milestones on time, by using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development- 3rd Edition (Bayley-III). This experience involves working with an interdisciplinary team made up of neonatologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dieticians, nurses, and social workers. Psychology’s roles include provision of developmental assessment, consultation with team members regarding cognitive, behavioral, or psychosocial concerns, and provision of feedback to families. Interns also work within our developmental assessment clinic in the Department of Pediatric Psychology. Here they conduct neuro-developmental evaluations with toddlers, preschoolers, and early school aged children to assist with clarifying diagnoses and treatment planning. Many of these children also have co-occurring medical conditions.

Other experiences include working with parents/families with an infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to assist them in managing their anxiety/stress, attaching to the newborn, and adjusting to having an infant in the hospital. At times, NICU consultation may include assisting families with issues of loss and grief as needed. When providing NICU consultation, interns will have the opportunity to interact with multidisciplinary team members including physicians, residents and fellows, nurses, social workers, case managers, dieticians, developmental team members, and the chaplain.Trainees on the Young Child rotation will develop a better understanding of the relationships between prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal complications and related neurodevelopmental outcome.

Interns on the Neuropsychology rotation will conduct neuropsychological evaluations for children and adolescents with a variety of medical and possible mental health diagnoses including children with ALL, brain tumors, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, HIV, etc. The intern participates in concussion clinic as well, conducting initial evaluations, administering testing, and providing feedback regarding optimal timing for returning to school and/or sports. The intern will also have the opportunity to learn about and observe EEGs anddo bedside neuropsychological exams. As a part of this rotation interns will learn about the evaluation process for pre-epilepsy surgery by observing faculty, attending pre-surgery rounds, and testing pre-surgery candidates.

Interns on the Emergency Department/ Primary Care rotation will work in the Emergency Department (ED) and in a primary care clinic with patients who are presenting with social, emotional, and/or behavioral issues. Interns will learn about the most common behavioral health concerns that present to primary care, with a focus on adolescents. Interns will participate in screens of the adolescents, present brief interventions, with a particular focus on the use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) elements. Dr. Herbert will provide coaching in MI. In the ED, interns will participate in evaluations of children presenting in a psychiatric crisis and help to determine what level of care is needed (such as admission to an inpatient psychiatric unit or intensive outpatient services) and what are appropriate discharge recommendations. In the ED, interns will also participate in an evidence supported family based intervention for children in crisis. Interns will work with a variety of health care providers in both settings, including physicians, residents, nurses, and case managers. (Supervisor: Sharonne Herbert, Ph.D.)

Interns on the Endocrinology/ Cystic Fibrosis rotation work closely with the multi-disciplinary Endocrine team and Cystic Fibrosis (CF) team, with a focus on patients with diabetes and cystic fibrosis. Interns will participate in both the Endocrine Clinic and CF clinic, with a variety of health care providers in both clinics, including physicians, nurses, case managers, nutritionists, social workers, respiratory therapists, diabetes nurse educators, and at times rehabilitation therapists and pharmacists. Additionally, interns will provide screenings for depression and anxiety for adolescent patients. In the CF clinic, interns will also provide screenings for depression and anxiety for parents. As the psychological consultant in these clinics, you triage and assess clinic attendees. Identified problems have included, coping with new diagnosis or treatment, adherence issues, school issues, and psychological factors affecting the medical condition. Interns will also have the opportunity to work with patients with diabetes or CF who are admitted to the hospital for medical exacerbations. (Supervisors: Kelli Rugless, Psy.D., Adrianne Alpern, Ph.D.)

Interns on the Feeding Disorders rotation will participate in multidisciplinary outpatient feeding evaluations within the CHOC Feeding team’s multidisciplinary outpatient evaluation clinic. This team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers. Interns will also participate in the innovative intensive 21-day inpatient feeding program for G-tube weaning. Interns will work closely with children and families participating in the observation of meals in a state of the art multi-media room and in providing behavioral interventions to the patients and parent training for the parents. Interns will work with both patients and parents during the inpatient admission. Interns on this rotation will gain knowledge about complex feeding disorders and techniques to treat feeding difficulties. (Supervisor: Cindy Kim, Ph.D., ABPP)

Additional Clinical Activities

Interns will have an opportunity to participate in up to three minor rotation experiences, each rotation lasting 3 months. These rotations may differ somewhat from year to year, but training opportunities are comparable each year. Currently offered minor rotation experiences include;

Psychopharmacology: In this innovative experience, you will work with our child and adolescent psychiatrist in his medication clinic once a week. Tasks include participating in initial interviews with patients to determine what, if any, psychotropic medication might be indicated, or if currently prescribed medications require adjustment. This experience also includes education about different medications, mechanisms of action and indications for use. The team includes pediatrics residents and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows. (Supervisor: Wayne Nguyen, M.D.)

Sleep Medicine: Interns on the Sleep Medicine rotation work closely within our sleep apnea team clinic and our sleep center clinic. In the sleep apnea team clinic, interns will work with patients who are having difficulty tolerating their PAP equipment, including conducting behavioral desensitization sessions. A variety of health care providers work in this clinic including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and social workers. The sleep center clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic which includes pulmonologists, neurologists, and respiratory therapists. These patients often have multifactorial sleep disorders and the intern works as part of the team to evaluate sleep disorders and determine treatment recommendations. (Supervisor: Marni Nagel, Ph.D.)

Endocrinology: Interns on the Endocrinology rotation work closely with the multi-disciplinary Endocrine team, with a focus on patients with diabetes. Interns will participate in the Endocrine Clinic with a variety of health care providers, including physicians, diabetes nurse educator’s, nutritionists, and social workers. As the psychological consultant in the clinic, you triage and assess clinic attendees. Problems have included, coping with new diagnosis or treatment, adherence issues, school issues, and psychological factors affecting the medical condition. (Supervisor: Kelli Rugless, Psy.D.)

Cystic Fibrosis: Interns on the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) rotation work closely with the multi-disciplinary CF team, conducting psychosocial screenings including screening for depression and anxiety for both patients and parents. Interns will participate in the CF Clinic with a variety of health care providers, including physicians, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, respiratory therapists, and at times rehabilitation therapists and pharmacists. As the psychological consultant in these clinics, you triage and assess clinic attendees. Problems have included, coping with new diagnosis or treatment, adherence issues, school issues, and psychological factors affecting the medical condition. Interns will also have the opportunity to work with CF patients who are admitted to the hospital for pulmonary exacerbations (Supervisor: Adrianne Alpern, Ph.D.)

Optional Training Experiences:

Our internship philosophy is to meet interns’ professional development needs to the extent possible. We can offer additional opportunities for specialized training. Interns are encouraged to ask about different possibilities to tailor their training, and every effort will be made to accommodate them, as long as the proposed modification to the training plan permits the acquisition of all the core competencies of the internship program. Generally these opportunities will be available as minor rotations.

At the time of this writing, there are additional pediatric experiences available in, gastrointestinal disorders, feeding, hematology, metabolics, craniofacial, and HIV. Interns have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents on issues centering around compliance with medical regimens, coping with the demands of the disease, pain management, and other psychosocial issues involved with chronic illness.

All medical areas have highly diverse populations (primarily Latino and Asian), and thus trainees will have the opportunity to develop skills working with translators to improve the care provided to patients in the hospital. Interns are trained in pertinent culture-specific practices. This training includes a seminar in Multicultural issues.

Training Opportunities for Spanish Speaking Interns:

Our internship is dedicated to providing training opportunities for interns who speak Spanish. These experiences include the ability to conduct assessments in Spanish utilizing our library of assessment instruments that have been developed and normed with Spanish speaking populations.

In addition, interns who speak Spanish have the opportunity to participate in a monthly seminar, CHiSPA, led by several bilingual faculty members (Mery Taylor, Ph.D., Nadia Torres-Eaton, Psy.D., Carlos Konishi, Ph.D., Marissa Corona, Ph.D., Kelli Rugless, Psy.D.). The seminar is designed to help increase skills in and comfort with conducting psychological interventions and assessments in Spanish. Activities include working on psychological vocabulary, practice in discussing cases, case conceptualizations in Spanish, and cultural modifications of interventions for Spanish speaking populations. The goal of the seminar is to provide support and build on participants’ individual strengths. You will attend seminar monthly, as well as have individual supervision in Spanish with a Spanish speaking faculty member.

We currently have 6 full time licensed psychologists who are bilingual in Spanish (Dr. Mery Taylor, Dr. Nadia Torres-Eaton, Dr. Carlos Konishi, Dr. Marissa Cornona, Dr. Kelli Rugless, Dr. Caroline Grantz), 1 full time social worker, (Carolina Eberhard-Veira, LCSW) as well as 2 part time licensed psychologists (Dr. Elisa Corrales).

Supervision

All trainees receive a combination of individual and group supervision (a minimum of four hours) per week. Supervision occurs on an individual basis, during group rounds, within clinic settings, and within the Training Program seminars. All supervision is performed by departmental faculty members who meet the California Board of Psychology requirements and CHOC Hospital’s Medical Staff qualifications.

Interns are offered at least two hours of individual supervision per week for ongoing therapy cases and rotational experiences. Supervision of the consultation-liaison service is handled with both individual supervision and via group supervision (rounds). Rounds are co-led by a board certified child & adolescent psychiatrist/ pediatrician/psychosomatic medicine psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist. The amount and frequency of this supervision will vary depending on the complexity and number of consults received. Typically, consultation supervision occurs for approximately 1 hour per week. Additionally, consultation services are often provided using co-therapy, especially for high risk and complex consults. Therefore, interns are able to observe their supervisors providing psychological services. There may also be opportunities to participate in co-therapy with supervisors and receive immediate feedback based on direct observation of clinical skills. Assessment supervision is provided as the case progresses, and is at least 1 hour per week. Additionally, the supervisor is often present for intakes and feedbacks and will be present for testing as needed. Supervision is also provided informally during medical rounds on major rotations. In addition, there is a strong post-doctoral fellow presence who can also provide informal case consultation.

You will be assigned one outpatient therapy supervisor who will work with you throughout the year on more long term outpatient therapy cases. This supervisor will provide continuity throughout the year and will also serve as a professional mentor.

You will be assigned one assessment supervisor who will work with you throughout the 6-month assessment experience. Within the 6-month experience, you will complete 4-5 full batteries. Your supervisor will provide continuity on these cases and help mentor you in your development of your assessment skills.

Training Program Seminars

Required
• Pediatric Psychology Seminar (weekly)
• Neuropsychological Assessment Seminar (weekly)
• Multicultural Seminar (weekly, 5 months)
• Ethics Seminar (weekly, 3 – 4 months)

Optional
• CHiSPA (weekly)
• Pediatrics Grand Rounds (weekly)
• Morning Report (daily)

Content of required seminars is focused on more practical applications of evidence based approaches, with a specific emphasis on medically complex children. A didactic element is included in all seminars. Professional issues are addressed throughout the training year. Outside speakers with a particular area of expertise are invited to present in several of the seminars. Trainees may also attend the CHOC Grand Rounds and/or other teaching rounds as time permits.

Pediatric Psychology Seminar: This weekly seminar focuses on topics relevant to the practice of Pediatric Psychology. Presenters include psychologists experienced in particular areas as well as physicians and other medical staff depending on the topic. Topics include medical treatments for common medical problems, as well as psychological problems associated with those disorders. Special topics include issues such as pain control, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, helping children and families cope with death and dying, and feeding issues, etc. Once a month there is a journal club. (Coordinator: Nicole Vincent, Ph.D.)

Neuropsychological Assessment Seminar: This weekly seminar focuses initially on learning assessment instruments commonly used at CHOC. CHOC has an extensive assessment library, including assessments in Spanish. From there the seminar reviews the areas of function assessed in the neuropsychological evaluation, and then focuses on specific illnesses and disorders. Because CHOC sees many complex cases, you may have the opportunity to assess cases with these illnesses and disorders such as, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, and infant and developmental problems. (Coordinators: Grace Mucci, Ph.D., ABPdN, Jonathan Romain, Ph.D., ABPP, Amy Veenstra, Ph.D.).

Ethics Seminar: Cases in medical settings can bring a multitude of ethical challenges, which don’t always offer clear directions for change. In this seminar, faculty present cases they have worked on that have presented ethical challenges. In these interactive presentations, faculty and interns discuss systems and strategies to assess ethical dilemmas and determine courses of action. (Coordinator: Julie Moghal, PhD.)

Interns make formal case presentations in the Pediatric Psychology Seminar (one therapy case) and Neuropsychology Seminar (one assessment case), as well as more information presentations/consultations in Multicultural Seminar (case presentation), Neuropsychology Seminar (case consultation), Ethics (case presentation), and CHiSPA (case consultation).

Research Opportunities

The training faculty strongly believes that the primary focus of internship training is on clinical work. We also believe that science underlies our practice of psychology. The Department of Pediatric Psychology at CHOC does have a number of ongoing clinical research studies which interns are exposed to and may be able to take part in limited ways. Postdoctoral fellows are more integrally involved in these research projects.

The UCI Center on Stress and Health is part of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, at the University of California-Irvine (UCI) and Department of Pediatric Psychology at CHOC Children’s (CHOC). The Center on Stress and Health is a collaborative group from diverse areas in medicine, nursing, and psychology. Under the Direction of Dr. Zeev Kain, and Dr. Michelle Fortier, the center conducts cutting edge research on children’s health with particular interests in medical anxiety and pain. The Center on Stress and Health was first established by Dr. Kain under the name, the Center for the Advancement of Perioperative Health (CAPH) which relocated from Yale University to UCI/CHOC in July 2008. The multi-disciplinary research team has a number of ongoing federally funded projects examining perioperative pain and anxiety as well as procedural pain and anxiety.

As only a couple of examples of clinical research in the Department, the oncology team has developed and is looking at outcomes for a peer and parent mentorship program for young adults diagnosed with cancer and also examining the long term psychosocial effects of children who are survivors of childhood cancer. The neuropsychology program is looking at long term outcomes in children who receive epilepsy surgery, as well as examining the cognitive effects of treatment for childhood cancer with a particular emphasis on differing effects for bilingual children. The feeding program is looking at quality of life outcomes for children who undergo an intensive intervention to move from g-tube feedings to oral feeding. The young child program is looking at infant pain in the NICU and the long term effects of prematurity for children followed through the high risk infant follow-up clinic, Early Developmental Assessment Clinic (EDAC).

Training Model

Our training model is that of scholar-practitioner. Consistent with this model, the focus of the training program is on the provision of direct patient care utilizing the most up-to-date knowledge, skills and interventions coupled with the evaluation of the efficacy of those interventions and continued planning to improve those services. The mission of our training program is to provide high quality pediatric psychology training to advanced students in preparation for independent practice. In order to achieve our mission, we assist in the development of a range of assessment and therapeutic skills as well as the development of a unique professional identity that builds on the individual skills and abilities that each intern brings to the program at entry. The internship program philosophy of training is that intensive experiential activities with patients are crucial to the development of a unique therapeutic style and therapeutic skill set. The development of this individual style can be a cornerstone in the ultimate development of your own unique individual professional identity. Through these intensive experiences interns can take the skills learned in their graduate programs and further refine them and continue to develop their own unique and individual style of professional practice.

The majority of current staff members were trained in the scientist-practitioner model and see the inclusion of empirical work as a necessary component for the competent treatment of psychological problems. We strive to provide interns with a breadth and depth of training experiences in the context of utilizing innovative scientific information to guide their treatment planning, conceptualization, and delivery. All staff members remain actively involved in scientific associations, continuing education, and reviewing the relevant literature, in order to constantly improve the quality of their work and supervision. Many staff also are involved in ongoing clinical research studies.

Training Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of our Pediatric Psychology Training Program is to provide a training experience to advanced graduate psychology students within a multi-disciplinary setting that meets the qualifications of field experience in Ph.D./Psy.D. programs and licensing requirements for the Board of Psychology of the State of California (as well as those of other states).

The primary purpose of the internship at CHOC is to prepare psychology graduate students for the professional practice of pediatric and child psychology in a variety of settings (e.g. hospital, school, clinic, and private practice), with a special emphasis on practice in medical settings. Following the field of Pediatric Psychology, the internship focuses on addressing the relationship between children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional functioning and their physical well being, including maintenance of health, promotion of positive health behaviors, and treatment of chronic or serious medical conditions. We view the training year as a time for intensive clinical experience. Although we do not see interns as having the time to complete additional research projects (as well as their own dissertation) during their own internship year, we do require ongoing scholarly activity, such as literature review, critical thinking, and appropriate application of the pediatric psychology literature.

Through our program, interns will learn to assess the psychosocial impact of acute and chronic illness in children and their families. Interns will become proficient in psychodiagnostic testing. They also will be exposed to neuropsychological testing within a medical population and know how to determine the need for further cognitive assessment. Interns will gain significant experience in hospital consultation and liaison skills, which includes providing inpatient interventions and giving feedback to physicians and other medical professionals.

Our program is designed to provide more structure at the beginning of the year, and for interns to play an increasingly independent role towards the end of the year. During this year of critical transition from a graduate student to a professional psychologist, we encourage trainees to develop a professional identity, professional values, and a professional demeanor.

We fully anticipate that interns graduating from our program will be prepared to function as an entry level pediatric psychologist with additional postdoctoral training. Many of our graduates go on to complete formal postdoctoral fellowships in order to further specialize in a particular area, others go on to assistant professorship positions, and others become private practitioners.

Total Program Hours and Licensure

Licensure in the state of California requires 1500 Predoctoral and 1500 Postdoctoral hours of Supervised Practice, as well as successful completion of the national written exam (EPPP) and a written exam in California Professional Law and Ethics (CPLEE). Satisfactory completion of the predoctoral internship at CHOC exceeds this requirement and provides 2000 hours of Predoctoral Supervised practice. CHOC interns can anticipate that their weekly responsibilities will be approximately 40 – 50 hours per week. This time estimate includes clinical service, supervision, seminars, administration, scoring, and write-ups of psychological assessments.

APA Accreditation

Our internship program is APA accredited. Our program received accreditation for seven years during our last accreditation cycle. Our next site visit is scheduled for 2020. The American Psychological Association can be reached at (202) 336-5979 or at www.apa.org or by writing to, American Psychological Association, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE • Washington, DC • 20002-4242.

Evaluations

Informal evaluations are conducted throughout the year; formal evaluations are conducted after the first quarter of the year (3 months), again at mid-training year (6 months), and at the end of the training year (12 months). These evaluations are conducted by training teams which consist of the interns’ supervisors across the different domains of training. These evaluations look at the trainees’ strengths in a variety of areas including diagnostic skills, interventions, assessment, professional practice, awareness of multicultural practice and response to supervision. Evaluation results are shared with the trainees so that goals can be defined and planned for and refinements in trainee performance can occur. Trainees are also asked to evaluate their supervisors and the Training Program annually. Supervisor and Training Program evaluations are used to review and clarify rotation strengths and weaknesses, supervisor performance, and program efficacy.

Educational Services

Both interns and fellows can use Burlew Medical Library, located on the St. Joseph Hospital campus. A selection of professional books, journals, and audiovisual materials are available. Literature searches are free. Professional databases include Ovid, the National Library of Medicine MEDLINE, HEALTH and CINAHL. Access can be accomplished remotely. The Department of Pediatric Psychology has an assortment of professional books and journals germane to professional work at CHOC. Copying and multi-media services are available for presentations.

Internship Location

CHOC is located in central Orange County, placing it less than an hour drive from the City of Los Angeles and about 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. Mountain resorts and the California desert are less than two hours away. The Southern California climate is very moderate all year round. Housing costs in Orange County tend to be on the high average side, but are often more affordable than in other major metropolitan areas. Orange County offers great diversity in terms of its population, with significant Latino, Vietnamese, Indian, and Filipino populations.

Salary and Benefits

• Interns: $27,040/year, overtime is paid for time over 40 hours a week.
• Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance (after first full month of employment)
• Paid time off (total of 22 days for educational/vacation/sick leave (13 days) and departmental closures/holidays (9 days)). All PTO hours are granted at the start of the internship.
• Paid sick leave (total of 3 days per fiscal year)
• 3 educational days (for activities such as attending or presenting at conferences, defending your dissertation) in addition to paid time off listed above.
• Each intern has individual computers with internet access. Toys and games are also available for work with children.
• Video cameras and digital audio recording devices are available on site to facilitate supervision of more challenging cases.
• A two-way mirror is also available for live supervision
• Interns receive free parking.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for interns is November 15, 2016 in order to begin training on August 28, 2017. Our department participates in the computerized matching program for internship applicants. Information is available through APPIC (www.appic.org). Applications can be downloaded from the APPIC web site.

Please include the following in your application:

  1. Completed AAPI online application (which can be obtained from https://portal.appicas.org/applicants17/index.cgi#)
  2. Curriculum vitae;
  3. Three letters of recommendations from graduate faculty and/or clinical supervisors (at least one letter should be from a supervisor who has direct knowledge of your clinical work and at least one letter should be from a core member of your graduate faculty), these should be submitted with your AAPI online application process;
  4. Completed neuropsychological or psychological test report on a child or adolescent (with identifying information removed). This is uploaded as supplemental material with your electronic AAPI.

Please address application inquiries to:

Marni Nagel, Ph.D., Senior Psychologist Training Leader
Department of Pediatric Psychology
CHOC Children’s Hospital
1201 West La Veta Ave
Orange, CA 92868-3874
Phone: 714-509-8481
Fax: 714-509-8756
Email: mnagel@choc.org

On site interviews will be held in early January and are by invitation only. You will be informed whether you will be invited for an interview by December 15, 2016 (every effort will be made to inform applicants earlier). If an on site interview is not feasible or affordable for an invited candidate, a telephone interview will be arranged. The interview process includes a semi-structured interview. This format allows everyone the same opportunity to show all of the skills and knowledge you have gained over the course of your graduate training. It also ensures that we ask you about all important areas. Time is also scheduled for more open-ended discussions where you can ask questions about our internship site. We also schedule time for you to talk to with our current trainees. For those applicants who indicate you speak Spanish, a portion of the interview will be conducted in Spanish. With your permission, we would like to take a picture at the interview in order to assist the memory of the selection committee. This is a totally voluntary process, and all applicants are welcome to opt out of the photograph. In the past we have had applicants bring a camera and take pictures of us as well. We invite you to do the same as we know how helpful that can be as a memory aide. We do ask that you respect the privacy of our patients and not take any pictures that would include them.

Application Requirements

Admission requirements for interns include advanced candidacy, good standing in their graduate program, and current enrollment in an APA accredited clinical, counseling, or school psychology program; two years of part-time clinical placements, one year of which must include services to children; a background in basic psychological testing measures (e.g. IQ, achievement, objective and projective personality measures); and finally, exposure to and interest in pediatric psychology which can be demonstrated through coursework, clinical placement, or research. Discussion of your interest in pediatric psychology training can be included in your essays and/or cover letter.
The CHOC Department of Pediatric Psychology internship program abides by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.
Applicants matched to the internship should understand that prior to beginning the internship they will be required to successfully pass a required brief medical examination, which includes a drug test. TB testing will also be required. Applicants will also undergo a required background test which CHOC requires of all employees in order to ensure the safety of our pediatric patients.
Questions

Programmatic Questions: Please email or call with any questions about the program. Please direct any questions about programmatic issues to Dr. Marni Nagel at mnagel@choc.org or Dr. Heather Huszti at hhuszti@choc.org. Additionally, you may call 714-509-8481.

Questions about application status: If you have questions regarding the status of your application, please email Graciela at gcisneros@choc.org or call 714-509-8481 and ask for Graciela.

Pediatric Psychology Department Faculty:

Heather Huszti, Ph.D., Chief Psychologist, Director of Training, Licensed Psychologist

Julie Moghal, Ph.D., Director, Department of Psychology, Licensed Psychologist

Marni Switkin Nagel, Ph.D., Senior Psychologist Training Leader, Licensed Psychologist

Adrianne Alpern, Ph.D., Registered Psychologist

Marissa Corona, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Nadia Torres-Eaton, Psy.D., ABPP, Licensed Psychologist

Caroline Grantz, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist

Sharonne Herbert, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Cindy S. Kim, Ph.D., ABPP, Licensed Psychologist

Carlos Konishi, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Jonathan Romain, Ph.D.,ABPP-CN, Neuropsychologist

Chris Min, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Grace Mucci, Ph.D., ABPdN, Coordinator, Neuropsychology Program, Neuropsychologist

Wayne Nguyen, M.D., Board Certified Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist, Pediatrics and Psychosomatic Medicine
Medical School, Texas A & M Health Science Center, Internship and Residency, University of Utah Medical Center

Michele Ocen, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Kelli Rugless, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist

Mery Macaluso Taylor, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Amy Veenstra, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist

Carolina Eberhard Veira, LCSW, Licensed Social Worker

Nicole Vincent, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Alejandra Suzuki, M.D., Board Certified Psychiatrist and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Medical School, Universidad de Buenos Aires Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Argentina

Elisa Corrales, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Michelle Fortier, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Brett Patterson, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

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CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine