Doctoral Internship Program in Clinical Psychology

Doctoral Internship Training Program in Clinical Psychology

The Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) is pleased to offer four one-year, full time, doctoral internships in clinical psychology, accredited as a doctoral internship in health service psychology by the American Psychological Association. The program is also a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The training year begins on August 26, 2024 and ends on August 22, 2025. The internship at CHOC focuses on training advanced level doctoral students in pediatric psychology to work effectively within medical settings with children with acute and chronic medical conditions and their families, as well as offering continued training with more traditional child clinical outpatient presenting problems. All of the training experiences take place within the hospital setting. CHOC is one of relatively few accredited internships which provides year-long specialized training in children with medical diagnoses 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. Children with chronic illnesses 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 children with acute and chronic illnesses 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 postdoctoral fellowships within a medical setting (over 95% over the past 7 years), with many ultimately practicing within medical settings.

Introduction to CHOC

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 334-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 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 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 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.
In 2014, CHOC undertook a leadership role in a Mental Health Initiative in conjunction with community partners, to develop a pediatric mental health system of care for Orange County. As a part of this initiative, CHOC committed to building an 18-bed inpatient psychiatric mental health inpatient unit that treats children from 3 years to 17 years old. This state-of-the-art Center opened in April 2018. The Mental Health Inpatient Center (MHIC) is the first inpatient psychiatric hospital in Orange County that includes pediatric beds in many years. In order to support the inpatient treatment and disposition planning, we also opened an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for adolescents that is fully DBT adherent in February 2018. Further, we have developed a more intensive triage program in the Emergency Department, Mental Health Emergency Services (MHES) to evaluate the needs of children presenting for psychiatric issues and determine if inpatient treatment is necessary and link to outpatient care if inpatient care is not required. In September 2015, we opened a County Behavioral Health contract clinic, CHOC CHOC Project HEALTH, which provides outpatient psychotherapy and psychiatry services, as well as Full Service Partnership (FSP) intensive outpatient and wrap-around services for children with both medical and psychiatric conditions. Our CHOC Project HEALTH program is the first of its kind, providing specialty mental health services within a County Behavioral Health Clinic. In January 2020, CHOC also opened the Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center (TANC). The Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center is dedicated to bringing the latest treatments and resources to the Autism community in Orange County. Through unique programs, children have a centralized place where they can receive early diagnosis, specialized advanced therapy, and the possibility to reach their true potential. 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.
The CHOC Psychology Department includes psychologists (35 psychologists), licensed social workers and marriage and family therapists, art therapists, personal service coordinators, resource specialists, and administrative staff. In addition, CHOC has a Department of Psychiatry. Other specialists involved in providing care for children include pediatricians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychiatric nurses, behavioral technicians, art therapists, child life specialists, nutritionists, speech and language pathologists, physical therapists, and BCBA therapists.

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.
  • Psychological/Neurodevelopmental assessment
  • Consultation and liaison with physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals
  • Assessment of patients at high risk for dangerous behavior
  • Consultation to the CHOC emergency department, all medical inpatient units, and CHOC medical outpatient clinics, including on call
  • 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
  • Psychological 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 doctoral internship in health service psychology training 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 with co-occurring medical and mental health conditions. 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.

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-Liaison (CL) 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 suicide attempts requiring safety assessment to coping with an initial diagnosis to concerns for possible somatization disorders 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 pain disorders to gastrointestinal disorders to autoimmune disorders to oncology to somatic presentations with unknown etiology. 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 general consultation service one day 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 CL rounds. The CL 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 on average while on the service. (Supervisors: Maleia Mathis, Ph.D., & Mery Taylor, Ph.D.)

Psychological Assessment Experience: All interns will participate in 6 months of assessment experience during the internship. Within the 6 months of the assessment rotation, interns will complete psychological diagnostic evaluations within our Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center (TANC) at CHOC Assessment Clinic for children 6 years and younger with suspected neurodevelopmental disorders. During the assessment core rotation, interns will complete 2 assessments per month. The TANC Assessment Clinic receives a wide variety of referrals regarding suspected neurodevelopment disorders, including autism, language disorder, ADHD, global developmental delay, and intellectual disability. Interns will participate in multidisciplinary assessment clinic, working with neurologists, developmental/behavioral pediatricians, speech therapists, and occupational therapists to assess and provide recommendations for children with NDD. At the end of the training year, all interns will have proficiency with a variety of assessment instruments, referral questions, ability to provide feedback to children and families, and the ability to recognize when to seek consultation. (Supervisors: Lauren Couch, Ph.D., Jina Jang, Ph.D., & Linda Sepulveda, Psy.D.)

Outpatient Therapy: Interns will participate in CHOC Psychology’s Medical Coping Clinic (MCC) as their outpatient therapy experience for the full 12-months. Medical Coping Clinic provides short-term therapy (4-10 sessions) to patients ages 8-18 who are experiencing an overlap between their medical conditions and mental health functioning. This rotation offers an opportunity to obtain experience with a wide variety of clinical presentations, as patients are referred to MCC from nearly every CHOC medical specialty, including Neurology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Pulmonology, and many others. One of the main goals of MCC is to reduce barriers to accessing mental health services for CHOC patients and services are provided to patients with all insurance types, in-person or via telehealth, and using interpreters or bilingual clinicians as needed. Interns will provide psychodiagnostic evaluations to patients referred to MCC, evaluate and provide same-day feedback to patient/family whether a) they are a good fit for MCC short-term therapy model (4-10 sessions), b) a referral to community clinic for longer-term services is most appropriate, c) patient does not currently require therapy services (CHOC Psychology can be on ‘stand by’ in case future needs arise), or d) some combination of a, b, and c, and provide short-term therapy (4-10 sessions) to patients deemed appropriate for MCC services. Patients are seen in MCC when there is a mental health condition related to medical diagnosis. Examples include: Adjusting to a new medical diagnosis, Increased depression, anxiety, etc. that are negatively impacting medical adherence, Overall medical adherence concerns, Trauma related to medical procedures, hospitalizations, etc., and Impact of living with a chronic medical condition on functioning (e.g. social/peer relationships, school reintegration, young adulthood milestones). Interns on this rotation will have the opportunity to coordinate care with multi-disciplinary teams of pediatricians, nurse practitioners, medical residents, social workers, case managers and resource specialists. (Supervisors: Anton Petrenko, Ph.D., Anita Saavedra, Psy.D., and Kristen Yule, Ph.D.)

Emergency Department (3 to 6-month rotation): Interns on the Emergency Department rotation will work in the Emergency Department (ED) with patients who are presenting with social, emotional, and/or behavioral issues. Interns will learn about the most common behavioral health concerns (e.g., suicidal ideation, aggressive behaviors) that present to the emergency department. 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, including physicians, residents, nurses, and case managers. There will be a particular focus on the use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) elements. (Supervisors: Vicky Bouche, Ph.D. and Meredith Dennis, Ph.D.)

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 will also have the opportunity to take call 1-3 days throughout the training 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 patients with suicidal ideation, potentially aggressive behaviors, and possible psychosis. 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 assessment and 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 may include:

  • Consultation-Liaison
  • Eating Disorders
  • Endocrinology
  • Feeding Disorders
  • Integrated Primary Care
  • Mental Health Inpatient Center
  • Oncology
  • Pulmonology And Gastroenterology

Interns on the Consultation-Liaison specialty rotation will gain greater breadth and depth of experience with medical consultation-liaison services within a hospital setting. The combination of the core rotation (above) and specialty rotation in consultation-liaison, would allow interns to work with a larger variety of medical diagnoses/presentations, participate in specialized follow-up sessions, conduct brief, targeted interventions, participate in team meetings and additional hospital meetings time permitting, and participate in medical rounding. Please see above description of CL core rotation for additional details (Supervisors: Maleia Mathis, Ph.D., & Mery Taylor, Ph.D.).

Interns on the Eating Disorders rotation spend one day per week within a pediatric inpatient medical setting at CHOC at Mission Hospital. Interns deliver services to children and adolescents admitted for medical stabilization for their eating disorder. The rotation includes conducting comprehensive initial intakes, as well as follow-up interventions for a variety of eating disorders including Anorexia Nervosa, ARFID, and Bulimia Nervosa. Furthermore, interns have the opportunity to develop skills in utilizing an Family-Based Treatment (FBT) approach within an inpatient setting (an evidence-based treatment for eating disorders). Interns provide parent and patient psychoeducation, individual therapy with parents and patients, and facilitation of group meals and group therapy. Interns are integrated into the Eating Disorders multidisciplinary team, which includes physicians, nurse practitioners, dieticians, social workers, case managers, and child life specialists (Supervisor: Katelyn Anderson, Ph.D).

Interns on the Endocrinology rotation will participate in the Endocrine Clinic (Type-I and Type-II Diabetes clinics), with a variety of health care providers including physicians, nurses, case managers, nutritionists, social workers, and diabetes nurse educators. Interns will play an integrated role in a multidisciplinary diabetes clinic by conducting depression screenings and providing same-day consultation upon referral. Interns will engage in conducting brief psychological screening for the purpose of identification of any mental health problems that may need further psychological assessment, ensure appropriate risk/safety assessment, and provide appropriate recommendations and referrals. Interns are expected to provide the endocrinologists with verbal feedback after screening a patient as well as complete a brief electronic report. Interns will also contribute their professional opinion and expertise in monthly psychosocial rounds and maintain involvement in ongoing program development initiatives (curriculum development for therapy and/or group protocols, community engagement and education, etc.). Interns also will have the opportunity to provide short-term outpatient treatment geared towards adherence interventions for patient’s screened/referred to psychology (Supervisor: Mercedes Palacios, 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, speech therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, and social workers. Interns will also participate in the innovative intensive 21-day inpatient feeding program. Common diagnoses for the inpatient feeding program include G-tube weaning and enhancing oral intake and variety (e.g., children with symptoms of ARFID). 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. Additionally, interns will participate in outpatient multidisciplinary evaluations for children with feeding concerns and assist with assessment, behavioral observations, and providing appropriate recommendations. Interns on this rotation will gain knowledge about complex feeding disorders and techniques to treat feeding difficulties. Interns participate in program development and quality improvement endeavors as well. Interns also have the opportunity for co-treatment of complex feeding disorders in an outpatient psychology clinic (Supervisor: Cindy Kim, Ph.D., ABPP).

The Integrated Primary Care rotation aims to reduce barriers in accessing mental health services for a diverse and underserved population through integration into CHOC’s pediatric clinics throughout Orange County. This rotation offers the unique opportunity to be families’ first introduction to psychological services and will provide skill development in a fast-paced multidisciplinary environment through various clinical experiences. Interns will provide targeted mental health evaluations utilizing a “warm handoff” which may result in psychoeducation, skill building, and referrals to community mental health resources; provide brief outpatient follow-ups in clinic (30 minutes or less); co-lead psychoeducational groups targeted towards parents and patients in our primary care clinics; and work closely with the medical team to provide education, recommendations, and care coordination. Interns will acquire skills with regard to the evaluation of risk and safety concerns and safety planning within a primary care setting. Interns also will gain experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse patients across the developmental spectrum and develop a greater understanding about barriers to accessing care. Interns on this rotation will have the opportunity to work within a multi-disciplinary setting with a team of pediatricians, nurse practitioners, medical residents, social workers, case managers and resource specialists (Supervisor: Sarah Ruiz, Ph.D.).

The Mental Health Inpatient Center (MHIC) rotation: The Mental Health Inpatient Center (MHIC) is an acute psychiatric inpatient center with 18 private rooms and an outdoor play area serving children and adolescents ages 3-17. Many of these youths are hospitalized for concerns of suicidality, non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors, aggression, and psychosis. The intern on this rotation will receive clinical training in working with an interdisciplinary team for crisis stabilization facilitating evidence-based group therapy, conducting brief intake interviews, providing milieu interventions, and psychodiagnostics assessments. The intern may also see an individual case conducting brief, targeted individual as well as family therapy, safety planning, and discharge planning with the goal of increasing safety and linkage to appropriate aftercare services. Interns will acquire skills in crisis stabilization intervention, group therapy, and psychodiagnostic testing within the context of acute mental health. Interns will gain a general understanding of acute psychiatric hospitalization criteria of Danger to Self (DTS), Danger to Others (DTO), and Grave Disability (GD), as well as a specific understanding of acute as opposed to chronic risk in assessing for suicide rooted in Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory of Suicide Risk. Interns will have the opportunity to learn and apply evidence-based interventions within the context of group, milieu, individual and family therapy adapted for crisis management, utilizing CBT, DBT, ACT, and CAMS to address hospitalization criteria (Supervisor: Francesca Bahn, Ph.D.).

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. Psychology has an important role in CHOC’s Oncology Program and supports patients and families across the care continuum. Often psychosocial services begin at, or shortly after diagnosis, and are available to patients and families as they navigate the unique challenges a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship present. Psychology interns have the opportunity to work closely with medical teams as part of the multidisciplinary care team to provide psychosocial and emotional support to oncology patients. Clinical opportunities may include conducting psychosocial assessments and screening and delivering evidence-based intervention and consultation. Patients may include those in active treatment, undergoing bone marrow transplants, patients on maintenance chemotherapy, and patients in survivorship. 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).

Interns on the Pulmonology and Gastroenterology rotation work closely with the multidisciplinary Pulmonary team, with a focus on patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), and the Gastroenterology (GI) Team. Interns will participate in multidisciplinary cystic fibrosis clinic and will conduct anxiety and depression screening in the outpatient medical clinic for patients with cystic fibrosis ages 12-21 years, as well as caregivers of patients birth to 18. As their primary role in clinic, interns will conduct a brief diagnostic interview to assess symptoms, distress, and impairment; provide psychoeducation about symptoms; offer tailored recommendations, including preventative interventions; and engage patients/families in motivational interviewing to build willingness to take steps toward implementing recommendations. Interns will also offer referrals and linkage to resources, as indicated. As a secondary activity, interns conduct brief assessments with infants, toddlers, and young children to assess mood and behavioral functioning; interns will learn to offer anticipatory or tailored guidance regarding management of procedural distress, interventions to reduce boredom/distress during lengthy CF treatments, and strategies to promote adjustment to CF, positive family relationships, and family communication. Interns on this rotation will have the opportunity to work within a multi-disciplinary setting with a team of pulmonologists, nurse practitioners, gastroenterologists, dieticians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, case managers, and social workers.

Interns also will have the opportunity to consult within a functional abdominal pain GI clinic. As the psychological consultant in this clinics, interns will triage, assess for psychosocial factors impacting physical functioning, provide brief interventions, and conduct disposition planning within a fast-paced clinic setting. Interns receive training in cross-cutting issues in pediatric psychology, including adherence, pain, procedural anxiety/distress, family functioning, adjustment to illness, and depression/anxiety superimposed on chronic illness. Interns implement motivational interviewing techniques in both clinics to assist with providing psychoeducation, assessing readiness for change, and problem-solving around potential barriers to adherence (Supervisors: Adrianne Alpern, Ph.D. & Mery Taylor, Ph.D.).

Additional Clinical Activities

Optional Training Experiences:

Our doctoral internship training philosophy is to meet interns’ professional development needs to the extent possible. We can offer brief exposures to additional patient populations, clinics, or mental health service lines. 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 a brief 1-2 time exposure within a ½ day timeframe.

At the time of this writing, there are additional pediatric experiences available in gastrointestinal disorders, hematology, metabolics, craniofacial, young child, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, gender identity clinic, and intensive outpatient programming. 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 patient populations. In addition, 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 Diversity issues.

Training Opportunities for Spanish Speaking Interns:

Our doctoral internship in health service psychology 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 bi-monthly seminar, CHiSPA, coordinated by Mercedes Palacios, Ph.D. and Anita Saavedra, Psy.D., with several bilingual faculty and staff members as guest presenters. This bi-weekly seminar for interns, fellows, and practicum students with Spanish language proficiency, focuses on increasing professional skills in and comfort with conducting psychological services, including assessments, consultations, and interventions in Spanish. Activities include working on psychological vocabulary, practice in discussing cases and case conceptualizations in Spanish, diversity factors that may impact evidence-based practice for Spanish speaking populations, and discussions of health psychology, health literacy, adherence, and perceptions of medical and mental health diagnoses and treatments with Spanish speaking patient populations. The goal of the seminar is to provide support and build on participants’ individual strengths.

We currently have 16 full time licensed psychologists who are bilingual in Spanish, in addition to bilingual and bicultural department mental health providers.


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. Supervisors will conduct direct observations of your clinical work on all rotations at least once during each formal evaluation period either through live, direct supervision or video recording review.

Interns are offered at least two hours of individual supervision per week for ongoing outpatient therapy cases and specialty rotational experiences. Supervision of the consultation-liaison service is handled with both individual supervision and via group supervision (rounds). Rounds are led by licensed psychologists and at times co-led by a board-certified child & adolescent psychiatrist. The amount and frequency of this supervision will vary depending on the complexity and number of consults received. Typically, individual consultation-liaison supervision occurs for 1 hour per week plus additional time as needed, and group consultation-liaison supervision occurs for 1 hour per week. Additionally, consultation services are often provided using a co-assessment and co-treatment model, 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. Furthermore, interns on the emergency department rotation also receive 1 hour of group supervision per week, in addition to daily case-based supervision. Supervision is also provided informally during medical rounds on major rotations. In addition, there is a strong postdoctoral fellow presence who can also provide case consultation and professional development under the supervision of a licensed supervisor. Supervision and responsibility for the patients will ultimately be the responsibility of a licensed clinical psychologist on staff.

You will be assigned one outpatient therapy Medical Coping Clinic supervisor who will work with you throughout the year. 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 2 assessments per month. Your supervisor will provide continuity on these cases and help mentor you in your development of your assessment skills.

You will be assigned one emergency department supervisor who will work with you throughout the 6-month emergency department rotation, and two specialty rotation supervisors (6-months each) who will work with you throughout each of your 6-month specialty rotation experiences.

Supervision Experiences:
You will be provided with an opportunity to supervise practicum students. Training in the provision of supervision will be provided through didactic seminars and formal supervision of your own provision of supervision. Supervision and responsibility for the patients will ultimately be the responsibility of a licensed clinical psychologist on staff. You will be expected to video record supervision sessions with your supervisees to share with your supervisor in order to develop your own supervision competencies.

Training Program Seminars


  • Child Adolescent Assessment Seminar (CAAS: 2 hours twice monthly)
  • Child Adolescent Psychological Principles Seminar (CAPPS: 2 hours twice monthly)
  • Professional Practice Seminar (2 hours twice monthly)


  • CHiSPA (bi-weekly)
  • Advanced Neuropsychology Seminar (bi-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.

Child Adolescent Assessment Seminar (CAAS): This bi-weekly 2-hour seminar focuses on topics relevant to assessment and evaluation within the practice of Psychology with children and adolescents. Presentations will focus on various evidence-based assessment approaches for youth, as well as assessment considerations when working with specialized pediatric populations. We will also have guest speakers from other disciplines that psychologists frequently collaborate with on multidisciplinary teams (Coordinators: Lauren Couch, Ph.D., Esther Hong, Ph.D., Jina Jang, Ph.D., & Linda Sepulveda, Ph.D.).

Child Adolescent Psychological Principles Seminar (CAPPS): This bi-weekly 2-hour seminar focuses on topics relevant to the practice of Psychology with children and adolescents. Presentations will focus on various evidence-based treatments for youth, as well as use of these treatments in specialized pediatric populations. We will also have guest speakers from other disciplines that psychologists frequently collaborate with on multidisciplinary teams. This will be an opportunity to learn how different disciplines function both at CHOC and as a broader specialization with youth and how psychologists can help integrate skills on a team to better serve the mental health needs of children and adolescents (Coordinator: Marni Nagel, Ph.D.).

Professional Practice Seminar: This seminar consists of three main topic areas; diversity, ethics, and supervision. It is designed to focus on learning and application to your clinical work that supports increased competency in these three areas. The diversity series within the seminar are interactive in nature and consists of self-exploration activities, exploration of the surrounding community (through research and an experiential activity), presentations from professionals as well as trainee case presentations. While we expect diversity awareness to permeate all of your work throughout the year, this seminar is designed to help you develop your model of learning and practice (Coordinator: Ana d’Abreu, Ph.D.). The ethics series within the seminar focus on cases in medical settings that bring a multitude of ethical challenges, which can be complex and difficult to identify a clear path forward. 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: Ava Casados, Ph.D.). The supervision series within the seminar are focused on models and theories of supervision, roles of the supervisor and setting up supervisory relationships, assessing supervisee competency, and providing feedback, including evaluative feedback (Coordinator: Marni Nagel, Ph.D.).

Interns make formal case presentations in the Child Adolescent Psychological Principles Seminar (one therapy case) and Child Adolescent Assessment Seminar (one assessment case), as well as more information presentations/consultations in Professional Practice Seminar (diversity case presentation, ethics case presentation) and Advanced Neuropsychology Seminar (case consultation) 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 (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 a psychosocial screener measure to examine longitudinal psychosocial effects of having 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 sleep program is looking at improving adherence for PAP treatment among children and adolescents who have difficulty tolerating PAP. The CF program is looking at screenings for depression and anxiety, and linking to resources among patients diagnosed with CF and their parents.

Training Model

Our doctoral internship in health service psychology 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 doctoral internship in health service psychology 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 evaluation. They also will be exposed to neurodevelopmental/ 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 for entry-level independent practice in child and adolescent psychology depending upon individual state licensure requirements and/or to begin specialty training at the postdoctoral fellow level depending upon individual career objectives. 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 Doctoral 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, documentation, and report writing.

APA Accreditation

Our internship program is APA accredited. We completed our virtual site visit in May 2021, and completed our on-site accreditation verification visit in December 2022. Our program received accreditation for ten years during our last accreditation cycle, with our next site visit in 2031.

The American Psychological Association Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation can be reached at:
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242.
Telephone: (202) 336-5979
TDD/TTY: (202) 336-6123


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). Formal evaluations will include a form of direct supervision, either live or via video recording review. Informal evaluations may include direct supervision as well. 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 Latinx, Vietnamese, Indian, and Filipino populations.

Salary and Benefits

  • Interns: $50,897/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 (15 days) and departmental closures/holidays (7 days)).
  • 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. Live video streaming is also available for live supervision.
  • Interns receive free parking.

Application Procedure

The application deadline for interns is November 1, 2023 in order to begin training on August 26, 2024. Our department participates in the computerized matching program for internship applicants. Information is available through APPIC ( 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
  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., Manager Psychology Training Program, Senior Psychologist
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

Virtual interviews will be held in January and are by invitation only in order to minimize the significant financial and time burden for applicants. You will be informed whether you will be invited for an interview by December 15, 2023 (every effort will be made to inform applicants earlier). 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.

As an institution CHOC applies to all provisions of equal opportunity/affirmative action employment practices. The internship is open to all qualified individuals regardless of irrelevant factors such as culture, race, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual/gender orientation or religion. Applicants from minority and diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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 doctoral internship training program in health services psychology 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.

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

Questions about application status: If you have questions regarding the status of your application (e.g. is it complete or what is missing), please email Gabriella Romero at or call 714-509-3455 and ask for Gabriella.


Pediatric Psychology Department Faculty and Staff:

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

  • Clinical Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Hematology, Adherence, Consultation and Liaison services, Pediatric critical care

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

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Toledo
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Law and ethics, Mentoring and supervision, Autism, Young child/feeding

Marni Switkin Nagel, Ph.D., Manager Psychology Training Program, Senior Psychologist, Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical and Developmental Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Assessment and intervention with infants and young children, Neurodevelopmental assessment, Sleep medicine, Neonatal critical care, Chronic illness, Pain management

Baleska Alfaro, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Co-Occurring

Adrianne Alpern, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Miami
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Cystic Fibrosis, Adherence, Diabetes, Gender identity and diversity, Adjustment and coping with chronic illness

Katelyn Anderson, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Counseling Psychology, University of Oregon
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Eating Disorders, Consultation-Liaison, Gender identity and diversity

Francesca Bahn, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Inpatient psychiatric treatment, Assessment and treatment of early psychosis, ACT

Mitzi Bennett, LCSW, Manager Project HEALTH

Vicky Bouche, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Acute Care, Crisis assessment and intervention, Consultation-Liaison

Ava Casados, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Yale University
  • Clinical Training Interests: Integrated Primary Care, Law and Ethics, Health disparities

Diana Cohen, Psy.D., Licensed Pediatric Neuropsychologist

  • Clinical/Training Interests: Neuropsychology, Neuro-Oncology, Cognitive Late Effects of Cancer treatment

Elisa Corrales, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Rochester
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Childhood trauma, PCIT, children’s chronic illness

Lauren Couch, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • School Psychology, University of California, Riverside
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Ana d’Abreu, Ph.D., Psychologist

  • School Psychology, Texas A&M University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Social-emotional prevention programs, School-based mental health services, Resilience & acculturation factors in youth, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Meredith Dennis, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Loma Linda University
  • Clinical Training Interests: Acute psychiatric disorders, Emergency Department, Crisis Intervention and Management, Autism Spectrum Disorders

Ana-Mercedes Flores, Ph.D., Licensed Pediatric Neuropsychologist

  • Clinical/Training Interests: Neuropsychology, Neurodevelopmental evaluation

Wendy Gray, Ph.D.,ABPP, Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Florida
  • Clinical/Training Interests: IBD, Pediatric GI, Abdominal pain, Adolescent/Young Adult transition to Adult Care

Gaby Hernandez, LCSW, Licensed Social Worker, MHIC

Jina Jang, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Autistic Spectrum Disorders

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

  • Clinical Psychology, Biola University/Rosemead School of Psychology
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Pediatric feeding disorders in infancy and early childhood, Young child mental health, Cochlear implants, and Developmental Disabilities

Carlos Konishi, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Coping and adjustment to chronic illness, Pediatric oncology, Diversity training

Mariam Ibrahim, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical/Training Interests: Integrated Primary Care, Diversity training

Michelle Lopez, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Co-Occurring

Karina Martinez, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Co-Occurring

Esmeralda Marquez, LCSW, Licensed Social Worker, MHIC

Maleia Mathis, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Loma Linda University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Consultation-Liaison, School based mental health, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Nancy Merlino, LCSW, Licensed Social Worker, Project HEALTH

Chris Min, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Integrated Primary Care, Consultation-Liaison, Neurology, Sleep medicine

Sheila Modir, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Santa Barbara
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Coping mechanisms and understanding resilience in the context of trauma for vulnerable populations

Shirin Mostofi, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Loma Linda University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Intensive outpatient programming, Crisis Management, Acute Psychiatric Crises, Working with young children

Grace Mucci, Ph.D., ABPdN, Licensed Pediatric Neuropsychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Neuropsychological assessment, Neuropsychological aspects of pediatric oncology, Oncological cognitive late-effects, Epilepsy, Neurological disorders

Anton Petrenko, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical/Training Interests: Hematology, Pediatric Psychology, Coping with Chronic Medical Conditions, Adherence

Mercedes Palacios, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical/Training Interests: Pediatric Psychology, Diabetes, Diversity Training, Working with Latinx Populations

Eric Proffitt, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Azusa Pacific University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Hematology/Oncology/BMT, Consultation-Liaison, Eating disorders

Nancy Ramirez, LCSW, Licensed Social Worker, MHES

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

  • Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Epilepsy, Pediatric neuropsychology, TBI and Concussion

Sarah Ruiz, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Child Clinical Psychology, University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Integrated Primary Care, Diversity training, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Scott Ryan, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Intensive outpatient programming

Anita Saavedra, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical/Training Interests: Pediatric Psychology, School-Based Services, Diversity Training, Working with Latinx Populations

Linda Sepulveda, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical/Training Interests: Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Alexander Tan, Ph.D., Licensed Pediatric Neuropsychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Children’s Health & University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), Dallas
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Neuropsychology, Cardiac neurodevelopmental concerns

Mery Macaluso Taylor, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Child Psychology, University of Kansas
  • Clinical/Training Interests:  Consultation-Liaison services, Chronic Pain, Latinx populations, Diversity Training

Tien Thai, LCSW, Licensed Social Worker, MHIC

Micaela Thordarson, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Intensive outpatient programming, Crisis Management, Acute Psychiatric Crises

Tiffany Torigoe-Lai, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Virginia
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Oncology, Consultation-Liaison, Coping and adjustment to chronic illness, Quality of life

Carolina Eberhard Veira, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Co-Occurring Clinic

Isela Aguirre Verdugo, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Co-Occurring

Nicole Vincent, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

  • Clinical Psychology, University of Miami
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Clinical/Training Interests: Anxiety in children and adolescents, Pain management, Tic disorders, Therapy with school-age children and adolescents, Disorders of sex development, Psychosocial and cognitive issues in pediatric oncology

Lisa Walsh, LCSW, Licensed Social Worker, MHES




Psychiatry Faculty:


Hoang “Wayne” Nguyen, MD, Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical Director, Mental Health Inpatient Center, Board Certified Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist

  • Medical School, Texas A & M Health Science Center, Internship and Residency, University of Utah Medical Center
  • Clinical/Training Interests: Child and adolescent psychiatry,
    Psychosomatic Disorders, Developmental Disorders, Pain Medicine

Michael Chu, MD, Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

  • Medical School, University of Maryland, School of Medicine
  • Psychiatry Residency: University of Maryland Sheppard Pratt
  • Fellowship: University of California, San Diego/Rady Children’s Hospital Clinical/Training Interests: Child and adolescent psychiatry, consultation liaison and emergency department.

Michael Hwang, MD, Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, IOP, Pediatric Psychology Continuity Clinic

  • Medical School, New York University, Internship:  Tulane University, Fellowship:  University of California, Irvine

Laura Lai, MD, Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ASPIRE IOP

  • Internship and Fellowship:  University of California, Irvine

Uma Rao, MD, Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Director of Behavioral Research

Lavanya Wusirika, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, MHIC

  • Fellowship:  University of California, Los Angeles

Esther Yang, MD, Board Certified Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

  • Internship and Fellowship:  University of California, Irvine Medical School