Fellowship Program 101
Hurley Medical Center (HMC), in partnership with Genesee Health System, accepts applications for two full-time postdoctoral fellowship positions in Pediatric Clinical Health Psychology annually. Each one-year position has unique and shared clinical elements, along with many shared program activities. See Apply for eligibility requirements and application instructions.
Clinical care provides advanced learning experiences in culturally-informed and evidence-based targeted assessment, intervention, and interviewing. In these ways, clinical experiences during fellowship ensure graduates can effectively treat pediatric patients in interprofessional healthcare settings. Clinical care assignments are longitudinal & occur concurrently. To ensure adequate learning opportunity, fellows are generally expected to maintain either an average clinical caseload or average number of clinical hours, depending on the practice setting (e.g., integrated primary care versus outpatient psychotherapy versus inpatient consultation-liaison services). The average clinical caseload and clinical hours vary based on fellows’ clinical experience and learning needs. In many instances, fellows collaborate with their supervisors to choose cases that enhance their knowledge and ensure a wide range of learning experiences.
Clinical Care by Fellowship Position.
- Fellow Position 1 Clinical Care Services: Inpatient pediatric psychology consultation-liaison | Neurodevelopmental assessment | Pediatric psychology outpatient services
- Fellow Position 2 Clinical Care Services: Pediatric integrated primary care | Neurodevelopmental assessment | Pediatric psychology outpatient services
For both fellow positions, presenting issues are broad. Within inpatient medical units and integrated primary care, presenting problems span the domains of clinical health psychology and child/adolescent clinical psychology. Within the outpatient behavioral health setting, presenting problems are specific to pediatric clinical health psychology. Examples include somatic symptom disorder, nocturnal enuresis, adaptation to chronic illness(es), and psychological or behavioral factors impacting a medical condition. Within the outpatient neurodevelopmental assessment setting, presenting problems may include fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, autism spectrum disorders and neurodevelopmental assessment as it pertains to lead exposure. Clinical services are provided with a level of supervision commensurate with fellow’s comfort and ability, with increasing autonomy provided to ensure readiness for independent practice by fellowship completion. Across all clinical activities, patients and families served reflect a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as diversity in gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability status, socioeconomic status, level of education, health beliefs & behaviors.
COVID-19 Adaptations May Occur
Due to COVID-19, services may vary in delivery method over time (e.g., entirely in-person; entirely virtual via telehealth; a combination of telehealth and in-person). All settings of clinical practice are equipped to accommodate a variety of delivery methods in order to minimize the impact of COVID-19 upon patient access to services.
Fellows receive extensive supervision during the 12-month fellowship program, including 2 hours of face-to-face supervision weekly, as well as case- and activity-based supervision. All clinical documentation must be co-signed by a clinical supervisor who ultimately holds legal responsibility for the fellow’s work. Fellows are expected to precept (review) clinical cases within supervision. Additionally, pediatric physicians, nurses, social workers, and case managers are available to provide consultation to fellows in their respective areas of expertise as needed.
- Individual face-to-face supervision occurs at least two hours per week with a doctoral level, advanced practice psychologist. At the outset, fellows and formal individual supervision faculty will clarify the roles & expectations of the supervisor and supervisee, and collaboratively determine the optimal approach to supervision. In general, supervisors adopt a developmental approach to supervision, meeting and advancing supervisees based on the supervisees’ skill & comfort level with various tasks/activities.
- Clinical (informal, case-based) supervision occurs on a daily basis and is provided by doctoral level psychologists.
During normal working hours, supervisors are generally available in-person. Supervisors engage in clinical care experiences on the same services as the fellows, allowing for frequent contact throughout the workday. Additionally, faculty offices are located in the same buildings fellow offices. Supervisor presence and close proximity of offices allow for easy access to consultation and supervision while fellows are providing clinical services. In addition to the designated supervisor at any given time, fellows have access to other fellowship faculty along with their contact information.
A significant portion of training time is devoted to continuing education. Methods of teaching include, but are not limited to, formal classroom-like instruction, case-based discussion, question and answer, fact finding, dyad- and small group breakouts, and fellow-facilitated discussion. To ensure curriculum quality, all didactics are supervised &/or pre-reviewed by a program faculty member; evaluations are completed for each didactic (anonymous) and for the program; and the curriculum at-large is reviewed annually during the corresponding Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program meeting. Didactics span a variety of topics central to the program aims and domains of competence, and include the following structured learning activities:
- Diversity Committee (monthly)
- Flint-based Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs Wellness Retreats (2-3 times annually)
- Pediatric Psychology Curriculum (weekly)
- Pediatric Residency Program didactics (weekly)
Other didactic experiences are available electively based on fellow interest. Fellows are encouraged to discuss additional continuing education opportunities within their formal supervision time.
Teaching and Learner Supervision
Fellows receive training and experience in a variety of roles for psychologists within medical education. If fellows have an interest in deeper knowledge and skill development related to the teaching and supervisory activities listed below, they are encouraged to discuss their interests within formal individual supervision early in the training experience.
- Lectures. The Pediatric Residency Program at Hurley Medical Center provides didactics to learners and program faculty. Pediatric psychology fellows are required to provide at least three resident/faculty lectures per year as part of the broader residency curriculum (large group format; at least 1 lecture), or within the developmental-behavioral pediatrics rotation (small group or 1:1 format). Topics are assigned by the fellow supervisor or Program Director. Feedback related to performance including strengths and areas for growth, with strategies for improvement will be provided verbally and in writing after completion of each presentation.
- Resident Shadowing. Fellows may accompany (“shadow”) residents during resident clinical encounters. When shadowing, the role of fellows will be clarified up front. Fellows may shadow residents in order to directly observe resident performance on skills in which fellows have expertise (e.g., mental health screening; psychosocial history taking; interpersonal & communication skills). When this occurs, fellows will be expected to provide verbal feedback on strengths, areas for growth, and strategies to improve. Fellows may also shadow residents in order to enhance their knowledge and understanding of medical encounters, various clinical presentations, and/or the roles of physicians.
- Supervision. Fellows at Hurley Medical Center have the opportunity to supervise residents during their Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Rotation on activities relevant to fellow’s training (e.g., obtaining a psychosocial history; screening for mental health difficulties). Opportunities to supervise psychology learners at the practicum or predoctoral internship level may also be available at the Neurodevelopmental Center of Excellence.
- Curriculum Development. Knowing how to develop and/or assess a curriculum is a valuable role for psychologists within medical education. The fellowship program encourages development of related knowledge, skills, and attributes through involving fellows in medical education activities, and delivering didactics on relevant topics. Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in curriculum development and evaluation.
- Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Rotation & Interpersonal/Communication Skills Curriculum. The Pediatric Residency at Hurley Medical Center provides a 1-month rotation in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and a longitudinal Interpersonal & Communication Skills Curriculum. The rotation and curriculum are two experiences where fellows will participate in training medical learners. Participation may include providing didactics, precepting and shadowing medical learners during clinical encounters, and having medical learners observe their work in various clinical settings.
Through participation in relevant departmental and hospital meetings, formal and informal supervision, didactics, mentorship, and leadership-promoting activities, fellows are provided with extensive support and encouragement to grow professionally throughout the fellowship experience.
- Mentorship: Mentorship is vital across ones’ career to support ongoing growth and development. As such, fellows are matched with one or more mentors within the first month of fellowship. To maximize the mentoring benefit, fellows are expected to identify where mentorship would best support their professional growth during the 12-month fellowship year. Selected for their expertise, professionalism, and ability to provide exceptional support and advisement on broad range of topics, our mentoring panel includes 6 individuals who are not affiliated with the fellowship program, all of whom represent excellence in their respective areas of practice.
- National Examination for Practice in Professional Psychology (EPPP). Fellows are required to pass the National Examination for Practice in Professional Psychology (EPPP) prior to fellowship graduation. Fellows are encouraged to check with the Program Coordinator as money and/or resources may be available to support preparation and exam-related fees. Certificates of fellowship completion will not be awarded to any fellow who does not complete this requirement. For those who pass the EPPP after their 12th month of the fellowship, a certificate of fellowship completion will be awarded upon review of supporting documentation by the Program Director. Fellows are provided with an EPPP informational session, usually within the first few months of fellowship in order to support fellow’s preparation for this exam. Following the informational session, fellows are encouraged to develop EPPP study groups; faculty can assist upon request.
- National Conferences. Fellows are encouraged, but not required, to attend a regional or national conference(s) relevant to their specific career interests. Fellows are encouraged to check with the Program Coordinator as continuing education money may be available to support conference related fees.
Developing partnerships with individuals who share an interest in child welfare is critical to effective pediatric psychology practice.
- Community-Based Activity. Fellows are required to complete at least 1 community-based activity during the 12-month fellowship program. Activities can span community-based outreach, advocacy, research, & intergroup program participation. Examples of community service and outreach activities include informing behavioral aspects of community-based cooking and health classes as part of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, teaching anti-bullying strategies to paraprofessionals within the local YWCA, providing a didactic on child development to teachers and support staff of a Flint-Based early enrichment preschool, advocating on behalf of a child welfare issue at the State Capital (East Lansing), completing adolescent health screenings as part of a school-based health fair, and educational activities for members of support groups, community agencies, and places of worship.
Fellows are expected to lead the identification, development, and execution of their required community-based activity with the oversight and support of an appointed fellowship program faculty member. All activities must be overseen by the appointed faculty member, and cannot occur prior to review and expressed approval of said faculty member.
- Regional, State, or National Presentation. Fellows are encouraged, but not required, to collaboratively prepare and submit scholarly work for peer-reviewed regional and national meetings on topics of interest. Organizations relevant to pediatric psychologists include the following (in alphabetical order): American Academy of Pediatrics (Michigan Chapter), American Psychological Association, Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers, Michigan Psychological Association, Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, and the Society of Pediatric Psychology. Additional associations may be indicated based on the populations and specific medical learners served. Fellows are encouraged to check with Graduate Medical Education at Hurley Medical Center as time off and/or monetary support for peer-reviewed presentations at conferences may be available.
The fellowship ensures a scholarly approach to pediatric psychology practice through an educational curriculum, fellow participation and facilitation of journal club, faculty modeling, and an evidence-informed approach to all fellowship activities.
For those with more interest in research activity, a variety of opportunities are available, with considerable support provided from fellowship faculty, an on-site library, and a dedicated research department at Hurley Medical Center. If fellows have an interest in deeper knowledge and skill development related to research activity, they are encouraged to discuss this within formal individual supervision.
The primary goal of Journal Club is to deepen knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant to practicing evidence based medicine including critical reflection on scientific methodology, awareness of various research methods, and the application of science to clinical practice. Fellows are required to facilitate 1 journal club during the 12-month fellowship experience. Articles and the date of journal club facilitation will be assigned early in the fellowship experience.
Research Activities Available to Interested Fellows
- Research participation as the principle investigator or a collaborator
- Quality improvement projects
- Program evaluation
- Curriculum development or evaluation
- Participation and eventual authorship of peer-reviewed works including posters, oral presentations, book chapters, & journal articles
Summary of Fellowship Program Requirements
Successful completion of the Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program requires that fellows fulfill the following program requirements:
- 12-months of full-time engagement in the fellowship (barring allotted personal/vacation, sick, and conference time off)
- Attendance of all didactics (barring excused absences)
- Completion of at least 1 community-based activity
- Completion of at least 3 medical education didactics (at least 1 delivered to a large group)
- Facilitation of 1 Journal Club
- Diversity Committee membership & participation
- Participation in 2 hours of weekly 1:1 supervision
- Passage of the National Examination for Professional Practice in Pediatric Psychology
- Performance meeting program expectations as measured within the 12-month Faculty Evaluation of Fellow Performance evaluation form