Trainees will spend approximately 70% of their time providing direct clinical care and 30% of time involved in academic activities (e.g., research, teaching and quality improvement) and administrative work. Clinical time consists of core rotations and monthly rotations. Core rotations are weekly and span one year; they are designed to provide in-depth longitudinal clinical training in a particular area. Trainees will participate in four clinical core rotations. These include the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, General Neuropsychiatry Clinic and the Epilepsy Program. Additionally, to facilitate the development of research skills, trainees will spend a half day in the Clinical Trials Unit. Monthly rotations provide exposure to specialized clinical topics and patient populations. Elective opportunities may be available based on the trainee’s interest.

Sample Curriculum

  • 16 hours of weekly, longitudinal clinic in the areas of autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, general pediatric neuropsychiatry and epilepsy neuropsychiatry
  • 2 hours weekly of didactics and clinical supervision in pediatric neurodevelopment and neuropsychiatry
  • 4 hours of research experiences in Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Clinical Trials Unit
  • 4 hours of monthly rotations per week
  • 1 hour weekly multidisciplinary neuropsychiatry conference
  • Clinical elective time
  • Supervised academic activities (e.g., research, teaching, quality improvement)
  • Ample supported time for administrative work

Core Rotations 

Center for Autism Services, Science and Innovation (CASSI™)

CASSI is a multidisciplinary clinic specializing in the care of children, adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum and related disorders. CASSI has a bustling psychiatric service, in addition to offering care by developmental pediatricians, pediatric neurologists, clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, and occupational therapists. Individuals come to CASSI to seek diagnostic evaluation for an underlying autism spectrum disorder and/or longitudinal care. CASSI also has a thriving, cutting-edge research program focused on the phenomenology, treatment and neurobiological underpinnings of autism spectrum disorder. 

Rotation: Trainees will rotate through CASSI for one full day for the entire year. Trainees will conduct diagnostic evaluations for ASD in children who present with complex comorbid psychiatric disorders. They will also learn how to diagnose and treat a wide variety of complex psychiatric and neurobehavioral comorbidities. Additional training topics will include ADOS testing, genetic testing, neurological testing, parent management training, adapted cognitive behavioral therapy, and systems of care.

Supervisor: Roma Vasa, MD 

Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Clinic

The Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Clinic is a specialty program for the care of children with complex neurodevelopmental and acquired neuropsychiatric conditions that manifest in symptoms impacting cognition, emotion, behavior and consciousness.  Patients and their families are often referred for management of challenging behaviors in the context of neurogenetic syndromes, pediatric neurodegenerative diseases, catatonia, cerebral palsy, autoimmune encephalitis, acquired brain injuries such as stroke or head injury, functional neurological disorder and many other diagnoses. The goal of this clinic is to give trainees the opportunity to work with patients experiencing a broad range of neuropsychiatric conditions and provide longitudinal care under close supervision. Training topics will include: integration of complex neurological and psychiatric data with the clinician’s own history and physical examination in development of a neuropsychiatric formulation and treatment plan (e.g., neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging, electrophysiology, behavioral analysis reports, etc.); exposure to individual and family-based behavioral and psychotherapeutic interventions; training in the neurobehavioral status examination; training in complex pharmacotherapy in the setting of neurological and other medical comorbidities; multidisciplinary treatment planning and care integration across specialties; etc.   

Rotation: Fellows will rotate through the Neuropsychiatry Clinic a half day each week for the duration of their training. They will conduct detailed evaluations and manage challenging neuropsychiatric syndromes, working closely with patients and their families as well as multidisciplinary teams across the institution and beyond. They will have the opportunity to present cases at a weekly multidisciplinary conference and deepen their understanding about brain-behavior relationships.    

Supervisor: Aaron Hauptman, MD

Neuropsychiatry in Epilepsy Program

The Epilepsy Program is a specialty program for children and adolescents with behavioral complications associated with epilepsy. This program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches, combining psychiatry, neurology, neuropsychology, and social work to address mental health problems that may co-occur with epilepsy. The clinic treats individuals ages 4 to 17, who have been diagnosed with, or are suspected of having, epilepsy and are also exhibiting mental health symptoms. The rotation provides an ideal model for learning brain-behavior and brain-cognition relationships, which can be applied to children with other disorders associated with brain dysfunction. Researchers in the program are conducting innovative laboratory and clinical research that will lead to improved treatments for our patients and others with these concerns. 

Rotation: Fellows will rotate through the epilepsy program for one half-day weekly for the full year. Specific training topics may include: unique aspects of diagnostic evaluation, neurological exam, epilepsy, EEG interpretation, behavioral phenotypes, structural and functional neuroanatomy, neurotransmitter systems, psychopharmacology, neuropsychology, rehabilitation, roles of social work and family counselling. Interested fellows can take part in research activities at the center.

Supervisor: Jay Salpekar, MD, FANPA

Clinical Trials Unit

The Clinical Trials Unit at Kennedy Krieger conducts groundbreaking research on medications, devices, and interventions to treat and possibly even cure various childhood genetic, developmental, behavioral and psychiatric conditions. The CTU’s interdisciplinary team consists of experts in the fields of genetics, psychiatry, neurology and pediatrics. Current clinical trials focus on novel receptor targets for treating core ASD symptoms, as well as Rett syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Fragile-X and Down syndromes. Treatment trials for anxiety and depressive disorders, ADHD and aggression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are also underway. 

Rotation: Scholars will rotate through the CTU for one full day for the entire year. Fellows will learn about research measures, ethical and regulatory topics, conduct initial and follow up research assessments for study participants, work with study coordinators on project management, shadow attendings, attend weekly roundtable meetings with CTU team as well as meetings with sponsors and regulatory agencies. 

Supervisor: Bradley Grant, DO

Potential Monthly Rotations and Electives