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Full Year Rotation

Outpatient Therapy (Required)

Throughout the entire year for two days per week, interns carry approximately eight outpatient cases in the Outpatient Psychiatry Department located at the Takoma Park clinic. Interns obtain closely supervised practice in therapeutic intervention, including individual child therapy and family therapy. There may be opportunities for work in group therapy settings as well. Outpatient supervisors have wide range of expertise including mood, anxiety, pediatric psychology and therapy with young children. This clinic provides training for psychology interns and externs, child psychiatry fellows and general psychiatry residents. The patient population in the outpatient clinic is culturally and economically diverse and often includes families with multiple psychological, social and medical problems. Referrals to the outpatient clinics come from community physicians, public and private schools, and other departments within the hospital.

Interns have flexibility in their selection of cases in order to tailor their training to their individual needs and interests. Although everyone is encouraged to maintain a varied caseload for optimal training, an intern with interests in clinical child training may take cases that include anxiety, AD/HD, depression and peer and school difficulties. Interns with particular interest in pediatric psychology could see cases from any of the specialty clinics to address issues that include adherence to medical regimen and adjustment to medical diagnosis.

It should be noted that training in issues of child abuse and neglect is provided throughout the outpatient and inpatient programs. Interns who have a special interest in this area may be assigned to a psychology supervisor in the Freddie Mac Child and Adolescent Protection Center.

Semester A Rotations

Inpatient Experience (Required)

Interns spend four half days per week for three months on the Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry Unit. This is a short stay facility for adolescents (ages 14-18) who have been deemed a danger to themselves or others. Patients on these units usually have a history of self-injury, suicidal behavior, severe aggression or psychosis. Interns will collaborate with a dynamic multidisciplinary team including psychiatrists, medical trainees, social workers, nurses and child psychiatric specialists. Interns carry a caseload of two patients. They are responsible for conducting thorough diagnostic interviews, individual therapy, family therapy, crisis management and discharge planning. In addition, they attend morning patient rounds and have the opportunity to participate in the therapeutic milieu. Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques are generally utilized to achieve stabilization and create safety plans.

Primary Care Experience (Required)

Interns spend two days per week for three months performing consults and short-term therapy in one of the six community-based Children’s National primary care centers. This rotation involves providing mental health consultation within a primary care setting as part of multidisciplinary team. Direct services are provided to children, adolescents, young adults and families. Consultations for patients include initial assessment, service referrals and follow-up to help ensure linkage to mental healthcare. Consultation is also provided to the medical team. The opportunity for brief patient intervention is available and tailored to the interests and learning needs of the intern. For bilingual (English-Spanish) interns, there is opportunity to rotate through the primary care center that primarily serves the Latinx community.

Pediatric Consultation Service (Required)

During the three months that interns are rotating through the Inpatient Psychiatry Units, they also spend two afternoons per week on the Pediatric Consultation Service. This is a busy clinical service that provides mental health consultation and liaison to medical teams. Referrals include a vast array of mental health concerns for children with acute and chronic illnesses, such as gastrointestinal illness, asthma, cystic fibrosis, renal disorders, toxic ingestion, burns and trauma. Psychology interns and psychiatry residents participate together in clinical rounds and didactic education.

Sleep Disorders Clinic (Required)

During the three months that interns are rotating through primary care, they also spend one day per week in the Sleep Disorders Clinic. The Sleep Disorders Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic housed in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine. Sleep disorders affect children and their families at all stages of development and are increasingly recognized as important causes of affective, behavioral and attentional regulation. Interns participating in this clinic will receive didactic training in the normal development of sleep and experiential training in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. 

Semester B Rotations

All interns will complete medical specialty rotations and outpatient assessment experience electives during semester B. Learn more about these programs.

Sample Rotational Schedule

Semester A

  • Outpatient Psychotherapy (8 patients per week): 12 months, 2 days/week
    *For those interested in pediatric psychology, this rotation can be composed primarily of pediatric cases for a full year of advanced pediatric psychology training.
  • Inpatient Experience: 3 months (rotations are 4 half-days/week)
  • Primary Care Experience: 3 months (rotations are 2 days/week)
  • Pediatric Consultation Service: 3 months (rotations are 2 half-days/week)
  • Sleep Disorders Clinic: 3 months (rotations are 1 day/week)

Semester B

  • Medical Specialty: 6 months (1 day/week)
  • Outpatient Assessment: 6 months (rotations are 1 day/week)
  • Elective: 6 months (rotations are 1 day/week)
    *Intern selects either an additional Medical Specialty or Outpatient Assessment