Child Development/Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship

The Child Development/Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship at IU School of Medicine trains graduates at Riley Hospital for Children (Indianapolis) from a variety of health care, public health and advocacy disciplines. Medical fellows have access to a rich and dynamic interdisciplinary leadership training experience focused on life course and autism spectrum disorders and other developmental conditions.

The program prepares doctors for careers in academic medicine, research, education, community advocacy and clinical practice. The fellowship is embedded in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program (LEND), a federally funded training program through the Health Resources Services Administration, Maternal Child Health Bureau, that was developed to produce leaders and innovators in the field of autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.


The Child Development/Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship curriculum includes a combination of clinical work, research, advocacy, lectureship and community experiences. This ACGME-accredited three-year training experience prepares physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and counseling of children with a wide variety of developmental and behavioral challenges. Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in advocacy, research and teaching.

Fellows are directly observed by faculty as much as possible and no less than once a month in obtaining a history, performing physical and/or neurodevelopmental exams, developing care plans and communicating with families. All first-year fellows participate in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program, a Maternal and Child Health Bureau-funded interdisciplinary training program housed in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Child Development.

Fellows are directly observed by faculty once a month.

Fellows independently participate in staffing with psychology and meet independently with families to review and discuss multidisciplinary evaluations.

Clinical Training

Fellows work in interdisciplinary service line teams as physician members. Although Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellows remain under faculty supervision for all patient care, they acquire increased autonomy in patient care over the duration of the fellowship. Patients who have undergone psychological assessment and/or treatment are treated by a faculty psychologist. Physician and psychology faculty are available at all times to assist the fellow.


Trainees are required to participate in a variety of research and evaluation activities. Fellows with extended hours can initiate their own research project while others can support faculty research endeavors. Trainees are expected to access the online public health datasets to assist in exploring their questions and inquiries and to present their research findings at an annual poster session. There are opportunities to attend and present at state and national conferences as well.

Career Path

Developmental-behavioral pediatricians have a range of career options within academics, research, education, and clinical practice. Through training and continuing medical education, they help to shape the work of other pediatric providers to engage in collaborative community leadership and to inform public policy to promote the optimal development and behavioral health of all children.