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Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Pain Psychology

The Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health at Cleveland Clinic Children’s offers a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Pain Psychology. The purpose of the fellowship is to offer advanced interprofessional training in pediatric pain psychology to an accomplished psychologist-in-training with a PhD or PsyD. from an APA-accredited psychology doctoral program. Our goal is to prepare the fellow to function successfully as part of an interprofessional care team in an academic medical center or outpatient pediatric setting assessing and treating pain in children.

Clinical Opportunities

Postdoctoral training within the Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health includes clinical, teaching, and research opportunities designed to foster the professional and interprofessional development of the fellow. The focus of this fellowship is on assessment, treatment, teaching, and clinical research in the area of pediatric pain. Clinically, an average week may consist of 2-3 inpatients (each treated 3 times weekly), participation/leadership in child group (3/week) and parent group activities (2/week), evaluating new patients in the interdisciplinary Pain Assessment Clinic(3-6 per month), outpatient diagnostic evaluations (2-3 per week), and 5-10 outpatient therapy hours per week. Conditions commonly referred for treatment include chronic regional pain syndrome, headache, recurrent abdominal pain, dysautonomia, and fibromyalgia. The fellow receives advanced specialized training through guided readings, shadowing all disciplines in the multidisciplinary team, co-therapy with other disciplines, supervised assessment and clinical activity (both individual and group), active clinical research in the area of pediatric pain, and presentations targeting clinical work, clinical knowledge, and clinical research.

Teaching Opportunities

The fellow is involved in the training of pediatric residents who rotate through a month-long block rotation in Pediatric Rehabilitation. Each month, the fellow provides 2-4 resident lectures on topics related to pain management and behavioral interventions for children. In addition, residents observe 1 – 2 evaluations or treatment sessions conducted by the fellow, and the fellow reviews and discusses those cases with the residents. The fellow is also involved in informal teaching opportunities with staff and students in other disciplines through interdisciplinary administrative, clinical, and research meetings. The fellow also will provide umbrella supervision to graduate practicum students in psychology.

Research Activities

The fellow is expected to engage in research activities, and a portion of the weekly schedule is designated for these pursuits. Center staff are involved in numerous research projects and typically work with the fellow to identify an area of interest or a potential research project. Fellows may develop an independent project or join in the ongoing research of a staff member. It is also possible to develop a circumscribed project conducted independently (as opposed to being part of an ongoing study), but using data already collected in the database of the Center. Over the past several years, fellows have initiated independent projects and presented their work in progress at regional and national meetings, and co-authored book chapters and review articles. As noted above, the additional fellow would have more specific research responsibilities and expectations in accordance with the amount of grant funding provided.

Training Activities

Additional training activities include weekly Pediatric and Psychiatry Grand Rounds presentations and monthly Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds talks. The fellow is welcome to attend any presentations of interest or relevance to their training. Fellows have also enrolled in Professional Development courses offered by the Division of Education. Although there are initial orientation meetings with Center staff, the majority of fellow “teaching” occurs in supervision meetings and other Center activities (e.g., monthly case conference, individual monthly didactics). Fellows typically have five hours of supervision/didactics each week, with at least two hours being individual supervision.

Incremental Learning

This fellowship is meant to be incremental in some aspects. The second year of the fellowship will include additional opportunities. First, second year fellows will provide umbrella supervision for graduate students in clinical training. Second, fellows will get additional training in clinical interventions using biofeedback. Third, fellows will participate in or lead an administrative project (e.g., quality improvement, designing a new component of treatment, revising an existing component of treatment). Fourth, fellows will have an opportunity to observe other pain management programs, within our hospital or at other hospitals, to broaden their experience in how pain is assessed and diagnosed and how treatment is delivered and measured.

Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health

The mission of the Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health is to provide clinical care to patients and families using empirically-supported diagnostic and treatment techniques, implemented with caring and respect. We provide a range of specialized psychological evaluation and treatment services to individuals from infancy through young adulthood, coordinating care with other specialists and professionals to best meet the needs of each child and family.

Staff in Behavioral Health include pediatric psychologists, fellows, assistants, and research, administrative, and support personnel. Professional staff are involved in clinical teaching, research, and professional associations and are recognized regionally and nationally as experts in their subspecialty fields.

In addition to the areas previously identified, staff psychologists have special expertise in psychological treatment of eating and feeding disorders, developmental disabilities, chronic and acute pain, coping with illness and disease, behavioral treatment of physical health problems, attentional and learning difficulties, and physical symptoms associated with stress. Diagnostic evaluations are available for children with attentional, learning, developmental, behavioral, or emotional problems, with psychological and psychoeducational testing conducted when appropriate.

Unique to many psychology services in medical settings, the Center is administratively housed within Cleveland Clinic Children's. Our offices are located across the region, on the main hospital campus, Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation Campus, and at the regional family health centers. Our staff works closely with the general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists of Cleveland Clinic Children's, and the fellow typically gains a great deal of experience working closely and collaboratively with these physicians. Specific to this fellowship, our staff performs interprofessional care, research and teaching with specialists in pain and rehabilitation, all working together through the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program.

Application Process

Application deadline is January 6, 2014. Onsite interviews will occur the 3rd week of February, 2014.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. from an APA-accredited psychology doctoral program and have completed an APA-approved internship.

Submit a letter of interest, curriculum vita and three letters of reference to:

Ethan Benore, Ph.D., BCB, ABPP
Cleveland Clinic Children’s
2801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Cleveland, Ohio, 44104