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Child and Adolescent Assessment Track

Track Coordinator: Cynthia deJesus, M.A.

Cynthia.dejesus@bellevue.nychhc.org

Number of Externs: 4

The Externship Track in Child and Adolescent Assessment provides training for those trainees interested in enhancing their child and adolescent clinical assessment skills, gaining additional competence in working with a multicultural, diverse population, and obtaining experience in pediatric neuropsychological testing.

Externs will be based in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Units, working with multidisciplinary teams as they provide clinical assessment to patients presenting with a broad range of severe psychiatric, learning and developmental disorders. In addition, a unique outpatient assessment experience will be provided on a rotating basis in the Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic, where externs will conduct comprehensive child and adolescent neuropsychological assessment to patients specifically referred for this service to the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation/Liaison Clinic.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Units

The Child Psychiatry Inpatient Unit and the Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit function as acute-care facilities serving patients 5 through 17 years of age, with complex diagnostic presentations, who reflect the culturally and linguistically diverse population served by Bellevue Hospital Center. Clinical staff strives to consider all factors that may contribute to maladjustment and psychopathology including psychiatric, socio-cultural, and family variables. Interdisciplinary treatment teams provide a therapeutic milieu that incorporates multimodal evaluation, individual and group treatment such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral group interventions, as well as academic and recreational therapy activities (e.g. pet therapy; horticulture therapy). We collaborate closely with the on-site day treatment program that provides clinical and special education services through the hospital-based District 75 special education school, P.S.35M. Ongoing psycho-education is provided to caregivers during the weekly “Family Night” meetings and at each collateral meeting.

Externs will conduct individual psychological assessment with patients on both units. Assessments typically include psychological testing, interviews with caregivers, consultation with house staff, and participation in interdisciplinary treatment team meetings. Psychological testing is guided by the specific needs of each patient, and may include cognitive, projective/personality, and selected neuropsychological measures. All aspects of assessment from initial chart reviews, selection of measures, review and analysis of results, collateral interviews, and integrative report-writing, will receive ongoing supervision in individual as well as group formats. As the year progresses, externs will be expected to assume initiative as appropriate to their level of training, complete assignments in a timely manner, and reflect increased proficiency in clinical skills as well as conceptual understanding.

In addition, each inpatient unit provides opportunities for training in clinical evaluation and interviewing of new patients. Trainees will attend biweekly treatment team meetings, conduct classroom observations, participate in meetings with caregivers to share assessment results, and provide active consultation to psychiatry house staff. Didactic training activities include weekly unit meetings at which staff, psychiatry residents and psychology interns present topics of interest. Externs are also encouraged to attend weekly Grand Rounds presentations at the NYU Child Study Center.

Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic

The Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic, part of the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation/Liaison Clinic, is held on Wednesday mornings. It serves the assessment needs of patients, ages 6 – 22 years old, who attend outpatient pediatric and mental health clinics at Bellevue Hospital Center. Among the patients evaluated are those seen for treatment in the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation/Liaison Clinic, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, the World Trade Center Clinic, Child Protection Services Clinic, and pediatric specialty clinics such as Neurology Clinic, Developmental Clinic, ADHD Clinic, and Neurodevelopmental Clinic. This experience allows the externs in vivo instruction in psychological and neuropsychological assessment for children referred with psychiatric, medical, learning, attentional and/or neurological issues. Occasionally projective assessment is indicated for differential diagnostic purposes.

This experience includes a teaching component where externs may first observe assessment(s) administered by experienced, supervising psychologists, and may also observe mental status exams conducted by our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry attending staff. As on the child and adolescent psychiatry inpatient units, psychiatry staff, fellows and residents in psychiatry, pediatric fellows and residents, and visiting psychiatry residents may from time to time observe the externs perform assessments. Intelligence, academic, and neuropsychological instruments will be administered with instruction in scoring and interpretation, as well as in writing a cohesive psychological report. Presentation of completed evaluations at interdisciplinary case conferences allows for integration of all findings, and encourages further discussion and understanding of clinical issues (differential diagnostics, recommendations, interface with the Committee on Special Education, referral resources, advocacy services, etc.) and assessment tools.

Supervision is provided on an ongoing basis as the assessment and report are completed, and feedback has been given to the patient and parents. Interface with families, schools, treating clinicians, and medical practitioners is an important follow up aspect of the service. An interdisciplinary, clinical case conference is held each Wednesday morning, and attended by externs while on rotation.

Training Period and Time Commitment:

Sixteen hours per week, scheduled over three days, are required with the following mandatory attendance:

  • Monday OR Tuesday: 9AM - 1PM
  • Wednesday: 9AM - 1PM
  • Friday: 9AM - 5PM

Qualifications:

Open to doctoral students in Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs (Clinical, Clinical-School, School, or Counseling Psychology) who will be enrolled in their third year or beyond at the time of externship. Some experience with psychological assessment required. Fluency in a second language is desirable.

Additional Required Application Materials:

  • Redacted psychological test report