Program Information

Thank you for your interest in our Child and Adolescent Fellowship at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center offers a fully accredited, two-year fellowship training program in child psychiatry. 

  • Applications are accepted in any year of training after the PGY-III year
  • Our program in an academic center ensures the highest quality didactic programs, clinical programs and research training
  • Our program's interdisciplinary approach to teaching, family-centered clinical approach and its strong research base foster an atmosphere of intellectual stimulation and the highest standards of clinical care.

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is located in a semi-rural setting, and serves a large, diverse patient population from a wide geographic area.  All social classes, racial and ethnic backgrounds are represented in the resident's caseload.  Several rotations are located in nearby densely populated urban areas such as Harrisburg and Lancaster.

The heart of the training program is a two year integrated didactic curriculum that covers a variety of topics in detail.  These topics include:

  • Child Development
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Pediatric Psychopharmacology
  • Psychotherapies such as Family Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Dynamic Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy
  • Extended seminars are  held on a wide range of additional topics such as Administration in Child Psychiatry, Pediatric Neuropsychiatry, and Child Advocacy. 

Fellows participate in continuous case conferences over their two year training period.  Dedicated didactic time is provided to the fellows in which they will gain mastery over biological approaches to therapy as well as grounding the fundamentals of several approaches to child and family psychotherapy. Monthly journal clubs are led by faculty and fellows, focusing on the most current and relevant literature.

These programs take place in a supportive, collaborative atmosphere.  Faculty and fellows work together for the clinical benefit of the patients.  Fellows work with the faculty to continually modify the training program to enhance the fellow's education.  Collaboration includes work with the Psychology Internship Program.

We hope to have the opportunity to meet with you to describe many of the other exciting aspects of our training program.

Required Clinical Rotations

First Year

During the first year, clinical rotations are varied. The outpatient rotations are devoted to:

  • Pediatric Neurology Clinic
  • Eating Disorder Partial Hospitalization Program
  • CBT Group 
  • ADHD Clinic
  • Pediatric Consultation Liaison
  • Anxiety Clinic
  • Mood Disorder Clinic
  • Autism Spectrum Clinic

First year training also includes a 6 month rotation at the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute Child Inpatient Unit (a collaboration between Hershey Medical Center and Pinnacle Health).

Second Year

The second year consists of two six-month rotations through through various community child psychiatry sites, outpatient clinics and elective rotations. These include:

  • Schools
  • Lincoln Intermediate Unit rotation (school based evaluations)
  • Community psychiatry centers
  • Forensic child psychiatry rotation
  • Substance abuse treatment center
  • ASD school/clinics
  • Electives
  • Longitudinal Clinic
  • Child Consultation Clinic
  • Eating Disorder Outpatient Clinic
  • Scholarly activity rotation
  • Family therapy
  • Eating disorder outpatient
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic
  • Sleep Clinic
  • Long-term Psychodynamic Clinic
  • Mood Disorder Clinic
  • ADHD Clinic

These rotations occur in urban centers and in relatively remote rural centers.  On-site psychiatric supervision is provided at all of these rotations. The educational mission of the Penn State University is strongly supported at each of the sites.  Illustrative of the rotations are Lincoln Intermediate Unit, The Vista School, Caron Foundation, and the Capital Area Early Childhood Training Institute. 

Fellows are given one month of elective time.  They may chose to take this in December/January or May/June.   Fellows can use this time to pursue research or to enroll in a number of other clinical electives.  Electives available include child abuse assessment, pediatric sleep disorders, Autism, genetics, eating disorders, forensic psychiatry, and multiple research electives.  Fellows are encouraged to design their electives based on their future clinical, research, and administrative goals after graduation.

Child Fellows' Off-Site Rotations

Forensic Rotation (Fellowship – 1st year)

Fellows will observe assessments as they are conducted on children and families involved in custody disputes, termination of parental rights cases and juvenile decertification.  Following each evaluative session, the fellows will have an opportunity to ask questions, make comments and generally discuss the procedures used in the evaluation process.

Caron Foundation (Fellowship – 2nd year)

Caron Foundation Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Center is a 110-acre drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation facility  in Wernersville, PA. 

This is a required 4 month rotation,where second year fellows spend 20% of their time (one full day per week).   The treatment population consists of adolescent males and females, ages 13-19 . Referrals originate  across the county, and the population represents a diverse cultural background. 

Vista School (Fellowship – 2nd year)

This rotation is required in the second year of training and consists of spending one half-day per month for four months at the Vista School, an approved private school for children with autism.

The primary clinical activity of this rotation is performing psychiatric evaluations and supervising a medication clinic at the school.  Evaluations include interviewing the parents and professional staff for the identified student as well as extensive classroom observations.  Additionally, there is opportunity to participate in classroom and treatment team meetings.  The residents are encouraged to take advantage of the continuing education and training modules offered at the school.

Lincoln Intermediate Unit (Fellowship – 2nd year)

This is a required four month rotation where second year fellows spend 20% of their time.  Residents  spend time at the York Learning Center (York County) 80% and the Franklin Learning Center (Chambersburg, Franklin County) 20%.

Residents routinely perform two psychiatric evaluations (under direct supervision of staff) in a clinic day and act as primary psychiatrists in the exit interview with parents and educational staff.  Residents then spend 1-2 hours with school psychologist(s) and/or instructional advisor(s) in direct observation of children in the school and/or testing situations in order to  to observe and gain understanding of both "at risk" children and their "normal" counterparts.