Child Psychology Fellowship Program

Psychology postdoctoral fellowships are available for graduates of PhD, EdD and PsyD programs in Clinical, Counseling, or Educational Psychology starting September 2015.

Applicants are required to have completed a full year (1,500 clinical hours) of pre-doctoral internship and must be in a position to have completed all graduation requirements, including their dissertation, by August 2015 or they will not be able to begin their fellowship.

Psychology fellowship positions at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland provide specialized training in in-patient hospital consultation-liaison and emergency room assessments, working closely with the Behavioral Emergency Response Team (BERT).

(Please note that for the 2015-2016 training year, we will not be offering psychology fellowship positions in the Departments of Psychiatry, Early Childhood Mental Health, The Center for the Vulnerable Child, or the Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic.)

Structure of our Training

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland’s Psychology Fellowship is a planned, structured sequence of training experiences that build on the initial strengths and competencies of our trainees and guides them in a developmental progression of skill development. Our program begins with a formal orientation that gives trainees a foundation of information about our philosophy of training, expectations, patient population and community, due process procedures, and the information-base upon which they will develop their professional competencies and identity.

Child psychology fellows provide:

  • Psychological evaluation and treatment services to pediatric patients
  • Consultation to the multidisciplinary team serving these in-patients
  • Response to behavioral crises (both in the Emergency Department and on the medical units).

Training Goals

The goal of the program is to enhance the quality of patient care, improve the outcome of medical interventions, and serve the emotional needs of our hospitalized patients and their families. This is achieved by providing timely and skilled mental health assessments and interventions to children (and families) whose psychological and psychiatric issues are impacting their ability to benefit from medical treatment. Psychological services will be provided to children (and their families) from a wide age, socio-economic, cultural, and geographical range, as well as children with acute illness or medical trauma (Intensive Care Unit patients), chronic illness (Oncology, Hematology, Endocrine, Rehabilitation patients. etc.), issues of adjustment to illness, and illnesses of unknown origin (e.g. conversion, factitious, etc.) or unusual presentations.

An important part of the fellow’s role is to provide consultation, support and education to pediatric residents, attending physicians, nursing staff, and the full team of allied health professionals who serve these patients. In addition, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is Alameda County’s emergency psychiatric (5150/5585) port for children under the age of 12. Assessments and interventions are completed in the Emergency Department and then followed briefly for intense community-based aftercare.


Child Psychology fellows will be on call 4 days a week and respond to various consult requests throughout the hospital and emergency department. Consults begin with discussing the referral question with the medical team; then interviewing the caregivers, family members, outside treatment providers, and the patient. Often, in addition to assessing the patient, behavioral recommendations are made to help the patient with their stay in the hospital as well as provide support to the hospital team caring for the patient. The fellows will also respond to behavioral crises on the medical units and in the Emergency Department to assess for harm to self or others and provide behavioral de-escalation, if necessary.

When not on-call, the fellows will provide:

  • Ongoing bedside therapy to patients in the hospital
  • Aftercare to behavioral emergency patients in the Emergency Department
  • Manage their administrative responsibilities

As well, fellows will be expected to attend medical unit rounds once a week, and sit in on any interdisciplinary meetings. Their after-care responsibilities will include school visits, family sessions, treatment team meetings, and outpatient psychotherapy for 2-3 clients throughout the year. The fellows will be responsible for providing delegated supervision to practicum students throughout the year.

Learning Competencies

The fellows will be working throughout the hospital, Emergency Department, the Outpatient Clinic, and in the community. The fellows will be trained (and show functional knowledge) in the following:

  • Consultation/liaison with medical staff
  • Educating the healthcare team about psychological dimensions of treatment
  • Assessment and brief, bedside treatment of mood, behavioral, anxiety, medication-related and adjustment disorders commonly found in hospitalized pediatric patients 
  • Behavioral management in the hospital setting
  • Treatment of families facing acute and chronic bereavement 
    • Evidence-based short–term treatments including trauma-informed therapy
  • Individual and family therapy
  • Assessment and management of medically unexplained symptoms
  • Supervision and consultation
  • Psychiatric diagnosis from a strength-based/trauma-informed model
  • Comprehensive assessment in suicidal, homicidal, self-injurious behavior, and grave disability presentations
  • Crisis triage, de-escalation, and intervention in a medical setting

On-Call Responsibilities

The fellows will be expected to be on call one weekend a month for NON-URGENT consultation. They do not respond to behavioral crises after hours except in very rare circumstances.

Training Components

  • One hour weekly, didactic seminar which presents a variety of evidence-based and other treatments such as DBT, ABFT, ACT, etc.
  • One hour Inpatient Rounds
  • One hour Outpatient Case Conference
  • Three to four hours of weekly supervision (2 hours minimum of individual supervision)
  • One hour of weekly supervision training

Outpatient Therapy

Fellows will be expected to hold a small caseload (2-3) of clients throughout the year.


While fellows are given increasing levels of responsibility for their patients as they demonstrate competencies, all clinical notes are reviewed and co-signed by supervisors, and all clinical work is reviewed and discussed with supervisors throughout the year. Skill levels are demonstrated and assessed through live observation, clinical discussion of case material, case note review and chart audits, and observation by the supervisor of videotaped therapy sessions. Supervision of evaluations as well as psychotherapy, consultation-liaison and emergency work is provided by professional staff through many modalities including modeling, collaborative sessions, videotape review, individual and group discussion.

Financial Support

Fellows received an annual salary of $38,000 in 2014. Salaries for the 2015 training year will be finalized at a later date, although an increase is expected. Fellows are provided with health insurance for themselves and their family members, a generous program of dental insurance and vision coverage, 20 vacation days, and education leave for professional presentations; pre-licensure training; or trainings that will directly enhance clinical delivery during the training year.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The Psychology Fellowship complies fully with the Non-Discrimination/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy (E01) of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Applicants are not discriminated against based on age, physical disability, ancestry, national origin, race, color, religious creed, sexual preference, veteran status, etc. We comply with all applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination in all employment decisions, and with all applicable federal and state ADA laws.

To Apply

Please mail hard copies of the following materials:

  • Your VITA/Resume
  • An autobiographical letter describing your background, interests, and reasons for applying to our Fellowship.
  • Graduate school transcript
  • (If available) A copy of last year’s APPIC match application
  • Three letters of recommendation from clinical supervisors (can be sent by email from your supervisors directly)

Please send your materials by Feb 28th, 2015 to:

Ms. Jacquelyn Hernandez
Training Administrative Assistant
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
747 52 Street
Oakland, CA. 94609


We welcome applications from qualified psychology graduate students in clinical, counseling or school psychology programs. We have Spanish-speaking clinical staff and we see many Spanish-speaking patients. Applicants with Spanish or other language skills and/or a background/commitment to working with low-income and minority patients are especially welcome to apply.

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