Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Program - Overview

Program Director: Dr. Malia Beckwith

Program Coordinator: Mona Matta

The Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship Program at UMDNJ-RWJMS was initially offered in the older unaccredited version from 1981 to 2005. As of July 1, 2009, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited this program as a three-year fellowship training program in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics. The program is served by an experienced faculty with clinical, research and scholarly accomplishments. The fellow is expected to be trained to serve as an expert consultant to pediatricians in the clinical diagnosis and management of all developmental behavioral conditions commonly seen in children, as well as acquire the skills to teach trainees and engage in advocacy. In keeping with the ACGME requirements, research is a required component of the fellowship with the expectation that the fellow will publish a paper or do a poster presentation at the end of the training program.

Goals and Objectives:

  • To train fellows to provide patient care that is compassionate and effective for children with developmental/behavioral problems.  The fellow will be taught to diagnose and manage children with developmental/behavioral issues resulting from chronic illnesses, cognitive/adaptive disabilities, language and learning disorders, motor disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, externalizing behavioral conditions, internalizing behavioral conditions, substance use/abuse, child abuse and neglect, somatoform disorders and pain, sleep problems, feeding/eating problems, elimination disorders, atypical behaviors, and behaviors related to sexuality.
  • To help fellows acquire sound medical knowledge of the development of the central nervous system, the biological mechanisms of development and behavior and family and societal factors influencing development and behavior.  The fellow will learn about normal milestones, normal behavioral patterns, the structure and functional diversity as well as socioeconomic diversities of various families, methods of screening children’s development and behavior as well as methods of diagnostic assessment, and specific treatments and interventions including medications, behavioral therapies, counseling and technological interventions. 
  • To teach fellows to critically review scientific evidence related to the various developmental behavioral conditions and to learn to use this knowledge for ongoing learning and for improving patient care.
  • To educate fellows about the systems of healthcare and resources in the community available to children and families with developmental/behavioral concerns, learn about the costs of evaluations and intervention, learn to evaluate the quality of patient care and learn to identify insufficiencies in healthcare delivery and ways of improving the inefficiencies.
  • To teach fellows compassion, integrity and respect for others, to demonstrate sensitivity towards various diverse cultures and to be accountable to patients, society and the profession. 
  • To train fellows in methods of effective interpersonal communication with patients and colleagues and other providers involved in the care of children with developmental/behavioral concerns.