UA Department of Pediatrics Establishes Arizona’s First Pediatric Developmental Behavioral Fellowship

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics has been approved to establish Arizona’s first Developmental Behavioral Pediatric Fellowship program to train the next generation of developmental behavioral pediatricians.

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics has established Arizona’s first Developmental Behavioral Pediatric Fellowship program to train the next generation of developmental behavioral pediatricians.

The new fellowship was approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in January 2018. The fellowship begins on July 1 and will accept one fellow each year for its three-year program.

Developmental behavioral pediatricians care for children with a range of developmental and behavioral disabilities, such as autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), motor disabilities, language and learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities, sleep disorders, feeding problems, genetic abnormalities, exposure to abuse/neglect, traumatic brain injury and children’s postinfectious autoimmune encephalopathies (CPAE).

“Since 1 in 68 children are currently diagnosed with autism, and approximately 15 percent of U.S. children are affected by a developmental behavioral condition, a great need exists for physicians who care for children with behavioral and developmental disabilities,” said program director Catherine S. Riley, MD, clinical assistant professor in the department’s Division of Genetics and Developmental Pediatrics.

Approximately 100 fellows are trained each year through fellowship programs in the United States.

“Currently, there are more job openings for developmental behavioral pediatricians than fellows being trained,” said Dr. Riley. “There is clearly a need for more developmental behavioral pediatricians and our fellowship program will expand the workforce for our community.”

The program emphasizes a “biobehavioral” approach. “Biobehavioral refers to taking both physiology and behavior into account when evaluating children,” said associate program director Sydney Rice, MD, MSc. “This approach takes the entire child and family into account for diagnosis and treatment.”

The fellowship’s leadership team includes: Dr. Riley, program director; Dr. Rice, associate program director; and Jennifer Andrews, PhD, research director.

“We are so proud of these faculty members who have worked incredibly hard to establish this much-needed fellowship program at the UA, which will help many children with behavioral and developmental disorders,” said Department of Pediatrics Chair Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, who also is director of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center.

For more information about the program, please contact Michelle Goetz at or visit the fellowship webpage:

About the University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics
The UA Department of Pediatrics is dedicated to teaching the next generation of pediatricians, providing outstanding clinical care to children in Tucson and Southern Arizona and conducting groundbreaking research through the UA Steele Children's Research Center. Faculty and pediatric residents provide clinical care to children at Banner Children’s – Diamond Children’s Medical Center and affiliated outpatient clinics throughout Tucson. In addition to providing clinical care, faculty teach medical students through the department’s clerkship program, and pediatric residents through the Pediatric Residency Program, and the Combined Emergency Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program. The department also offers fellowship programs in pediatric endocrinology and pediatric pulmonology medicine. Steele Center researchers advance science through basic science and translational research in areas such as pediatric cancer, type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, pulmonary diseases, developmental disorders and neonatology, to name a few.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs approximately 4,000 people, has approximately 800 faculty members and garners more than $140 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn)