Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship

About the Program

Our program in Iowa first began in 1948 as a small, 20-bed residential service on the University of Iowa health sciences campus for "educable" children with disabilities. From there, the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics has grown to Iowa's premier health resource for people with disabilities of all ages and their families.

Last year, almost 10,000 outpatient visits were made in our interdisciplinary outpatient clinics, where we evaluate and treat patients with autism, myelodysplasia, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Prader Willi Syndrome, feeding disorders, brain injury, developmental delay, learning disorders, ADHD, and behavior problems.

Services are provided through the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), which is a nationally respected stand-alone facility on the campus of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. As an interdisciplinary center of excellence, it integrates a broad range of clinical services in one location, including developmental and behavioral pediatrics, psychology and neuropsychology, speech-language pathology, occupational and physical therapy, social work, education, audiology, and nursing, and thus provides an environment for exceptional patient care, education, and research.

CDD is recognized as Iowa's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), which works to ensure that all Iowans with disabilities have the opportunities, services, and supports they need to be independent and productive members of their home communities.

The division offers a three-year fellowship program that consists of clinical, research, and community-based experiences. Fellows are involved in supervised research and clinical activities which include a dedicated DBP continuity clinic throughout the three-year program, and rotations in pediatric psychology, child neurology, child and adolescent psychiatry, medical genetics, orthopedics, physical and occupational therapy, speech language therapy, behavior therapy, as well as other programs.

For one year of the fellowship, trainees participate in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, which provides outstanding interdisciplinary training in neurodevelopmental disabilities, policy and advocacy, and community living.

Fellows will be afforded up to 24 months for dedicated research, mentored by NIH-funded DBP and psychology faculty who are passionate about clinical research and training. Research in the division includes a focus on prevention of developmental and behavioral problems in early childhood by examining early parent-child attachment patterns and how a parent's brain responds to seeing and hearing their infant during functional brain scanning.

Another goal is to better understand how genetics and the social environment intersect to predict developmental outcomes in childhood. The Division has been a national leader in research using applied behavior analysis to treat severe and challenging behavior. Recent studies have demonstrated practical strategies for using telehealth to expand access to behavioral treatment for children in rural and underserved areas.

How to Apply

Dr. McBrien with patientOur program participates in the NRMP Subspecialty Matching Service, as part of the Pediatric Specialties Fall Match (PSFM).  Please visit the  NRMP PSFM website for information about current fellowship application and match dates.  Because fellowship funding is primarily derived from federal training grants, we preferentially consider applications from U.S. citizens or green card holders.  Foreign medical graduates who have an ECFMG certificate may also apply.

Application materials needed:

  • Completed application on ERAS
  • Résumé/Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • Four letters of recommendation including:
    • Medical School Dean’s letter (same as required for residency)
    • Pediatric Residency Director
    • Two additional faculty (or other appropriate individuals of your choice)
    • USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Examination Scores
  • Copy of ECFMG Certificate (applies to international medical graduates only)
  • Passport-style photograph (optional)

Contact us

Direct program-related questions and return applications to one of the following.

Deborah Lin-Dyken, portrait

Deborah Lin-Dyken, MD

DBP Fellowship Program Director
Center for Disabilities and Development
100 Hawkins Drive,  Room 213A CDD
Iowa City, IA 52242-1011
Tel: 1-319-356-7044
Fax: 319-467-5544

Lane Strathearn Photo

Lane Strathearn, MBBS FRACP PhD

DBP Fellowship Co-Director and Research Director
Center for Disabilities and Development
100 Hawkins Drive, 213 F CDD
Iowa City, IA 52242-1011
Tel: 1-319-356-7044
Fax: 319-467-5544

Nicole Fetters, portrait

Nicole Fetters

DBP Fellowship Coordinator
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242
Tel: 1-319-356-3685

Our People

Our division includes 14 dedicated, compassionate faculty members, including 6 developmental and behavioral pediatricians, 8 psychologists, and 2 nurse practitioners. 

At Iowa, you will be exposed to some of the best clinicians, researchers and teachers in our profession. Through formal mentoring programs as well as an open-door philosophy, we provide high-powered opportunities for you to learn career-long lessons from these dedicated professionals.

Learn more about our Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Faculty Members.