Development of a Pediatric Psychology Practicum for Doctoral Trainees in the Context of Outpatient Pediatric Gastroenterology

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Abstract

This article demonstrates how the development of a practicum in pediatric psychology in a multidisciplinary clinic provides rich opportunities for doctoral trainees. The process of partnering with a pediatric gastroenterology clinic with limited behavioral health services and developing a practicum that met both clinic needs and trainee goals is described. Initial data assessing utilization, acceptability, and training effectiveness are presented. Medical providers (N = 11) were asked to complete a brief survey to assess their experience with the trainees; graduates of the training clinic (N = 3) were asked to retrospectively rate competencies before and after the training practicum. Preliminary data suggest that pediatric psychology services were well utilized and providers reported high levels of acceptability and satisfaction. Graduates of the training practicum reported growth in each competency. This practicum evolved into a tiered 2-year practicum experience that met core competencies in pediatric psychology across multiple domains. Lessons learned are reviewed in order to guide other graduate programs wishing to develop similar pediatric psychology practicum for advanced doctoral students with interests in pediatric psychology.

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