Developmental-Behavioral Fellowship

About the Fellowship

The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Fellowship is a three-year ACGME accredited academic training program funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau DBP Training Program Grant.

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is a unique subspecialty of Pediatrics that focuses on the child’s strengths and challenges within the context of the family using a transactional biopsychosocial perspective. We seek to provide the fellow with the most comprehensive and culturally diverse DBP training program. The overriding goal is to train the next generation of DBP leaders to improve the developmental-behavioral pediatric system of care for a culturally and linguistically diverse population through clinical care, research, teaching and advocacy. The fellow will be well prepared for the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics board examination.

  • Learn More About the Program
  • How to Apply
  • Program Fast Facts
  • Meet Our Fellows

Fellows as Care Providers

To train DBP fellows through an ACGME accredited program in the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of DBP to provide clinical leadership in evidence-based, biopsychosocial care by delivering culturally competent and family centered services in interdisciplinary environments for children with developmental-behavioral problems and their families, especially in Southern California.

  • Fellows will learn clinical skills in a variety of settings including the hospital's outpatient clinics, the Child Development Center, Institute for the Developing Mind, and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Fellows as Scholars

To educate DBP fellows in research, evaluation, and information dissemination skills related to evidence-based practice and research developments in the field, in order to optimize the life course trajectories of children with developmental-behavioral problems and their families through collaborations with the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Net, Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI), CA Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC), and the Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

  • Research fundamentals are taught in structured and interactive didactics with the goal of a first author publication under the supervision of an experienced mentor and presentation at a national meeting.

Fellows as Advocates

To promote systems-change leadership skill development among DBP fellows, to reduce DBP health disparities, especially in California and the Southwest, by delivering technical assistance (TA) for primary health care professionals and by expanding and strengthening advocacy partnerships with the CA MCH Leadership Network and with local, regional, and national Title V and related programs, including those involved in the Combating Autism Act Initiative.

  • Finally, the fellow will acquire administrative experience in developing and running projects in the Developmental-Behavioral program.
  • The fellow will receive Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities certification.

Fellows as Educators

To train DBP fellows in teaching skills by providing health education strategies to promote knowledge of DBP topics in medical, interdisciplinary and continuing education settings among pediatric primary health care professionals, using various modes ranging from collaborative office rounds (COR) to distance learning.

  • The fellow will develop teaching expertise through interactions with attendings as well as pediatric residents, medical students, and trainees from disciplines such as psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, nutrition, social work, and others.

Health Provider Education

To provide medical students, pediatric residents and providers from pediatric primary care and other relevant disciplines with the knowledge and skills to promote systems-change, improve access to care and enhance the quality of life for children with developmental-behavioral problems, especially in Southern California.

  • Fellows will train with other healthcare providers in interdisciplinary clinics such as high risk infant follow up, feeding, early childhood, school age, spina bifida and child abuse team. Subspecialists from genetics, neurology, neonatology, physical medicine, adolescent medicine, psychiatry, and others will provide consultation for the fellow.

For more information about our nationally recognized Children’s Hospital and the DBP field, see the following websites:

USC's Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatrics

For more information regarding our training goals or to discuss the program further please contact:

Dr. Douglas Vanderbilt 
Email or call 323-361-6994

AGME Accredited: Yes
Fellows per year: 2
Application Deadline:
September 1st
Duration: 3 years
Postgraduate Training Required: 3 years
Salary Minimums:
First year fellow: $58,064 minimum
Second year fellow: $60,625 minimum
Third year fellow: $63,126 minimum
Benefits Include: Health and dental insurance, 15 days paid vacation, and generous CME stipend

Class of 2016

Thusa Sabapathy, MD

Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine

Residency: Albany Medical Center, New York

Dr. Sabapathy completed the CA-LEND long term training at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She works in an outpatient DBP clinic at CHLA and participates in interdisciplinary team evaluations for children with concerns for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Dr. Sabapathy has interests in the use of strength based approaches with families of children with developmental disabilities. Her fellowship research project is studying the strengths reported by parents of children with ASD.

Class of 2017

Demvihin Ihyembe, MD

Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine

Residency: Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dr. Ihyembe completed the CA-LEND long term training at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.  She works in an outpatient DBP clinic at CHLA and participates in interdisciplinary team evaluations for children with neurodevelopmental concerns including autism spectrum disorders (ASD).   Dr. Ihyembe in particularly interested in improving care of children with difficulties in the academic setting. Dr. Ihyembe’s fellowship research project involves developing a curriculum to increase the knowledge, perceived self-efficacy, and attitudes of pediatric residents regarding to the IEP process.

Class of 2018

Tamar Nazerian Chorbadjian, DO, MPH

Medical School: Western University – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, CA

Internship: University of New Mexico, Department of Pediatrics

Residency: UCI-CHOC Pediatric Residency

Dr. Chorbadjian is a board-certified Pediatrician who has worked with children with developmental disabilities for over 18 years in a variety of capacities.  She has completed the CA-LEND training program and LEND Leadership program at the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and is a proud member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, and the Armenian American Medical Society.  Her research interests include health care disparities for children with special health care needs, osteopathic medicine and its effects in serving children with Autism, as well as the effect of poverty on children’s health.  Dr. Chorbadjian has done resident education activities at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, UCI-CHOC, and Miller Children’s Hospital of Long Beach.  She strives to be a champion for children with developmental disabilities and their families as she continues to work towards completion of her current fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.

Kristina Galura, MD

Medical School: University of Santo Tomas, Manila Philippines

Residency: Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago IL

Dr. Galura has completed the CA-LEND long term training at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, is certified in the Incredible Years parenting program, and in REACH pediatric psychopharmacology. She works in multiple interdisciplinary settings at CHLA and within the DMH funded UCEDD clinic. Kristina has a passion to help under-served families, and her main interests include behavioral healthcare disparities and understanding cultural implications on adherence to treatment. Her fellowship research project is studying the perspectives of Filipino parents on Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric services.

Class of 2019

Kelly Schifsky, DO

Medical School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Residency: Blank Children's Hospital, Des Moines, IA

Dr. Schifsky has a desire to be an excellent physician who provides the most effective and evidenced-based therapies, treatment, and support for each patient she encounters so that, by working to overcome their obstacle, they are given an opportunity to thrive and make a beautiful impact on the world around them by becoming the unique and wonderful person they were created to be.