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
  • Fellowship Alumni

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, Program Director:  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:  
Post Graduate Year 4: $71,550 minimum
Post Graduate Year 5: $73,150 minimum
Post Graduate Year 6: $74,900 minimum
Post Graduate Year 7+: Compensation will be at the discretion of each division
Benefits Include: Health and dental insurance, 14 days paid vacation+ 6 protected sick days, yearly educational stipend, monthly meal stipend, and 401(k) matching up to 3%

Class of 2023

Jennifer Han, MD

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Medical School: University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine

Internship:  Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Residency: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Han has a strong interest in working with patients living with developmental disabilities particularly autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability and cerebral palsy. She is interested in studying and improving the process of transitioning to adult healthcare and community integration for our children with special needs. She hopes through her Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellowship training to become a better advocate for her patients and their families.

Class of 2022

Joshua Kallman, MD

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Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Paul L Foster School of Medicine, Class of 2016.

Residency: Emory University School of Medicine Pediatrics Residency Training Program, Atlanta, Georgia, Class of 2019.

Dr. Kallman has a strong interest in working with patients from under-served areas and in particular is hoping to identify effective ways in which schools and communities can implement trauma-informed care for children that have been exposed to trauma or other adverse childhood events.  He is interested in exploring the complex developmental and behavioral needs of immigrant children and children who have been detained at the border.  Other interests include high-risk infant follow up, political advocacy, and education of primary care pediatricians and family practitioners regarding developmental behavioral concerns.

Class of 2021

Karen Koser, MD

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Medical School: SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Brooklyn, NY

Internship: NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY

Residency: NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY

Dr. Koser has five years of experience as a General Pediatrician. During her time working as a pediatrician, Dr. Koser cared for many patients who had developmental delays, learning difficulties, Autism, and behavioral problems. She witnessed first-hand the great need for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians in the community. She wished she had the training to care for her special needs patients. This motivated her to pursue fellowship training in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Koser is interested in integrating Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics into primary care so that at-risk children may be identified and provided with crucial interventions as early as possible.

Sairam Kumar, MD

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Medical School: Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, India 

Internship: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 

Residency: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 

Dr. Kumar is a current CA-LEND long-term trainee at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. His research interests involve high-risk infant follow up, early childhood, autism, and neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is passionate about improving system-based practices and healthcare disparities in the community with regards to the treatment and management of developmental-behavioral conditions.

Class of 2020

Dejeunee Ashby, MD


Medical School: Oregon Health & Science University

Internship: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Residency: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Ashby has 4 years of experience as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist for children with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD. Dr. Ashby is also certified in Incredible Years parenting program. Dr. Ashby has a passion to explore health disparities seen within the African American population with autism spectrum disorders in receiving diagnoses and services.

Jennifer Johnson, MD

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Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO

Internship: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Pediatric Residency, Little Rock, AR

Residency: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Pediatric Residency, Little Rock, AR

Dr. Johnson is a current CA-LEND long term trainee at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and is certified in the Incredible Years parenting program. She works in multiple interdisciplinary settings at CHLA's Boone Fetter Clininc and within the DMH-funded UCEDD clinic.

Class of 2019

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Kelly Schifsky, DO

Current institution(s): Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Current title(s): Attending Physician

Contact email:


Class of 2018

Tamar Nazerian Chorbadjian, DO, MPH

Current institution(s): Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park

Current title(s): Director of the High Risk Infant Follow-Up Clinic

Kristina Galura, MD

Current institution(s): Kaiser Permanente

Current title(s): Attending Physician


Class of 2017


Demvihin Ihyembe, MD

Current institution(s): University of Oklahoma Child Study Center 

Current title(s): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Contact email:


Class of 2016


Thusa Sabapathy, MD

Current Institution(s): Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of California Irvine

Current title(s): Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician


Class of 2014


Peter Chung, MD

Current institution(s): Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of California Irvine

Current title(s): Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics

Contact email:



Joseph Spitzer, MD

Current Institution(s): Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Baldwin Park, Department of Pediatrics

Current title(s): Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician


Class of 2013


Carolina Pena-Ricardo, MD, FAAP

Current Institution(s): Kaiser Permanente Southern California, West Los Angeles, Department of Pediatrics

Current title(s): Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician


Class of 2011


Veronica Meneses

Current institution(s): Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Current title(s): Assistant Professor; DBP Residency Training Director

Contact email: