Education Initiatives in Developmental Paediatrics

Fellowship in Developmental Paediatrics

The two-year fellowship in Developmental Paediatrics was the first securely funded program in this subspecialty area of Paediatrics in Canada, and has been in existence since 1985. It is based in the multidisciplinary environment of the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre, both academic health science centres of the Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto.

The objective of the fellowship in Developmental Paediatrics is the training of academic paediatricians with unique in-depth expertise in child development and behaviour, both normal and abnormal, spanning the full age range from the prenatal period to late adolescence. Such expertise enables the trainees to be comfortable with the assessment, formulation and management of the full spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders. These include such diverse conditions as: cerebral palsy, mental retardation, learning disabilities, autism, attention deficit disorders, developmental effects of recurrent or chronic illness, behavioural, psychophysiological and social-emotional problems. Clinical training also emphasizes the longitudinal nature of these problems and the importance of the ongoing relationship between the caregivers and the child and family. Skill sets are developed in support, counselling, and advocacy for children and families, interfacing with other professionals and community resources, and developing an understanding of the relationship between complex medical disorders and child development.

The fellowship program is two years in length, and is usually entered after three or four years of approved paediatric residency training. Prospective applicants to the fellowship must be Canadian citizens or have landed immigrant status. The fellowship is now fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

The fellowship program is designed to provide a diverse training experience, but also allows the trainee to focus attention or develop special expertise in areas of individual interest. SickKids, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre, Surrey Place Centre and the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto provide numerous enriching settings for this to occur. In addition to core placement at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre, the fellow may elect to focus time in areas such as neurology, genetics, adolescent medicine, neonatal follow-up, and child psychiatry.

The second year of training is focused on completion of a research project. Areas of research interest amongst faculty include: autism and pervasive developmental disorders, ADHD, relationships between seizure disorders and learning, neurogenetic syndromes, spasticity management, rehabilitation, community paediatric/developmental network and service delivery models, as well as medical education in developmental paediatrics.

Interested applicants should apply 14-18 months in advance of requested onset of training. For further information regarding the Developmental Paediatrics Fellowship contact Anne Kawamura at:

Subspecialty Residency Training Program

Within the division, there is a strong commitment to education.  Under the leadership of Dr. Anne Kawamura as program director, the fully accredited subspecialty residency program in Developmental Paediatrics is the largest in Canada.  This program received full accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2007. In 2009, Developmental Paediatrics transitioned to a discipline with certification by examination. The objectives of the University of Toronto program are to provide trainees with expertise in diagnosing, managing and supporting children with a wide range of congenital or acquired disorders affecting development and behaviour and understanding their individual trajectories. Many of our graduates have taken up academic positions in Developmental Paediatrics, both nationally and internationally. Interested applicants should contact for additional information on the training program.

There is also a commitment to training paediatric, physiatry, and neurology residents and medical students in applied childhood disability.  Holland Bloorview has recently created a Teaching and Learning Institute with a focus on interdisciplinary education and simulation.