UT Pediatric Residents Begin Training at
The Monarch School
Dr. Bryant Shaw, Director of The Monarch Diagnostic Clinic, teaches pediatric residents
Nivedita Thakur, M.D., and David Kagan, M.D. in one of Monarch’s observation rooms
To support The Monarch School in extending its mission to include educating the greater community about people with neurological differences, faculty of The Monarch Diagnostic Clinic and Day School have implemented a training program for advanced-level pediatric residents from University of Texas Medical School – Houston (UTMS-H). This program was developed through collaboration with UTMS-H physicians Laura Ferguson, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Keely Smith, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, in response to a perceived need for increased resident exposure to neurologically-based challenges in early childhood and the impact of these on immediate and long-term functioning. The aim of the program is to provide training opportunities that will support future pediatricians in recognizing unusual or delayed patterns of behavior, social development, and communication abilities in early childhood, and in knowing how to respond in terms of diagnostic considerations, treatment options, referral-making, and follow-up.
“We are incredibly excited about this opportunity,” said Bryant Shaw, Ph.D., Director of The Monarch Diagnostic Clinic. “Years of collaboration with Dr. Ferguson at UT had led us both to conclude that there exists an ever-growing need to provide pediatricians in training with even greater exposure to young children with autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders, and other conditions that tend to affect behavior and development without having clear and observable biological markers.”
This month-long training rotation will allow emerging UT-educated pediatricians to benefit from additional highly specialized training in recognizing subtle delays and differences in the development of executive functions, social relatedness and thinking, and communication skills. Exposure to more assessment methods, treatments, and pro-active psychoeducational support within the Diagnostic Clinic, Day School, and Life Academy settings will give these future pediatricians an added edge in their ability to approach young children with developmental differences in a more experienced and confident way.
The program was launched in December, 2009, and is slated to continue as a regular part of pediatric residency at UTMS-H. Student evaluations of the program are very positive to date, according to Dr. Ferguson, and early indicators suggest that this extraordinary learning opportunity will be a part of the UT pediatrics training program for some time to come.