Nationwide Children’s Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant Postgraduate Training Program


Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant Postgraduate Training Program

700 Children’s Dr.
Columbus, OH 43205

Phone: (614) 722-2454
Fax: (614) 722-4966


Class Size: 2
Start Date: March
Length of Program: 12 months
Credentials Awarded: Certificate of completion


Anna Kerlek, M.D.
Program Director
Phone: (614) 722-6328


Nationwide Children’s Hospital is offering a new, 12-month Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant Postgraduate Program. The program is the first of its kind in the country and has been approved for provisional membership with the Association of Postgraduate Physician Assistant Programs (APPAP).

During the program trainees participate in didactics and supervised clinical experiences in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Trainees are exposed to the entire continuum of mental illness and behavioral health care. Special emphasis is given to developing competency in psychiatric evaluation, medication management, inpatient psychiatric consultation, crisis intervention, outpatient psychotherapy, and community behavioral health.

The program is designed to train Physician Assistants to deliver comprehensive, team-based care for children and adolescents with mental health disorders.


Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Behavioral Health Services is one of the largest pediatric behavioral health service lines in the United States, integrating psychiatry, psychology, community mental health and related developmental pediatric behavioral health services. The service line has 22 child/adolescent psychiatrists, 5 developmental-behavioral pediatricians, 9 advanced practice nurses, 55 psychologists, and 255 clinical social workers/professional counselors, as well as post-doctoral and graduate students, psychometricians, nurses, medical assistants, and operations staff. NCH Behavioral Health provides innovative clinical services across the continuum of care, including a state-of-the-art, 16 bed inpatient unit which opened in December 2014, a crisis stabilization observation unit, behavioral health evaluation in the emergency department, inpatient and outpatient consult-liaison services, intensive outpatient and partial hospital programs, community-based services and office-based outpatient services.


The postgraduate program encompasses two major aspects of training; 13, four-week rotation blocks in conjunction with formal weekly didactics. Direct and indirect supervision will be provided throughout the program to prepare trainees to obtain prescriptive authority.

Clinical Rotations

Trainees will see a wide variety of normal development, as well as psychopathology, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Clinical rotations may include:

  • Inpatient
    • 16-bed Inpatient Unit
    • Youth Crisis Stabilization Unit
    • Consultation-Liaison Service
  • Outpatient
    • Autism/Developmental Disabilities
    • Center for Family Safety and Healing
    • Forensics
    • Substance Abuse
    • School Consultation
    • Neurology
    • Primary Care
    • Other specialty clinics


Trainees participate in didactics alongside the first and second year child and adolescent residents. This assembly of practitioners from different educational backgrounds and varying experience levels allows for enriched educational experiences for all involved.

  • Interviewing
  • Normal Development & Neuroscience
  • Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
  • Evidence Based Treatment
  • Pediatric Psychopharmacology
  • Family Therapy
  • Forensics
  • Pediatric Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
  • Religion & Ethics
  • School Consultation
  • Social Welfare
  • Special Topics in Psychiatry
  • Readiness to Practice


Salary: Trainees will receive a stipend of $60,000 for the 12-month program.

Benefits: Trainees in graduate medical education programs sponsored by Nationwide Children’s are employees of the hospital and as such are eligible to receive full benefits.

For more information on salary and benefits, including vacations, holidays, certifications and conference funding, visit


Required Qualifications:

  1. Master of Physician Assistant Studies from an accredited university
  2. Active certification by National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
  3. Active Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA) licensure
  4. Commitment to practice at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for one year following training

Required Application Materials:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Current resume
  3. One page typewritten narrative stating why you are interested in becoming a Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Physician Assistant
  4. PA Program transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  5. Three current professional letters of recommendation – sent directly from references
  6. Official copy of NCCPA scores (if certified) – sent directly from NCCPA
    Those who have not taken the certification exam prior to the application deadline should include their anticipated test date on the application form.

Application Timeline:

December – All Application Materials Due
January – Interviews
March – Program Start

Application materials must be submitted, preferably via email, to the program director, Dr. Anna Kerlek ( by December 1st. Application materials may also be submitted by mail:

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Attn: Dr. Anna Kerlek
700 Children’s Drive
3rd Floor, Timken Hall
Columbus, OH 43205

The Admissions Committee will review completed applications and select candidates to be invited for in-person interviews. All candidates will be notified if they were selected to interview by the end of January.

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