What does a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician do? 
Developmental-Behavioral pediatricians have a range of a career options within academics/research, education, and clinical practice. Often in multidisciplinary settings involving close collaboration with other professional disciplines, we evaluate, treat and manage infants, children, and adolescents with a wide range of developmental and behavioral concerns and conditions, as well as physical complaints that are best addressed via a biobehavioral approach. We also evaluate and monitor progress in children at risk for developmental and behavioral disorders on the basis of biological and social factors. We research the causes and treatments of these conditions and strive to promote an understanding of the social, educational, and cultural influences on children. Through training and continuing medical education, we help to shape the work of general pediatricians and other pediatric subspecialists to provide collaborative community leadership, and to inform public policy to promote the optimal development and behavioral health of all children.

What are the career opportunities?
Career opportunities abound for Developmental-Behavioral pediatricians. This is a young sub-specialty, with a great demand for our services. There is increasing demand for Developmental-Behavioral pediatricians in academic settings, where we conduct important research, provide essential components of pediatric residency training and deliver clinical care to patients and their families. The increasing identification of behavioral and developmental disorders has led to high demand for properly trained developmental-behavioral pediatricians. There are varied opportunities in academic settings, in hospital-based or large multi-specialty clinic programs, and in community practice.

What Board, if any, certifies a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
Developmental-Behavioral pediatricians receive certification through the Sub-Board of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics administered by the American Board of Pediatrics. Board certification in General Pediatrics is required prior to Sub-Board Certification.

What is the lifestyle of a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
The workload of developmental-behavioral pediatrics can support a healthy balance of professional satisfaction and a fulfilling personal life. The majority of Developmental-Behavioral pediatricians work at least 40 hours per week, but there are many options. There are opportunities to work full-time or part-time, in academic or community practice settings and in solo or group practice.

Call responsibilities are variable based on the size and scope of the practice; whether it is an academic or non-academic institution; and the role of fellows (if any) within the institution. Weekend and evening on-call responsibilities are a component of most positions, but typically involve home-call and is usually not excessive. Developmental-Behavioral pediatrics is predominantly an outpatient specialty with few inpatient duties.

What is the compensation of a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
Compensation is within mid-range of the pediatric subspecialists. The compensation allows a comfortable lifestyle.

How do I become a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
To become a Developmental-Behavioral pediatrician, you must complete a three year fellowship after your pediatric or medicine-pediatric residency. Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship programs participate in the a common application through ERAS and NRMP Pediatric Specialties Fall match.

Where do I find out about available programs?
Information about Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellowship programs is available through Freida and through the ACGME.

When do I apply?
Candidates should begin the search process as soon as they have identified Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics as their career choice. Programs can be researched as described above, and can be contacted for information. The match process begins at the beginning of the third year of pediatric residency, with applications completed and any necessary interviews taking place in that summer and fall. For more details, check out this link.

Why should I choose to become a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
A career in Developmental-Behavioral pediatrics can provide you with diagnostic challenges, collaborative research opportunities, long-term connections with the children and families you serve, and an opportunity to provide ongoing treatment for their conditions. The academic, research, and training career options are highly varied; qualified individuals will find they have a wide range of options including highly competitive and exciting academic settings. The training prepares individuals to assume leadership roles in public health, policy, and advocacy areas as well. If helping children with developmental and behavioral concerns to overcome their problems and achieve their fullest potential is your idea of a gratifying professional life, you should strongly consider Developmental-Behavioral pediatrics.

For more information regarding Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, visit these websites:

AAP Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Subspecialty Journal:
Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (JDBP)

Proposed Electives for a Resident Entering Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
Below is a list of suggested (not mandatory) rotations that a resident could consider if they are planning to apply in this particular subspecialty. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive curriculum, but rather a list to create a program that fits a resident's individual needs.

  • DBP elective (in addition to required block rotation which may include rotations such as mylodysplasia, muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular, Fragile X, Downs or other sub-sub specialty clinics)
  • Child psychiatry
  • Child neurology
  • Genetics
  • Pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Community based primary care rotation
  • Experience with allied professionals such as psychologists, speech and language pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists, medical social workers.  In addition advocacy experiences and experience with community based agencies serving children and families would be worthwhile as would experiences in day treatment centers for children with special health care needs.

1) Who qualifies to become a DBP fellow? As of 2021, there are 44 DPB fellowship training programs accredited by the ACGME in the USA. These fellows are all physicians already board certified or board eligible in pediatrics at the time of entry into fellowship training. Each year about 35 to 40 fellows complete their DBP fellowship education and qualify to sit for boards in DBP.

2) How long does it take to train in DBP? The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) requires 3 years of fellowship education for every ABP certified pediatric subspecialty, including DBP. Only individuals with up to date board certification in Pediatrics from the ABP, who have successfully completed 3 years of training in an ACGME accredited DBP fellowship training program can sit for DBP boards.

3) Are there jobs available in DBP once fellowship is completed? Yes! Currently there are many more jobs recruiting DBPs than there are DBPs to fill those jobs. Positions in both academic and more clinical settings are in abundance in the field.