President's Message

Submitted by Nathan Blum, MD

SDBP is involved in many exciting activities.  We have appointed the complex ADHD guideline writing committee that will be led by William Barbaresi, M.D. The Committee includes an interprofessional group of SDBP members as well as a representative from the American Psychological Association and a parent from Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). Recent efforts to increase psychology and advanced practice nurse membership have resulted in a 14% increase in membership among these groups over the past year.  Submissions to JDBP are up 20% and thanks to the ongoing efforts of Sue Berger, Ph.D. and Alan Mendelsohn, M.D. developmental-behavioral pediatrics research and workshops were well represented at the recent Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.

SDBP is increasingly recognized as a source for expertise on the developmental and behavioral health of children. We are collaborating with 5 child health societies on a report on the Economic Impact of Pediatric Behavioral Health Disorders on Healthcare Costs. Dr. Terry Stancin and I recently represented SDBP at an American Psychological Association sponsored meeting on integrated behavioral health in primary care, and multiple SDBP members attended an American Board of Pediatrics sponsored conference on training pediatric residents on behavioral and emotional health.

Yet, despite the increasing recognition of SDBP, the Board is acutely aware of challenges for SDBP and the field.  I wrote about some of the challenges related to SDBP's organizational structure in my last Newsletter column.  Additional challenges include financing the increasing activities of SDBP,  lack of growth in the number of board certified DBPs and individuals seeking fellowship training in DBP, insufficient accredited doctoral internship positions for child clinical psychology, poor access to DBP clinical services, and increasing productivity demands that threaten scholarly activity in the field.  Further, although improving education in psychosocial aspects or pediatric care was central to the justification for board certification in DBP, a recent paper (Howitz et al. Academic Pediatrics 2015:15:613-620) suggests only small improvements in pediatricians confidence in identifying mental health problems and little change in training to manage these problems over the past 10 years.

As a Board we are actively engaged in discussions about what SDBP can do to address some of these issues and we welcome input from our Committees, SIGs, and members as SDBP seeks to continue to nurture a vibrant and interprofessional field dedicated to the developmental and behavioral health of children and their families.