Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship

divider graphic

Welcome to MAHEC's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship!

We are committed to improving mental health services for children and families in Western North Carolina (WNC). We do this through the training of competent, compassionate providers and help them achieve excellence within the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.

We are excited to train the next generation of physicians in child and adolescent psychiatry. Our fellowship focuses on early identification and prevention of mental illness, utilization of evidence-based treatments, and integration of care between colleagues in other disciplines. We do this with understanding of the developmental theories, social systems, and ethical principles underlying clinical practice and research. Our goal is to provide opportunities, support, and resources to ensure our fellows can excel in child and adolescent psychiatry after graduation in all settings.

We are looking for applicants who share our passion for serving WNC by providing therapy and behavioral services to children and adolescents, as well as supporting and guiding their family and caregivers. Our diverse and highly qualified faculty provide fellows with opportunities to treat patients from a variety of populations in many different settings.

We invite you to explore our program, contact us with any questions, and submit your application for consideration.


John Nicholls, MD, JD John Nicholls, MD, JD
Medical Director, Psychiatry
Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship


Ben Vockery Ben Vockery
Program Administrator

Symone Simmons Symone Simmons
Program Coordinator

Values Statement

  • Excellence: We deliver quality activities and services that our customers and partners value.
  • Diversity: We promote equity and inclusivity.
  • Integrity: We act with fairness, transparency, and the highest level of ethics.
  • Collaboration: We value partnerships and support interprofessional approaches.
  • Improvement: We continuously innovate and improve our work.

Foundational Principles

  • Civility: We treat all people with respect and kindness, all the time.
  • Inclusivity: We value the contribution of people different than ourselves and the merits of an organization that reflects differences in our teams and our community.
  • Empowerment: We value engagement, commitment, and ownership of MAHEC’s mission, work, and budget.

Our Commitment

MAHEC is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive place to work, learn, and receive care. We actively recruit physicians, staff, and students from underrepresented minorities, and we strive to implement policies and procedures that value and support diverse backgrounds and experiences. MAHEC does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, spiritual practice, geography, disability, or age.

The didactic curriculum provides an overview of the psychiatric field of knowledge and the many other topic areas that affect the delivery of psychiatric care. This includes the fundamentals of the child and adolescent psychiatric interview along with utilization of different models of formulation. Development will also be covered, including the multiple facets of normal and abnormal development. For each psychiatric disorder, we will cover the diagnostic criteria, clinical presentation, pathophysiology, epidemiology, natural course, preventive approaches, psychopharmacology, and non-pharmacologic treatments of the disorder. Fellows are taught and exposed to a wide range of therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy, supportive psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, motivational interviewing, parent-child interaction therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

Special attention will be paid to the many and varied systems that child psychiatrists work within, and how these influence mental health. These include the school, healthcare, legal, economic, political, and sociocultural systems. We will cover the foundations of ethical and professional practice including how to be active in the different professional organizations that help to shape and guide our field. Practicing as a physician requires not only the skills to be a good clinician, but also the ability to navigate the business and administrative sides of medicine.

We also recognize that the healing role of a child psychiatrist extends beyond direct clinical work, which is why we have a project-based advocacy curriculum that extends throughout both years of fellowship.

To help fellows be successful in obtaining their board certification, a portion of didactics will be devoted to understanding the Child Psychiatry Board exam. Fellows will also participate in an ongoing journal club to help keep up with and critically evaluate the developing knowledge base of child and adolescent psychiatry.

Fellows are expected to participate in research projects beginning in their first year, with the results of that work submitted for publication or presented in poster sessions. Financial support is available to travel for research-related activities. Fellows also participate in quality improvement projects and study systems of care throughout their training.



Our outpatient psychiatry clinic, the Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness, is housed at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC along with branch campuses of the UNC School of Medicine and a Master of Public Health program jointly conferred by UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC Asheville.

Our fellowship program is located on the same campus with our dental, family medicine, transitional year, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pharmacy, psychiatry, and surgery residencies, which provides an optimal environment for cross-fertilization of ideas and collaboration. Additionally, fellows will have the opportunity to participate in the education of fellow learners—including residents from different programs and medical students.



Applicants must have satisfactorily completed a Psychiatry residency program or sufficient residency training to meet residency graduation requirements upon completing the first year of fellowship, have DEA certification, and be eligible to obtain a license to practice medicine in North Carolina through the North Carolina Medical Board. Additionally, applicants will be required to submit:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • One should be from a residency program director
    • Two should be from psychiatrists, including at least one child psychiatrist
  • Medical school transcripts
  • Current licensure information

divider graphic
arrow-up icon