Program Overview 

The Psychology Doctoral Internship Program in Health Service Psychology provides clinical, assessment, and research training to prepare doctoral students for careers as child or pediatric psychologists. We offer a developmental-based approach to training that emphasizes a fit between an intern’s experience and collaborative goals identified by the supervisor and intern. Given the integration of our program into a medical setting, we provide ample opportunity for assessing and treating youth and their families from a biopsychosocial perspective, with a strong emphasis on the integration of our patients’ cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic identities.

SCHC’s internship is an APPIC member program (Number: 2565). SCHC’s internship is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). 


Our Residents

Sherrikah L. Hayes, MA, EdS, PsyM

Rutgers University - PsyD in School Psychology, New Brunswick, NJ

Clinical and Research Interests:

  • Supporting diverse, low socioeconomic status, and disenfranchised youth with a range of psychopathologies through a variety of treatment modalities
  • Utilizing neurodiagnostic tools to assist in the development of individualized interventions in pediatric settings
  • Providing consultation and intervention to improve the lives of children and their families across school, clinical, and community settings

Leilani Bell, MS, MEd, NCC

Temple University - PhD in School Psychology, Philadelphia, PA

Clinical and Research Interests:

  • Mental health and coping skills of Black adolescents
  • Integrated behavioral health in pediatric settings
  • Access to mental health resources for minoritized populations

2024 - 2025 Major Rotations

Integrated Behavioral Health Track

(APPIC Number: 256511)

  • Number of Intern Positions: 1
  • The Integrated Behavioral Health track can also be a minor rotation.

Center for the Urban Child (CUC) -  Students in the primary care rotation will spend 2-3 days a week within the Center for the Urban Child. This center is housed on campus adjacent to the main hospital and is a pediatric primary care clinic aimed at providing general pediatric care to children from birth to age 21. This clinic provides preventative health and sick visits to children and families within the local community and broader neighborhoods within North Philadelphia. In addition to primary medical care, the CUC also works with families to ensure all needs and social determinants of health are met, including housing, food, and legal resources. Interns will collaborate with primary care providers, nursing staff, medical assistants, social workers, community health workers, and residents to help families presenting with a variety of psychosocial needs. Common consult reasons within the CUC include mood, anxiety, behavioral concerns, school concerns, ADHD referrals, adjustment to illness, and navigation of resources.

Interns on the Integrated Behavioral Health Track may also have opportunities to provide brief consultation, assessment, and intervention in specialty clinics such as Gastroenterology and Endocrinology. 

Neurodevelopmental Assessment Track

(APPIC Number: 256512)

  • Number of Intern Positions: 1

Interns will have the opportunity to provide developmental assessments to children through both SCHC referrals and referrals from our partnership with Elywn – an early intervention agency within Philadelphia. Referral questions often focus on diagnosis and rule out developmental delays and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Trainees will have the opportunity to partner with staff psychologists to administer and code the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2 (ADOS-2) and provide administration and scoring of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development – 4. Trainees will also have opportunities to write comprehensive reports, integrating information from parent reports, clinical interviews, and assessment observations with feedback provided by supervisors. Opportunities may arise to provide feedback and information to schools and other appropriate agencies on reports and assessment findings.

Center for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs. Interns will provide consultation services within this primary care clinic as part of their rotation. This clinic focuses on providing general and follow-up care for children presenting with complex medical needs. Providers may work with families to arrange medical equipment needs, home care, daily living assistance, and specialty care visits. The Special Needs clinic also provides follow-up care for infants and their families after discharge from the NICU. These visits include developmental screenings and postpartum depression screenings for parents. Common consult reasons within the Special Needs clinic include school concerns, behavioral concerns (e.g., toileting, feeding, etc.), adherence to medical recommendations, coping with chronic medical illness, maternal depression, and concerns for developmental delays.

Interns on the Neurodevelopmental Assessment track will also have the opportunity to participate in the NICU follow-up clinic, providing brief developmental assessments of infants and toddlers using the Bayley-4 screeners and assessments.

Application Instructions

Applications are welcome from students currently enrolled in APA Accredited Clinical, School, or Counseling Psychology Doctoral Programs. Applicants must complete all coursework, including a proposal of their dissertation, and completion of comprehensive examinations, prior to beginning the internship. Currently, we have no minimum hour requirement for direct patient experience or assessment completed by applicants; however, prior assessment experience is recommended. Eligible applicants must have previous practicum experience with a child or adolescent population.

Materials Needed

Applicants are required to submit materials through the AAPI Online portal available through Additionally, the following materials are required for a complete application:

  1. A cover letter describing your interests, training goals, and previous experiences and how they fit into the curriculum and mission at SCHC.
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Full AAPI application (including essays, hours, and DCT confirmation)
  4. Graduate Transcripts
  5. Three letters of recommendation, including two from supervisors familiar with your direct clinical work.
  6. A de-identified writing sample. This can be a report, treatment plan, or other relevant document reflective of clinical practice.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by all staff psychologists currently involved in supervising interns. We will consider applicants who have a solid background in clinical work and application of scientific knowledge based on their graduate program. Ideal applicants will have experience with assessment, intervention, research, and the ability to successfully collaborate and communicate within an interdisciplinary setting. Applicants will be offered interviews based on a determination of goodness-of-fit between training goals, experience, and the goals of SCHC’s psychology internship.


Given the current safety measures due to COVID-19, all interviews will be virtual. Requests for onsite interviews may be accommodated on a case-by-case basis. The interview day will consist of meetings with supervising psychologists and other ancillary staff, a virtual tour of SCHC, an information session with the training director, and opportunities to meet with current trainees at SCHC.

Additional Requirements

All applicants who match with SCHC are required to undergo and adhere to onboarding policies required for all Tower Health and SCHC employees. Requirements include the following:

  • All employees are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in addition to all regulatory vaccines (e.g., MMR, hepatitis B, flu vaccine, etc.) prior to their start date. This follows Tower Health policy, as well as mandates instituted by the City of Philadelphia. Exceptions are provided on a case-by-case basis.
  • All employees are subjected to background checks and drug testing prior to their start date.  Background checks may include fingerprinting and obtaining clearances through ChildLine.

Contact Information

Nicole Fleischer, PsyD - Training Director

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children 
160 E Erie Ave 
Philadelphia, PA 19134

Phone: 215-427-4376