Child and Adolescent Fellowship

Cecilia De Vargas

Program Director's Welcome

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, sponsored by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry El Paso, counts with a privileged location at the US/Mexico border embracing a vast, culturally diverse, underserved population of children and families in tremendous need of psychiatric attention and care. We emphasize providing mental health care using a cultural and language-relevant approach.

The program has the ability to educate six fellows during the two years of training overseen by board certified child and adolescent psychiatrists. Other faculty that participate in the training are general psychiatrists, psychologists, and research professionals. The division faculty participate in continuous innovation and improvement to achieve excellence for the program.

Fellows are trained in all areas required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We follow the core competencies spectrum and the milestones evaluation system to ensure that by the completion of the training, fellows are experts in the science and art of working with children, adolescents and families with mental health needs and are ready to practice independently. A trauma informed care and practice model is implemented throughout the training which focuses on collaborative, safe, compassionate, stigma-free delivery of services to a diverse population.

Rotations include inpatient and outpatient psychiatry at the El Paso Psychiatric Center and the El Paso Child Guidance Center respectively, Consultation Liaison at the El Paso Children’s Hospital, and First Psychotic Episode Program at Emergence Health Network. There are specific rotations with unique populations at the Juvenile Justice Center, Ysleta Independent School District, Aliviane, Ysleta Del Sur Tigua Indian Reservation and the Hospitals of Providence. The new Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN), and the Texas Child Health Access through Telemedicine (TCHATT), funded by the state of Texas Senate Bill 11 are outstanding and very much needed rotations recently added to the Fellowship.

The program utilizes a biopsychosocial model with a comprehensive curriculum that includes child development, psychopathology, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy with emphasis on inclusion of the families, research, and research translation/dissemination projects.

Applications are accepted through the ERAS system here ( Interviews can be face to face or virtual, according to the specific circumstances.

Our fellows are highly encouraged to get involved in scholarly activities. They have published papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as presented at national and international conferences. The fellows are encouraged and are provided opportunity to participate in several ongoing research projects with faculty mentors.

Wellness and Resilience have taken on a whole new meaning for the TTUHSC-EP Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at a time of great uncertainty and global confusion when the COVID-19 Pandemic has forced the world to a standstill. We welcome the new fellows and invite them to join us to an extraordinary journey of learning while taking good care of ourselves and the children, adolescents and families we serve. Fun outings, mindfulness relaxation, yoga, drumming at the Ysleta del Sur Tigua Indian Reservation and birthday celebrations, are some of the activities that help us keep our spirits high while staying focused on the University’s vision and mission.