For Health Professionals

Past NDD Residency Graduates Tell Their Stories

Keith Coffman, MD 
NDD graduate 2007

I began my training in neurodevelopmental disabilities in order to care for patients with complex disorders that blur the lines between the fields of neurology and psychiatry. I chose to pursue my training at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh because of institutional strengths in neurology, psychiatry and neuroscience.

I developed my interests within these fields during my training through unmatched patient exposure, tremendous teaching, and a research fellowship in systems neuroscience.

My academic career is now focused on the comprehensive care of childhood onset movement disorders. In this role, I use my expertise that I developed in my NDD training to maximize the quality of life of my patients. The unique training environment at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh made my career possible.

Robyn Filipink, MD
NDD graduate 2008

I am in my dream job. I am evaluating and following children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, teaching residents and promoting our new NDD specialty. My goal has been to combine my interest in neurology with my passion to take care of children and adults with disabilities. NDD has allowed me to realize this path of combining neurology, development and pediatrics while using a multidisciplinary approach.

My training at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, first as a pediatric resident and then as a NDD resident, prepared me well for my first faculty position. I am the Medical Director of the Fragile X clinic and follow children and adults with this genetic disorder and their families long term. This clinic incorporates the lifespan model that I learned during my training in both the pediatric and adult Down syndrome clinics. I am also a Co-Director of the Tourette Syndrome clinic, where I find it particularly special that I am able to follow patients who I first evaluated during my training. I founded our Movement Disorder Conference that offers residents a unique opportunity to critically assess and examine children with unusual clinical presentations. As an evaluating physician in the Autism Treatment Network, I have gained expertise in assessing children with ASDs. I am able to expand on NDD in my other Neurology and Child Development Unit clinics where I see a wide range of children including those with genetic syndromes, intellectual disability and behavioral issues.

Pittsburgh has been a great city to train in and a place my family now calls home. It offers an endless number of activities including sports, cultural events, shopping, museums, and places to go on sunny or rainy days.

Jodi Lindsey MD
NDD graduate 2011

There were a number of reasons that I chose to do my NDD training at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Some of the most important reasons included that they have one of the most established Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency programs and that it was a program that was flexible in allowing me to design some of my own training experiences tailored specific to my interests. I felt supported by the entire faculty and my peers, and I was privileged to train with such a diverse group of physicians. I also enjoyed working as a team leader on the medical teams and in the LEND program. Over my four years spent at CHP, I was able to build a specialized NDD practice, and I treasure the relationships with those patients and their families that grew out of that time. In addition, I was afforded the opportunity to develop my skills in translational research over the course of my last year of training, which is something that will help guide my future research and career interests. I am confident that these formative experiences will enable me to transition into my role as faculty at West Virginia University.

As for the city, I love the city of Pittsburgh. Having been raised in this area, I have always known and loved the kind and hard-working personalities of the people of Pittsburgh. The city has a lot to offer to both young couples/families and to young single professionals. There is a great cultural community as well as an abundance of individually-owned restaurants to try. The city is clean, safe, and provides very affordable living. And finally, the availability of outdoor and professional sports activities is just amazing, particularly if you enjoy skiing (or snow-boarding like me), hiking, biking, kayaking, or even whitewater rafting. I could not have imagined myself at another program or in any other city.

Last Update
August 20, 2012
  • Increase/Decrease Text Size
  • Print This Page
Last Update
August 20, 2012