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Training Opportunities

Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to train as a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) mini-fellow at the UC Davis MIND Institute. A DBP mini-fellow is a new requirement that has been set forth by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) for all training programs that receive MCHB funding. In California, these training programs include UC Davis, Stanford, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and UC San Diego. Kaiser Permanente is also considering setting up a similar program.  

There is a shortage of fellowship-trained developmental pediatricians nationwide which is expected to continue to grow. In 2023 the available fellowship positions only had a 55% match rate. In addition, there continues to be long wait times for an initial autism assessment, which can average 18 months - 2 years in many states. As a result, the DBP mini-fellowship is designed to give general pediatricians 1 year of extra training to develop skills to manage many of the commonly occurring neuro-developmental conditions in our clinics. There is the added benefit of providing funding to cover the participant’s time. 

While each mini-fellowship may look slightly different, over the past year I spent one day a week at the MIND Institute. During this time, I became familiar with intakes and assessments for autism spectrum disorder and medication management for complex ADHD and co-occurring behavioral and sleep issues. In addition, I have become more familiar with available community resources, therapies and reviewing IEPs and educational assessments. I have been trained on the RITA-T, a level-2 screener for autism in toddlers that takes 10-15 minutes to perform. I use this in conjunction with the DSM-V criteria which now allows me to make an expedited diagnosis of autism in my general pediatric office in clear-cut cases.  

These types of training opportunities are critical to better serve kids and families in California. The mini-fellowship can increase confidence in DBP-related care under the mentorship of DBP faculty. In addition, it improves collaboration and creates a pipeline between community pediatricians and DBP programs. I encourage our AAP Chapter members who may be interested in similar opportunities to reach out to their local DBP training programs to learn about availability and the application for the DBP mini-fellowship. 

Lena Claire van der List, DO, FAAP

Sacramento Valley Area Director, AAPCA1

Happy Pride Month!

June marks our annual celebration of Pride Month and offers us an important opportunity to review and recommit to the multifaceted ways that we can serve as good allies to LGBTQIA+ children and families. As pediatricians, we are often the trusted guides that families turn to for support during childhood and adolescence, especially when questions about gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation arise in our patients.

Some important big and small ways to endorse your allyship as a pediatrician and medical setting: 

  1. Ask patients about their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), especially during the HEADSS assessment.
  2. Listen actively and validate LGBTQ+ adolescents' experiences without judgment.
  3. Use inclusive language and respect their preferred name and pronouns.
  4. Don't fear making mistakes; correct yourself if you misgender someone and be willing to learn.
  5. Educate others by respectfully correcting misgendering.
  6. Be aware of healthcare disparities faced by LGBTQIA+ youth compared to heterosexual youth, including higher levels of depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide, increased rates of illicit drug use, elevated levels of eating disorders, and engagement in riskier sexual behavior.

Read about high-yield tips for HEADSSS assessments here. . .

Amna Khan, MD, FAAP

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Champion, AAPCA1

Read More

Does Screen Time Affect Child Development?


Part of the anticipatory guidance that we provide to families with young children is to minimize screen time. This advice seems to employ common sense but has not had much of a research base to explain the harm that screen time may cause to young children. A recent prospective study from Japan provides strong support for the screen time limitation. In this study (Takahashi et al JAMA Ped 2023:177 (10) 1039-1046) 7097 mother-infant pairs were followed from birth and questioned about the child’s screen use at 1 year of age. Parents were asked “"On a typical day, how many hours do your children spend watching TV, DVDs, playing video games, or using the internet (including mobile phones and tablets)?”. Parents were given the following response options: less than 1 hour daily, 1 to less than 2 hours daily, 2 to less than 4 hours daily, or more than 4 hours daily. Child development was measured using the Ages and Stages-3 (ASQ-3) parent questionnaire at both 2 and 4 years of age.

What did they find?

Read more . . .

Renee Wachtel, MD, FAAP

Chair, School Health and Behavioral & Developmental Committees, AAPCA1

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Harnessing the Power of Generative AI in Pediatric Practice

As pediatricians, we are continually seeking ways to improve our practice workflow and enhance the care we provide to families. One of the most promising tools at our disposal is generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes the significant potential of AI in clinical practice and is actively developing strategies and policies to ensure these technologies are implemented safely and effectively, without causing harm to clinicians or families.

The Council on Clinical Information Technology (COCIT) has been at the forefront of this movement, hosting regular webinars over the past two years to educate pediatricians on the advancements and applications of AI in healthcare. These sessions have been instrumental in disseminating knowledge and fostering a community of informed practitioners ready to embrace AI.

In my own efforts to leverage AI for better patient education and care, this year I have developed two custom GPTs using commonly available tools. The first, Water Wise, focuses on drowning prevention and education. This application is designed for drowning prevention advocates and families interested in swimming safety. It provides comprehensive information on best practices, safety tips, and preventive measures to reduce the risk of drowning incidents.

The second, Pediatric Insights, is a culmination of my 38 years in practice, where I often addressed common questions from families. This AI application reflects my approaches to common illnesses and wellness strategies, offering families reliable information based on my experience and the content from newsletters and my customized website. Pediatric Insights aims to empower families with knowledge, helping them make informed decisions about their children's health. Both tools require you to register with, but there is no cost and I receive no monetary gain. 

Read more . . .

Mark M. Simonian, MD, FAAP

Member of COVIPP; Member of the Google developer community; Chair of the Water Safety Council of Fresno County; Member of the Board of the California Water Safety Coalition

Read More

President's Column

I hope you are all well and finding time to do the things that fill your cup. For me, two of those things are advocacy and medical education, so there are few events in the year I look forward to more than our annual AAP-CA Advocacy Day in Sacramento, which was held on May 13-14. This event is a partnership between our CA Pediatric Resident Advocacy Collaborative and AAP-California.

It is an annual 2-day event in Sacramento, dedicated solely to pediatric residents advocating for legislative measures supporting child health, under the guidance of faculty mentors. This year, over 70 pediatric residents and faculty members from programs across the state, representing all 4 AAP-CA chapters, were able to attend. 

Monday’s programming included a session on the impact of social media on youth, as well as a session on Cal MAP (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Access Portal) by AAP-CA1 member and Cal MAP senior associate director, Dr. Joan Jeung. Residents were also able to review proposed legislation and role-play how to speak with elected officials with our wonderful AAP-CA SGA (State Government Affairs) co-chairs, Dr. Sharon Pham and Dr. Nancy Graff, and our AAP-CA lobbyist, Bryce Docherty. Monday’s shared learning culminated with a resident and faculty social event with AAP-CA and chapter leaders.

We all met on Tuesday to hear inspiring words from such speakers as CA Senator Richard Roth, Assembly member Mia Bonta, and former Senator and UC Davis Pediatric Residency Program Director and AAPCA1 member Dr. Richard Pan, all of whom spoke about the importance of increasing access to care and protecting services for children. 

AAP-CA also gives out 3 awards each year, for outstanding contributions to child health. These are the Kris Calvin Resident Education Award, which was given to AAPCA1 member and UCSF Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Anda Kuo for her visionary role in the Resident Advocacy Collaborative and for inspiring and training generations of pediatric resident advocates. The Richard Pan, MD, FAAP Pediatric Advocacy Award was given to CA Attorney General Rob Bonta for his extensive legislative and legal work in child health advocacy, most recently in supporting LGBTQIA+ youth in opposing unlawful school policies. Lastly, the Marty Gershman Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dr. Suart Cohen, for his many years of service in child health advocacy in CA.

After all this wonderful programming, we had time to review our advocacy agenda and practice in teams before going to our legislator meetings. We spoke about AB 3059 (Weber), which would expand access to human donor milk for premature infants, SB 976 (Skinner), which would increase protections for youth online by limiting social media platforms’ use of highly addictive algorithms and enable further parental controls, and SB 1248 (Hurtado), which would provide clear and actionable guidance to help schools make informed decisions about all student physical activity during extreme weather conditions.

These 2 days of programming, including 43 legislative meetings across 14 teams of pediatric residents and faculty, representing legislative districts across our state, a logistical and scheduling masterpiece made possible by the dedicated efforts of our AAP-CA Executive Director, Karmi Ferguson, along with our SGA, and our wonderful Resident Advocacy Collaborative, led by current co-directors and AAPCA1 members Dr. Serena Yang and Dr. Amy Whittle.

I was amazed by the incredible amount of thought and preparation of the residents in my group. They spoke with confidence, respect, and conviction to representatives from both sides of the political aisle. They had a nuanced understanding of the implications of each bill and were able to combine that with personal stories of patient care, which is legislative advocacy at its best. They clearly understand their role in leveraging all the tools at their disposal to promote child health. As a longtime advocate and medical educator who remembers her own time at Advocacy Day as a resident and the role it played in shaping my career trajectory, I was honored and inspired to spend time with them. The future of Pediatrics is indeed bright.

Continue reading here...

Nikki Webb, MD, FAAP

AAPCA1 President


We apologize for the name misspellings of Drs. Jeffrey Ribordy and Diane Dooley in May's Newsletter. The correct version is now updated on our website.

View it here

Advocacy Day May 13-14

Our annual AAP-CA Advocacy Day in Sacramento, which was held on May 13-14. This event is a partnership between our CA Pediatric Resident Advocacy Collaborative and AAP-California.

It is an annual 2-day event in Sacramento, dedicated solely to pediatric residents advocating for legislative measures supporting child health, under the guidance of faculty mentors. This year, over 70 pediatric residents and faculty members from programs across the state, representing all 4 CA AAP chapters, were able to attend. 

For the most up-to-date information on AAP California bill positions, letters, and outcomes from the current California Legislative year, go to If you have questions and/or are interested in knowing more about certain legislation, reach out to our State Government Affairs Chapter Representative Nora Pfaff, MD, FAAP and Anna Kaplan MD, FAAP at

AAP-CA Bill Tracker

Chapter Leadership Positions

Early Career Physician Representative Volunteer Position

Overview: The Early Career Physician (ECP) representative will help improve communication between chapters and national on early career physician issues. They are a valuable resource for chapters in engaging early career physicians. 

Term: Two years

Core Responsibilities:

  1. Attend all chapter meetings
  2. Serve as the contact person for chapter leadership to voice the “ECP perspective”
  3. Write one article annually for the AAPCA1 newsletter
  4. Reach out to new ECP chapter members (new member info will be provided periodically by the SOECP) in order to provide your contact information and engage these new members in chapter activities
  5. Participate in two phone conferences annually (April and November) with SOECP leadership and other chapter representatives, and serve as the chapter contact point for your district ECP representative.
  6. Outreach to residency programs:
  7. Coordinate yearly presentations to residents on ECPs and the AAP (details will be provided)
  8. Serve as the ECP contact person for the representative from the Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT)
  9. Chair the ECP Committee; possibly include ECPs, resident chapter reps, and SOPT program delegates

Other Opportunities:

  1. Assist with chapter Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities
  2. Assist with chapter advocacy meetings/training
  3. Chair the chapter Early Career Physician Committee 
  4. Write additional articles for chapter and SOECP publications/newsletters as needed/desired
  5. Assist the chapter with writing resolutions for the Annual Leadership Conference
  6. Participate as needed in national meetings
  7. Assist with chapter/national mentorship programs
  8. Participate in chapter subcommittees/sections

Qualification(s): A current member in good standing of the chapter and of the Section on Early Career Physicians. Be a physician for 10 or fewer years.

Appointment Process: The Executive Committee will review the applicant's CV and inform the applicant of appointment.

**Please recognize that this is a compilation of recommended position responsibilities. We fully recognize that one person may not be able to take on all of the above and may need to be shared amongst a few early career physicians.

To apply send CV and headshot to

Role Description

CATCH Facilitator Position

The AAP Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Program is seeking applicants for the volunteer position of Chapter CATCH Facilitator (CCF). CCFs are appointed by their state Chapter to serve a renewable three-year term. CATCH’s mission is to support pediatricians to collaborate within their communities to advance the health of all children. Our vision is that every child in every community reach optimal health and well-being.

To apply send CV to Yolanda Ruiz at

Role Description

Interested in joining our Pediatric Newsletter Editing Team?

The Pediatric Newsletter Editing Team is seeking applicants to join the AAPCA1 Newsletter Editing Team. You will play a pivotal role in providing valuable feedback and edits for our monthly Newsletter. This volunteer commitment only requires a few hours per month, providing you the flexibility to enhance the quality of articles submitted by our pediatricians.

Here are two questions we request you attach when you send your CV:

1. Why do you want to be part of the newsletter team? and

2. Do you have any journalism or writing background (not required to apply)?

The full Role & Responsibilities can be viewed HERE.  

To apply, send CV to Yolanda Ruiz at

Role Description

The California 2024 Summit Immunization Coalition

The California Immunization Coalition Summit is the premier event for practitioners and public health advocates to learn about the latest information about vaccine preventable diseases and communication strategies for maintaining and improving vaccination rates in California and beyond.

Date: Wednesday, June 5-6

Location: Safe Credit Union Convention Center located in downtown Sacramento

Register Here

3rd Annual Preventing Firearm Injury Through Purpose and Policy Conference

This important gathering brings together experts, legislators, and advocates to discuss effective strategies for reducing firearm injuries, especially among youth. Attached is a flyer with more details. Please feel free to share it with others in your networks.

Date: Friday, June 7

Time: 8AM-4:30PM

The event is FREE, but registration is required, with in-person and live-streaming options available.

Register Here

AAP Oral Health Pilot Program

The AAP Section on Oral Health seeks 3-4 pediatric practices, including but not limited to private practices, community or public health centers, or Indian Health Service facilities, to pilot newly developed guidance on the application of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) to arrest tooth decay in children through age 5.


The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health funding has enabled an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) expert work group to adapt pediatric dental guidelines on the application of silver diamine fluoride (SDF to guidance for pediatricians. Such guidance will support medical professionals to offer minimally invasive, interim dental treatment to children with untreated cavities.


Please complete/submit the application at this link by Friday, June 14. For more information, please contact Hollis Russinof (

Apply Here
PDF Application

Coordinating with Attorneys to Advance Care for Immigrant Patients: Understanding the Policy & Legal Contexts

Immigrant Health Equity and Legal Partnerships (ImmHELP) is excited to offer a 1-hour virtual workshop for California healthcare providers across disciplines focused on information and strategies to advance care and coordination for immigrant patients, particularly asylum seekers.

Date: Monday, June 17

Time: 12PM-1PM PDT

Location: via Zoom

Register Here

Inflammatory Brain Disorders Conference 2024

Join us for a two-day virtual CME conference! The Inflammatory Brain Disorders Conference features nationally and internationally renowned experts skilled in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches who will present a diverse range of emerging clinical and research challenges, insights, and advances in the field of inflammatory brain disorders. 

While the conference is also being hosted live in Palo Alto and chaired by UCSF and Stanford hosts, the virtual conference is being offered free of charge to 500 physicians. The link to register and request the fee be waived can be found on our website.

Date: Saturday, June 22

Time: 8AM-4:30PM PT each day

Location: Virtual CME event

Register Here

Popular Pediatric Clinical Topics Conference 2024

Join us for an enlightening educational journey at the Popular Pediatric Clinical Topics 2024 conference, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii. This immersive event is meticulously curated to provide pediatric healthcare professionals with the latest insights, advancements, and best practices in the field.

Date: Sunday, September 15-18

Time: 7AM-12PM

Location: Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Waikoloa Beach, HI


Early Bird Registration (Ends June 30, 2024)

Physician: $990.00

Allied Health: $825.00

Industry: $1,200.00

Credits: AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (14.00 hours), ANCC Contact Hours (14.00 hours), Non-Physician Participation Credit (14.00 hours)

Register Here

Brief Survey Regarding Practices to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

If you are a mental health provider who provides direct patient care to children, please consider completing our brief survey about provider practices regarding child sexual abuse prevention.

This survey is being distributed as part of a research project through Western Michigan University. It aims to investigate the current knowledge and practices of pediatricians and mental health providers regarding child sexual abuse prevention. Please consider completing if you are a mental health provider (at the M.A. level or above)/pediatrician who currently provides direct patient care to a patient population that includes children under the age of 18.

This survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes. All participants have the choice to be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card by entering their email at the end of the survey. This survey is anonymous, and your email address will not be linked to your responses. Your participation will help to advance knowledge in the field of child sexual abuse prevention. If you would like to participate in this research study, please.

Click here to take the survey.

Register Here

Visit our Pediatric Job Posting Board!

View new available jobs or post one of your own. Visit our site to view member discounts

Division of General Pediatrics Adjunct, Clinical X, HS Clinical, and In Residence Faculty Series

San Francisco, CA

Gould Medical Group, in partnership with Sutter Health, is looking for BE/BC Pediatricians in Tracy and Lodi, CA.

Tracy, CA & Lodi, CA


National Center for a System of Services for Children's Youth with Special Health Care Needs

1 in 5 children in the United States have a special health care need. This National Center for a System of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) is here to support these children, their families/caregivers and the professionals who care for them.

Recommended by National Center for a System of Services for Children and Youth

Learn more

Flying with Baby: Parent FAQ

Taking a baby on a plane is something that most parents approach with caution. Here are answers to some questions you may have before traveling with an infant, along with tips for a smoother and safer flight.

Recommended by Healthy Children

Learn More

Climate Change Impact: Safeguarding Your Family's Health and Well-being

This video from the American Academy of Pediatrics advises on ways you can help protect your family and lessen the impacts of climate change on the planet.

Recommended by AAP

Watch Video

CA Public Health Measles Quicksheet

The California Department of Public Health prepared a measles investigation quicksheet for everything providers need to know. Download via the link below! 

Download Measles Quicksheet

Recommended by CDPH

PDF Quicksheet

AAP Calls on Insurers to Boost Payment for RSV Immunization

The AAP's Payer Advocacy Advisory Committee (PAAC) is working to engage with insurers through an advocacy letter and direct conversations so that patients have access to this life-saving immunization.

Recommended by AAP

Learn More

May is Mental Health Month

Hospital-based clinicians have been in the trenches of the behavioral health crisis affecting children well before the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association jointly declared a National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health.

Recommended by AAP

Learn More
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Your membership makes a difference for children in California, thank you!

The AAPCA1's ability to advocate on behalf of children is only as strong as the support we receive from our members. Encourage your colleagues to join today by visiting the AAPCA1 website.

Our mission is to promote the optimal health and development of children and
adolescents of Northern California in partnership with their families and communities, and to support the pediatricians who care for them.

Executive Committee:

President: Nicole Webb • Vice President: Neel Patel

Secretary: Resham Kaur • Treasurer: Amita Saxena • Past President: Nelson Branco

Executive Director: Yolanda Ruiz

Area Directors:

North Valley : Thiyagu Ganesan • Sacramento Valley: Lena van der List • Central Valley : Deborah Shassetz • South Valley: Sireesha Palkamsetti • San Francisco: Maya Raman • Santa Clara: Bindya Singh • San Mateo: Jackie Czaja • North Coastal: Jeffrey Ribordy • Monterey Bay: Graciela Wilcox • Alameda County: Renee Wachtel • Contra Costa/Solano : Omoniyi Omotoso

Pediatric Insider News Editors:

• Christy Capestany • Mika Hiramatsu • Deborah Shassetz


Executive Director: Yolanda Ruiz Project Coordinator: Sana Sayyid •

Marketing Assistant: Arathzy Portillo