UTHealth Medical School

The Division of Child Protection Pediatrics offers month-long rotations for medical students and residents. Rotations include inpatient and outpatient clinical experiences, participation in multi-disciplinary case review meetings, observation of court proceedings, didactic learning, and journal club. A three-year accredited fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics is available to residents who successfully complete a pediatric residency.

Director: Rebecca G. Girardet, MD
Coordinator: Rebecca Baddock
Phone: 713-500-6064
Email: Rebecca.G.Girardet@uth.tmc.edu; Rebecca.A.Baddock@uth.tmc.edu

The UT-Houston Division of Child Protection Pediatrics offers an ABP-accredited 3-year fellowship training program in child abuse pediatrics (ERAS). Fellows who complete the program are eligible to take the Child Abuse Pediatrics certifying examination. Applicants must be board-certified or eligible in general pediatrics. The program includes a busy inpatient consult service, an outpatient child protection clinic, and 12 months of dedicated research / scholarly time. In addition, fellows are required to do rotations in forensic pathology, behavior/development, advocacy, and related pediatric subspecialties. The program also offers a unique opportunity for practice experience as an expert witness in a simulated or “mock trial” setting. Unless a fellow already holds an advanced degree in public health or clinical research, he / she is also required to complete a series of core lectures in clinical biostatistics and research design during the training period that may lead to the completion of an advanced degree. Fellows receive faculty support to produce at least one scholarly project to meet ABP requirements, but are encouraged to participate in additional scholarly activities according to their interests. Fellows are also required to create and give presentations before a variety of audiences on child maltreatment topics, and they testify in court proceedings and receive feedback on their testimony during the training period. The program has one open position each academic year.

The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Division of Child Protection Pediatrics is affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and the CMHH level I pediatric trauma center, the UT Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Harris Health System LBJ Hospital and Forensic Nursing program, an inpatient pediatric rehabilitation center, and a local child advocacy center. These affiliations afford fellows a broad experience in the medical, mental health, legal, and public policy aspects of child maltreatment. The division serves as the statewide hub for the Forensic Assessment Center Network, which is a coordinated group of child abuse pediatricians from across Texas that provides medical expertise for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The division is funded by state contracts with additional departmental support and clinical earnings. We are located in Houston, which offers big-city amenities (world-class arts, sports, and restaurants) with a relatively low cost of living.

Current Fellows

  • Michelle Ruda, MD
  • Hometown: Lake Jackson, Texas
  • Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine  
  • Pediatrics Residency: University of Texas Southwestern – Austin
  • Shaina Goldsmith, MD
  • Hometown: Portland, Maine
  • Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Pediatrics Residency: Yale New Haven Hospital