Developmental Pediatrics

Dr. Angie Ip, Interim Division Head

The Division of Developmental Pediatrics is located at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and at BC Children’s Hospital. Sunny Hill is a tertiary care provincial centre providing services to children from around the province. The Division promotes excellence in clinical practice, education, and research in child development and rehabilitation. Its mission is to develop, share and utilize new knowledge that will enhance the health of children with developmental conditions and their families. Developmental Pediatrics is an active, evolving Division within the UBC Department of Pediatrics.

Updated Jan 5 2023





Children with Disabilities Research Program:

Dr. Anton Miller is involved in independent and collaborative initiatives aimed at the population of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and disabilities (NDD/D) and their families, with a non -categorical orientation, meaning not focused on any particular diagnostic category or health condition.  He is studying the prevalence and distribution of behavioral concerns among children with NDD/D, and relationships between neurodevelopmental functioning, behaviors and family impact and needs. He is a part of a pan-Canadian research group studying the health of caregivers of children with chronic health conditions and disabilities using population-based datasets, and collaborates with researchers at Statistics Canada to explore ways to bring the all-important dimension of functioning into administrative health datasets.  He is also part of research teams evaluating the multi-dimensional benefits – for children with NDD/D and their parents - of participation in an innovative movement-based program in the lower mainland of BC; and the family impact of a coaching intervention for parents of young children with developmental delays and concerns in various parts of Canada.

Mother's mood matters: the developmental consequences in children with prenatal antidepressant exposure.

Dr. Tim Oberlander's research focuses on developmental outcomes in children of depressed mothers who were treated with an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant during their pregnancies. His work spans studies that range from molecular/genetic to population epidemiological levels that characterize neurodevelopmental pathways that reflect risk, resiliency and developmental plasticity. Dr. Oberlander's work shows that both maternal mood and in utero SSRI exposure influences childhood behavior and stress regulation, possibly via changes in central serotonin levels during developmentally sensitive periods.

Dr. Whitney Weikum works collaboratively to examine the influence of maternal depression and prenatal antidepressant exposure on cognitive and behavioural development in infants and children.  She also investigates associations between autism symptoms and other medical and behavioural conditions as well as surveys worldwide autism diagnosis procedures.

Cerebral Palsy Registry:

Dr. Esias van Rensburg and colleagues from across Canada are establishing the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Registry, the first national cerebral palsy registry in North America.  The main aims of the CP Registry are to gain further understanding of the risk factors and causes of CP, to understand how often children are diagnosed with CP, and where they live in BC and in Canada as well as to better understand parents' perspectives on their child's care and how services are provided to them.

Autism Specific Research:

Dr. Nancy Lanphear led a review of the diagnostic process for autism in Canadian Pediatric Centres and in more than 150 international sites.  This has been presented at CAPHC and IMFAR.  There are also ongoing quality improvement projects done in collaboration with Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.

Drs. Timothy Oberlander, Nancy Lanphear, Angie Ip and Whitney Weikum are involved in linked data related to children with ASD.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD):

Drs. Timothy Oberlander, Christine Loock and Nancy Lanphear are involved with NeuroDevNet Research project on FASD.  This is a collaborative effort with other Canadian sites.

Social Disparities:

Dr.  Christine Loock leads the RICHER Program initiative to address social pediatrics in British Columbia.

Our members are actively involved in all aspects of teaching undergraduate (medical students) and post graduate (residents) students as well as subspecialty trainees (Subspecialty Residents and Clinical Fellows).

Undergraduate Medical Education


Undergraduate medical education has continued to be a significant area of focus for Division members. Members of the Division have been active in the design, development and delivery of the medical school curriculum for undergraduate medical and dental students at UBC. In addition, the Division continues to offer bedside-clinical teaching in all aspects of developmental pediatrics at Sunny Hill and the Community.

Contact Us:

Ms. Monika Mezey, Program Assistant, Tel: (604) 453-8386
Dr. Preety Salh, MD FRCPC
UBC Undergraduate Rotation Lead, Developmental Pediatrics
Tel: (604) 453-8000

Resident Education:


Improvement of the Developmental Pediatrics block in the Residency program has been one of the top priorities for the Division over the past several years. The training period for residents in developmental pediatrics/child rehabilitation is currently 4 weeks in the PGY-3 year. The majority of this clinical experience occurs on site at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and involves exposure to the neuromotor (both in and out patient), autism (PARC) and general development (CDBC) programs.

Additional structured learning activities in developmental pediatrics occur throughout the R1-R3 years in the form of monthly ward rounds focusing on child development in selected patients and, a two year long lecture series as part of the academic half day program. The first year of this program focuses on normal development and the second year on atypical development (language delay/disorder, intellectual disability, autism, learning disability, developmental coordination disorder). Elective rotations in child development are available to R4s and several residents have recently taken advantage of this opportunity. There are ongoing efforts to further integrate child development into general pediatrics and to refine the rotation goals and objectives.

Contact Us

Ms. Monika Mezey, Program Assistant, Tel: (604) 453-8386
Dr. Praveen Rayar, MD BHSC FRCPC
UBC Residency Rotation Lead, Developmental Pediatrics
Tel: (604) 453-8300

Subspecialty Residency/ Clinical Fellowship Program


The objective of the UBC Subspecialty Residency Program in Developmental Pediatrics is the training of academic Pediatricians with unique, in-depth expertise in child development and behavior (both normal and abnormal) from the prenatal period to late adolescence.

Training in our Subspecialty Residency Program enables Pediatric residents to gain proficiency in the assessment and management of a full spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders including cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disability, and learning disorders, and the neurobehavioural effects of prenatal substance exposure and environmental poverty. These conditions comprise more than 40% of General Pediatric practice, and are a cause of significant concern in the majority of children referred for Pediatric specialty consultation.

The UBC Subspecialty Residency Program in Developmental Pediatrics prepares the subspecialty Pediatric resident to:

  • work as a member of an interdisciplinary professional team
  • integrate findings from across disciplines in order to support families and their children with neurodevelopmental disorders
  • act as a consultant in Developmental Pediatrics to Pediatricians, other physicians, professionals, and agencies caring for children with complex neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and psychosocial problems
  • play a leadership role as a health advocate for children
  • teach principles of Developmental Pediatrics in academic, continuing education, and community settings
  • design and evaluate research in Developmental Paediatrics
  • manage and administer Developmental Pediatric clinical services

Training and education in our subspecialty program occurs within the UBC academic community including Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, BC Children’s Hospital, the Child and Family Research Institute Developmental Neurosciences and Child Health Cluster, and the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership. Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children supports children and youth with neurodevelopmental disorders, from birth to their 19th birthday, through both outpatient and inpatient services, and serves more than 5000 children a year from nearly 300 BC communities.  As a UBC teaching hospital, Sunny Hill also trains more 150 students a year in medicine, social work, nursing, psychology, and therapy.

Our subspecialty program curriculum includes both in- and out-patient rotations in neuromotor disorders, brain injury and rehabilitation, complex developmental and behavioral conditions, and research design and evaluation, as well as electives in allied subspecialties including Genetics and Neurology. We are fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Program Curriculum

In the first year of the program, residents receive training in core Developmental Pediatrics through inpatient and ambulatory rotations at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. Trainees are involved with assessment of children with complex medical, developmental and behavioral conditions as part of a multidisciplinary team.  During the first year of subspecialty training, residents spend 3 blocks at BC Children’s hospital in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Child Neurology and Medical Genetics. Residents are given time to begin their research project during a one block elective.

During second year, residents further develop their skills in Developmental Pediatrics rotating through the core Child Development and Behaviour rotations. Residents are expected to take a graded responsibility in their second year with enhancing their skills in communicating with families, and chairing parent and team conferences. Ample opportunity exists for elective time and an additional 2-month block is available, which is dedicated to research during the second year of training.

A weekly formal academic half-day program covers the core areas of Developmental Pediatrics. Residents attend regular monthly Developmental Pediatric journal club. The Division has monthly CME sessions. Residents have opportunity to attend optional neuropsychiatry and City Wide rehabilitation rounds.

For the Subspecialty Resident Orientation Manual, please contact Monika Mezey

How to Apply

Canadian Applicants : Applications for any of the Developmental Pediatric Subspecialty Program must be made through the CaRMS website. Residents completing PGY3 or PGY4 training in Core Pediatrics are eligible for the match.

International Applicants: Interested applicants should contact Monika Mezey.

The required information to review includes the following:

  • CV
  • Medical degree (notarized if not in English)
  • Three reference letters
  • Letter of intent indicating:
  • why you want to train in Developmental Paediatrics
    • what would make you the best candidate for this position
    • where you plan to work when you are finished your training.
    • IELTS with a minimum score of 7 in all sections.

Visa sponsored applicants (Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabian, and the UAE):  Once you have obtained sponsored funding, all requests for residencies/fellowships should be sent to Monika Mezey, Program Assistant.

Visiting Electives:

Canadian Residents: Residents currently enrolled in Canadian training programs for Developmental Pediatrics are welcome to apply for clinical or research electives with our division. Please contact Monika Mezey with dates of interest for your elective for consideration by our Resident Program Committee. The instructions and forms for out of province residents to apply for an elective can be found here: CPSCBC.

International Electives: Electives are encouraged to international applicants, to help determine whether our program is suited to their educational needs.  Electives are 4 weeks in length, and allow a potential trainee to review the clinical scope of developmental pediatrics and training experiences offered at the University of British Columbia. For further information please contact Monika Mezey.

The required information to review includes the following:

  • CV
  • Medical degree (notarized if not in English)
  • Three reference letters
  • Letter from home institution stating that they will fund him/her during his/her elective
  • Letter of intent indicating:
    • why you want to train in Developmental Paediatrics
    • what would make you the best candidate for this position
    • where you plan to work when you are finished your training.
  • Academic IELTS Examination.

Contact Us:

Ms. Monika Mezey, Program Assistant, or
Dr. Anna McNally, MD FRCPC, Subspecialty Residency Program Director, Developmental Pediatrics

Telephone: (604) 453-8386

Clinical Care:

We believe that children should grow to achieve their own, unique potential. The Division of Developmental Pediatrics works primarily at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children with families and communities as partners to better understand every child’s needs, and to develop tailored recommendations and services.  

In British Columbia, the service delivery system for Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) is organized into tiers representing the many layers of expertise available to children, youth and families. This is based on a model which has been used successfully in other countries to help reduce gaps and overlaps in service, and increase collaboration between service providers. Click here for more information on the Children & Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) Framework of action and Tiers of Service

Services: The following two streams of services are available at Sunny Hill:


The Child Development and Rehabilitation Program, offers specialized diagnostic and therapeutic services to children and adolescents experiencing developmental conditions and disabilities.  The Sunny Hill program is a provincial service offering complex care, diagnosis and treatment for children and adolescents, up to 19 years of age.  

The following teams provide specialized services and functional assessments:

  1. Acute Rehabilitation Inpatient Team
  2. Positioning and Mobility Team
  3. Assistive Technology Team
  4. Feeding
  5. Gait Lab  
  6. Tone/Spasticity Management
  7. Hearing Impairment
  8. Vision Impairment

For more information on the Neuromotor Program, please refer to: Sunny Hill Services.


The Child Development and Rehabilitation Program, offers specialized diagnostic evaluations to children and adolescents experiencing delayed cognition, communication and behavioural health issues. The Sunny Hill program is a regionalized Provincial service offering complex care, diagnosis and treatment for children and adolescents, up to 19 years of age, experiencing:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Complex Development and Behavioral Conditions


Gurpreet Sahl, MD
Armansa Glodjo, MSc, FRCPC, FAAP
Jill Houbé, MD, MPhil, FAAP, FRCPC
Grace Li, MD, FRCPC (Consultant Physical Medic. & Rehab)
Christine Loock, MD, FRCPC, DABP
Elena Lopez, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FCCMG
Carey Matsuba, MDCM, MHSc
Anna McNally, MD, FRCPC
Elizabeth Mickelson, MD, BSc(PT), FRCPC
Anton Miller, MD, MBChB, FRCPC
Maureen O’Donnell, MD, MSc
Timothy Oberlander, MD, BA (Hons), MC, FRCPC
Praveen Rayar, MD, BHSC,  FRCPC (on leave)
Ram Mishaal, MD, FRCPC, Senior Medical Director of Sunny Hill Health Centre
Trevor Kwok, MD, PHD
Mor Cohen Eilig, MD
Mia Francl, MD, FRCPC
Praveen Rayar, MD, FRCPC


Alison Faber
Natalia Diaz Pinzon
Mandeep Mahal

Grace Li, MD FRCPC

Administrative Staff:

Mary Jane Hornaas, Administrative Assistant (Temporary)
Monika Mezey, Education Program Assistant