Strong Kids

Fellowship Spotlight: Dr. Maura Tappen

Mar. 12, 2019

Dr. Maura TappenDr. Maura Tappen liked Rochester so much during medical school that she decided to stay here for her residency in psychiatry.

Three years later, she was faced with the choice of where to go for her fellowship program. She could have gone to Boston, or Baltimore, or moved closer to her hometown in New Jersey.

But again, she chose to stay in Rochester.

“There is such a community focus here — everybody helps each other,” said Tappen. “That’s why I didn’t want to leave.”

Tappen is now in her first year of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program, which takes physicians who have already completed a residency in psychiatry and trains them specifically in pediatric behavioral health.

She was first drawn to the field during medical school, when she found that the patients who stuck with her the most were those who benefited from a psychosocial approach to care. Then, during her residency, she was able to work with children — and she knew she had found the perfect fit.

“It was just like everything clicked,” she said.

As part of the two-year program, Tappen is receiving a wealth of experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She also spends time working in the community — providing care as a member of the mobile crisis team, shadowing at court, and working at schools and partner organizations, such as the Villa of Hope.

“I love being able to help a child get better and be able to go home from the hospital, or building a rapport with a child who I’m providing care to in the office,” said Tappen. “Working with children is challenging, but it’s also extremely rewarding.”

Tappen isn’t sure which area of pediatric behavioral health she’d like to focus on, but she does know where she wants to practice: Rochester. She’s not alone — 45 percent of fellows at URMC stay on as faculty after they complete their training, and fellowships are the most reliable pipeline of future faculty.

“It’s an exciting time to be working in Rochester in this field, because our community is really galvanizing around the mental health needs of children,” said Tappen. 

You can help support our fellowship programs, which train the next generation of physicians. To make a donation or for more information, call our advancement team at 585-273-5948.