Current Environment:

Karen Spencer | Medical Services

Programs & Services


  • English

Karen Spencer | Education

Medical School

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

2008, New York, NY


University of Maryland Medical Center

2010, Baltimore, MD


Boston Children's Hospital

2014, Boston, MA

Karen Spencer | Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics (General)
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Child and Adolescent Neurology)
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Neurodevelopmental Disabilities)

Karen Spencer | Professional History

After completion of my residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program, I have been focused on building expertise in neurodevelopmental disabilities, particularly as they relate to public health policies and coordination of care for my patient population. I completed a fellowship in Health Policy Research as the American Academy of Neurology’s first Health Policy Research fellow, which supports my intended career path of becoming a leader in my field.

During my postdoctoral training, I have taken advantage of opportunities to partake in research projects designed to explore the history of vaccine production in New York City in the early 1900s and to examine resources and services currently available to those seeking treatment for behavioral and mental health.  Currently, I am examining factors that affect the likelihood of children on Medicaid are being prescribed a psychotropic medication.  These studies have given me the foundation to begin conceptualizing my own studies, which will focus on how to optimize coordination of care of children with neurological problems and behavioral difficulties.

Recently, I was able to employ my expertise as a coauthor of the chapter “Neurodevelopmental Disabilities: Conceptual Framework,” which will be published in the upcoming 6th edition of Swaiman’s Pediatric Neurology.

With my recent completion of my M.S. degree in Health Policy, I stand poised to begin making important contributions to public health policies and services in the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders; particularly those complicated by behavioral difficulties.

Karen Spencer | Publications

Families and caregivers of children with neurological and/or behavioral problems face tremendous stress in their day-to-day lives. I strongly value providing a space for these families and their children to have their voices heard so that their needs are adequately met.

I entered medicine with a goal of improving patient care not only on an individual level, but also on a population level. I wanted a career where I could combine clinical excellence with my passion for public health. Fortunately, I have been able to transform those nascent dreams into reality. I am now strongly invested in improving our systems of care in order to lessen the tremendous burden that families of children with neurological and/or behavioral problems face in their lives.