Community Health and Child Advocacy Training
Training pediatricians to be effective child advocates in the community is a critical part of your residency training at UC Davis. At UC Davis, we believe that pediatricians have a special role – indeed, an obligation – to serve as advocates for children in the communities we serve. Our goal is to provide residents with the skills they need to be effective advocates for children and leaders in the community in which they practice.
The pediatric Community Health and Child Advocacy rotation is a rich, uniquely strengths-based, four-week experience that allows Interns the space and time to dive deeply into specific determinants of health impacted largely by the social and geographic communities that all patients participate in.
A combination of didactic and hands-on methodologies, provide a holistic look into pediatrics. From lectures focusing on overarching themes such as health disparities, determinants of health and cultural humility; to community-directed activities addressing essential issues such as hunger and nutrition, family functioning, safety and school health; Interns learn from their community faculty and from each other by participating in critical self-reflection work as well. In addition, Abuse and Behavior & Development concepts and experiences are woven throughout the rotation, completing the community-based experience.
Several features of the Community Health and Child Advocacy rotation at UC Davis set it apart from other community medicine experiences, including:
- Unique assets-based (also called “strengths-based”) approach
- Community-engaged curriculum design and delivery
- Opportunity for further education and experience in residency years two and three
Sample rotation (PDF)
During their Community Health and Child Advocacy rotation, residents spend two nights with a child abuse expert. Residents learn the principles of distinguishing between accidental and non-accidental injuries, and how to perform evidentiary exams. This experience helps to sharpen the resident’s appreciation of the enormity of the child abuse problem, and the role of the pediatrician in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Residents interested in cultivating and refining skills in child advocacy, community building, community health, collaborative project planning, community-partnered research, and/or legislative advocacy are offered the opportunity to continue a longitudinal partnership with a partner organization throughout the three years of residency, with additional 2-4 week rotations in their second and third years of residency. This experience is part of our Communities and Health Professionals Together (CHPT) program. Each community partner provides a local leader who is specially trained as Community Health Professionals Together (CHPT) Faculty, and serves as a teacher and mentor for resident trainees.
This approach teaches residents to engage in underserved communities by first identifying their assets and gifts, and partnering with communities to tackle locally-defined health issues. Residents work with a grassroots, community-based organization to improve the health of children in the community. Under the direction of a local leader or “CHPT Faculty,” residents learn to identify and mobilize community assets to create, implement and evaluate projects that enhance the health and well being of local children and families.