he Division of General Pediatrics has a longstanding role of innovative leadership in graduate and undergraduate education. The Division Faculty are core teachers for 60 house staff members and medical students during their pediatric clerkship.
In the late 1990's the residency program was restructured to give new emphasis to primary care and community pediatrics. Residents have a weekly full day of continuity clinic at the community based practices and an entire month of primary care in each year. During the ambulatory and community pediatrics blocks, resident have direct involvement in community-based experiences with neighborhood organizations. Residents make home visits to their patients with faculty from the Division. These visits have proven to be a terrific laboratory for teaching residents about the role of physicians, understanding the doctor-patient relationship, and exploring the psychosocial component of illness and recovery.
Leaders in the General Pediatrics faculty have successfully introduced alternative methods of instruction into the medical school curriculum. Medical students participate in a longitudinal selective with community based primary care providers. Another popular medical school rotation run by the Division is the primary care clerkship. For five-weeks, third year medical students are assigned to a primary care experience in family medicine, general internal medicine or general internal medicine/general pediatrics. The primary care sites are located in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and the Indian Health Service in Arizona and New Mexico. This clerkship is one of the most popular rotations in the entire curriculum.
This is a parent-led program to bring together parents of children with chronic illness with pediatric residents. Project DOCC parents are typically highly motivated advocates for their children and they are excellent teachers for the residents. Parents teach residents about life outside the hospital for children living with chronic illness. Residents make home visits and have an in-depth interview with families. The parents also organize an annual grand round presentation for the pediatric faculty and staff. Project DOCC parents have recently formed a support group that reaches out to families with a newly diagnosed chronic illness.
The Division was funded for two substantial educational initiatives that are partnership projects with the Pediatric Service at Harlem Hospital.
The Dyson Foundation awarded one of six national grants for residency training to the Community Pediatrics Program of the Division. The mission of the Anne E. Dyson Community Pediatrics Training Initiative (see community pediatrics web site) is to develop a new generation of pediatricians with skills and knowledge of community-based medicine, advocacy and the capacity to improve the health of all children in their communities. Support from the Dyson Initiative has funded two interdisciplinary projects for residency education that are quite unique. The Health Education Department at Teachers College is developing a curriculum to train residents and faculty how to incorporate effective health education messages into their medical practice. Also, a public health curriculum for pediatrics residents is underway with the leadership of the Finding Common Ground, a collaborative project of the Mailman School of Public Health and the Boston Medical Center. Residents learn public health principles within the context of a research project. The intent is to integrate healthcare needs and rights of women and children and to reframe public discourse so that advocacy for one is seen to benefit both. For more information, call (212) 305-7573.