Global Health

What is the Global Health Pathway

The Global Health (GH) pathway was developed to provide an opportunity for residents to focus part of their residency education on developing knowledge and skills in global health through didactic teaching, experiential learning, and faculty mentorship. Participants do not need to be planning a career in global health or complete an international elective to participate in the pathway. Developing knowledge and skills in global health benefits pediatricians in all fields and health care settings by increasing cultural sensitivity/awareness, developing more reliance on clinical skills in low-resource settings, improving understanding of cost-effectiveness and appropriate resource utilization, improving communication skills, and gaining knowledge of diseases and health issues that impact not only children in other countries, but the large population of immigrant children right in Washington, DC.

What does the Global Health Pathway have to offer?

Recognizing that many pediatric residents are interested in global health, the residency program has offered the Global Child Health Curriculum since 2007. Since then, the ACGME has charged residency programs with implementing a way for each resident to develop and implement an individualized learning plan with their advisor. Thus the curriculum has been transitioned to become the GH Pathway to help residents develop individualized learning plans in the field of global health to meet this new ACGME requirement. The pathway offers several educational opportunities of which residents may choose to complete all or only selected components. Resident educational opportunities include both elective rotations and self-study options. 

There are two options for participation in the GH Pathway:

  • Pathway participant: Choose one or more educational opportunities to supplement your graduate medical education, incorporating them into your own individualized education plan (developed in consultation with your portfolio advisor). There is no minimum level of participation. All Community Health Track residents take the Introduction to Global Child Health course, however you do not need to be in the Community Health Track to participate in the pathway.
  • Certificate in Global Child Health: To qualify for the Certificate in Global Child Health, residents must complete one activity from each of the following categories by graduation:
    • Didactic teaching
    • International or Immigrant Health Elective
    • Final educational product or presentation


A Global Health Faculty Mentor is not required for participation in the GH Pathway. Mentorship by a GH Faculty Mentor in addition to your Portfolio Advisor is required for:

  • Completion of an International Elective
  • Qualification for Certificate in Global Child Health

    Learning Objectives of the Pathway

    The curriculum in Global Child Health was developed to ensure participating residents can meet the following learning objectives during their training. These objectives are taken/adapted from a core set of learning goals established by consensus among several global health training programs*:

    Medical knowledge

    • Outline the epidemiology and major causes of neonatal and under-5 morbidity and mortality worldwide.
    • Summarize the presentation, diagnostic workup, and management of leading global infectious and non-infectious causes of childhood morbidity and mortality, including malnutrition and injuries.
    • Delineate the key health issues faced by high-risk populations such as, immigrants and children of immigrants, refugees, orphans and trafficked children.

    Patient care

    • Provide culturally sensitive, family centered care and support to patients and families from another culture or nation.
    • Participate in health promotion and disease prevention activities in a low resource setting, using appropriate local guidelines and practices.
    • Develop an appropriate differential diagnosis, work-up, and management plan with limited resources.

    Interpersonal and communication skills

    • Demonstrate effectiveness in engaging individuals and communities from different cultures.
    • Use interpreters and communicate effectively with families and other health professionals from different cultural backgrounds.
    • Demonstrate cultural humility while working in a country or setting other than one’s own while acknowledging the expertise and perspectives of colleagues within the country
    • Enhance collaboration with other disciplines and stakeholders in the global health community

    Practice-based learning and improvement

    • Identify standard guidelines (eg, WHO/UNICEF/CDC) for diagnosis and treatment of common conditions in resource-limited settings.
    • Identify key informational resources and describe effective approaches to incorporate evidence-based practices in the care of children in low-resource settings.
    • Identify and utilize the resources needed to prepare adequately and responsibly for an international rotation or work in a less developed country.

    Systems-based practice

    • Describe the socioeconomic and political determinants of global and regional health inequities.
    • Develop an understanding of different health systems around the world and describe the general processes by which priority objectives and policies are formed..
    • Outline the role of major governmental and NGOs active in global child health.


    • Understand and adapt to cultural differences when treating different populations.
    • Identify common ethical dilemmas and challenges confronted when working in a setting with limited resources or different cultural values; identify potential limitations and risks of short-term medical missions.
    • Outline the inequalities in global health and how individuals can contribute to diminishing these disparities.
    • Understand the ethical standards and review processes for research with human subjects carried out in developing countries.

    *Suchdev, et al. A Proposed Model Curriculum in Global Health for Pediatric Residents. Academic Pediatrics, 2012.