Community Health Track

Community Health Track

The Community Health Track focuses on underserved populations and the development of skills in health policy, advocacy, and community healthcare delivery. Residents spend their outpatient time learning to use public health techniques to identify and address community health needs, becoming a physician advocate, and learning more about the sociocultural determinants of health and health disparities.

The mission of the Community Health Track (CHT) is to train a new generation of residents to create successful community partnerships and integrate public health concepts into the everyday practice of medicine to improve the health of underserved communities.

The goals of our track are centered on the eight core competencies of community pediatrics as described by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Namely to train residents to:

  • Grasp the breadth of diversity inherent in the pediatric population and be familiar with health-related implications of cultural beliefs and practices of groups represented in the community
  • Recognize the role of the pediatrician in identifying needs and facilitating access to resources for patients, families, and communities
  • Understand the definition of a medical home and how the resident’s continuity site can meet all components of the definition
  • Be aware of the risks to health and barriers to care for underserved children in Washington, DC, and demonstrate skill in improving access to continuous comprehensive health maintenance
  • Appreciate key issues related to the pediatrician’s role and interactions with local community agencies and advocacy groups
  • Value the role of schools and child-care settings in supporting the educational and psychosocial development of children and adolescents
  • Apply key principles about health promotion and disease prevention for children and adolescents in a longitudinal project
  • Observe, interpret, and report observations about the communities in which they serve

The training for the CHT is integrated with the overall pediatrics residency program to ensure excellence in attainment of clinical skills, and to allow residents the opportunity to work with our top-rated hospitalist and subspecialist physicians. The majority of inpatient time for the Community Health Track mirrors that of the Categorical Track. The fundamental difference in this track lies in the outpatient experiences that occur in all three years of training. The Community Health Track utilizes these outpatient experiences to help residents to attain a well-rounded community pediatrics experience. Washington, DC, is incredibly diverse with large numbers of minority populations and immigrants from all over the world. Given that DC is our nation’s capital, many organizations have national headquarters here and residents have the unique opportunity to work with groups that are influencing not only local policy but also national policy as it relates to children and health care.

Quotes from Residents

Quotes from Residents

"Each resident in the Community Track embodies what I envisioned fellow trackers would be--smart, passionate, and truly dedicated to advocating for children outside the realm of medical wards and clinic."

"I love the electives that are built into the curriculum and most importantly I really feel like I have learned from everyone within the track. There is great camaraderie and the diversity of the group adds so much to everyone's experience."

"I think the community track empowers you to get involved with advocacy on different levels in Washington, DC -- both legislative (including at the national and city/state level) and grassroots -- and with different partners (non-profit groups, educational systems, professional medical groups, governmental organizations). It has some structure to it, but allows plenty of room for you to take on your own projects."

"My decision to pursue a career as a physician was driven by a desire to provide health care to underserved communities and to those who have historically, been dwarfed by society. When looking for a residency program, it was essential that I found a training program whose goals and philosophies were in-line with my vision. Children’s National was one of the few places that I looked at that offered a CHT, focused not only on urban healthcare issues, but also on government/health policy, international health, advocacy, and research. I was thoroughly impressed by the available electives that were offered as part of this track and furthermore, by talking with individuals who were part of this program, I know I would finish my training as a more socially conscious and responsible pediatrician for the community. Everyday, I learn so much from my electives, my patients, my co-residents and mentors. It has been a wonderful experience!"

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