Global health training in pediatric residency programs

Brett D. Nelson, Anne C C Lee, P. K. Newby, M. Robert Chamberlin, Chi Cheng Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Our goal was to describe current resident interest, participation, curricula, resources, and obstacles related to global health training within pediatric residency programs. METHODS. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of the 201 accredited pediatric residency programs in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean from October 2006 to January 2007. Survey topics included resident interest and participation in electives, training opportunities, program support, and educational curricular content related to global health. RESULTS. Of the 201 surveyed pediatric residency programs, 106 (53%) responded. Fifteen percent of responding programs reported that a majority of their residents were interested in global health. Fifty-two percent offered a global health elective within the previous year, and 47% had formally incorporated global health into their training curricula. Six percent of the programs reported a formalized track or certificate in global health. The median number of residents per program participating in global health electives within the previous year was 0 during postgraduate year 1, 1 during postgraduate year 2, and 2 during postgraduate year 3. The median number of all residents per program participating in a global health elective in the previous year was 3 (7.4% of program size). Among programs that offered a global health elective, support to participating residents included prerequisite clinical training (36%), cultural orientation (36%), language training (15%), faculty mentorship (82%), and postelective debriefing (77%). Fourteen percent of the programs provided full funding for resident electives. Characteristics of pediatric residency programs that were significantly associated with higher resident participation in a global health elective were larger program size, university affiliation, greater reported resident interest, and faculty involvement in global health. CONCLUSIONS. More than half of the pediatric residency programs surveyed offered a global health elective in the previous year. An American Academy of Pediatrics survey 10 years earlier had shown 1 of 4 programs with global health electives. Observance of American Academy of Pediatrics consensus guidelines for global health electives varied widely among programs, and additional efforts should focus on resident preparation, mentorship, and funding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • International child health
  • Resident education/training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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