Global Health at Stony Brook Children's
A robust education in Global Health (GH) is an important component of the pediatric residency program at Stony Brook Children's. We aim to increase knowledge and awareness of Global Health as part of the basic pediatric residency training and use several educational opportunities to achieve this goal. Global Health topics are integrated into our didactic series and our rotations, particularly our pediatric infectious disease rotation. In addition, the residents and faculty who have participated in a global health experience present a special educational session for the department each year.
Our annual GH Uganda elective spans four weeks and offers residents with an expressed interest in GH a genuinely unique experience. The elective seeks to help the pediatric resident better understand the health care needs of diverse populations, particularly in countries where children have high levels of morbidity and mortality. Residents are trained to recognize a vast array of tropical and infectious diseases, which strengthens their clinical skills and medical knowledge, while also instilling sensitivity to the costs of medical care in countries and settings with limited resources. Our Stony Brook Children's Global Health rotation director accompanies the residents to Uganda for this annual elective and provides real-time feedback, mentorship, and teaching.
The elective encompasses outpatient care working in rural clinics; inpatient care working in the pediatric wards of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital - the major hospital in the eastern part of Uganda; a teaching/educational component educating “Village Health workers” in nutrition, hygiene, and basic first aid; and a community education or research project. For example, residents have become certified in the “Helping Babies Breathe” program - a neonatal resuscitation course - and then taught these skills to various levels of health care providers. To augment their learning experience, residents on the Uganda elective are encouraged to prepare a talk on a global health or tropical medicine topic, which they then present to their peers and other healthcare providers. During their elective time, residents will also spend two to three days living with a family in one of the rural communities, which helps them gain an understanding of the determinants of health and experience life in a typical Ugandan family. Stony Brook residents return from the international rotation with a greater appreciation of international medical challenges, cultural differences, and cultural sensitivity. Many of these residents go onto incorporate global health medicine in their future careers.
From 2020-2022, to allow residents to have an international experience without going aboard we chose to create an innovative global health rotation in coordination with Mbale. This year, we will be traveling to Mbale, Uganda in person to work closely with doctors and community members and provide medical care and education.