Advancing Advocacy: Implementation of a Child Health Advocacy Curriculum in a Pediatrics Residency Program

MedEdPORTAL. 2020 Feb 14;16:10882. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10882.


Introduction: ACGME program requirements for graduate medical education state that pediatric residency programs should include elements of child advocacy education. Finding readily available, easily implementable advocacy curricula for pediatric residency programs is challenging. We conducted a generalized curricular needs assessment via literature review and a targeted needs assessment with health care providers and advocacy leaders and developed and implemented a child health advocacy curriculum in a pediatrics residency program.

Methods: Delivered across 9 months, the curriculum included three components: electronic resources, didactic sessions, and interactive workshops aimed at developing advocacy skills in the context of pressing child health issues. The learner audience was PGY 1 through PGY 4. The curriculum was evaluated using pre- and postcurriculum surveys.

Results: Our curriculum advanced child advocacy locally by establishing partnerships with state and federal American Academy of Pediatrics and pediatric residency programs, teaching residents to generate advocacy action plans, and implanting a longitudinal advocacy curriculum in the residency program. Sixty-four of 70 residents participated in the curriculum: 33% were PGY 1, 31% were PGY 2, 30% were PGY 3, and 6% were PGY 4. Pre- and postcurriculum surveys demonstrated improved knowledge of and comfort level with advocacy after curriculum completion.

Discussion: Child advocacy teaching improved resident and faculty awareness about child health issues in the community, as well as understanding of pathways to advocate for child health. The curriculum is reproducible and feasible and can assist other institutions to develop advocacy education and skill development programs.

Keywords: Advocacy; Case-Based Learning; Child Health; Child Health Advocacy Curriculum; Focus Groups/Interviews; Program Evaluation; Simulation.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Advocacy*
  • Child Health*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Health Plan Implementation*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires