Educational Curriculum


The Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy views the training and development of pediatric residents in both policy and advocacy as an essential strategy in creating leaders who will improve child health outcomes and general child well-being for future generations. In order to become such leaders, residents need to understand topics such as health care systems, medical care financing, value-based care, and social determinants of health – issues that impact the practice of medicine and patient care. The Center currently oversees a core policy and advocacy residency curriculum with emphasis on fundamentals of the social determinants of health, patient advocacy, media advocacy, and legislative advocacy.  The Center also has a supplemental advocacy curriculum for residents who would like to have more experience in advocacy and policy while completing their residency training. These activities are led by our interdisciplinary faculty team, including physicians, health economists, sociologists, and health law experts.  Sample lectures are below:

  • Introduction to Advocacy
  • Health Insurance Options for Patients
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Legislative Advocacy
  • Social Media Advocacy

Policy and Advocacy Seminar & Journal Club
The Center holds evening seminars geared towards residents and faculty with special interest in policy and advocacy. These seminars consist of an interactive session on a particular policy or advocacy topic with an expert.  We review the literature on child health policy and advocacy topics and discuss current resident child health initiatives or projects. 

Policy and Advocacy Newsletter
The resident advocacy leaders work with the Center to produce a monthly newsletter for the residency program. This is distributed via email and includes education on a policy or advocacy topic of the month as well as multiple opportunities to get involved in advocacy.

Practical Experiences

In addition to training, residents also need practical experiences in order to build expertise. Residents interested in having an advocacy mentor are paired with a practicing pediatrician (generalist or subspecialist) who regularly participates in advocacy work. The mentees have the opportunity to join their mentors in advocacy experiences throughout their years of residency training. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in a number of policy and advocacy projects with the Center's faculty members.

Advocacy Action Plan
In order to tailor the experiences of trainees, the Center has developed an Advocacy Action Plan that all residents are expected to complete on an annual basis. The Advocacy Action Plan allows residents to individualize their advocacy training within the time constraints of working in a large, busy pediatric residency program. As participants complete their Advocacy Action Plan, they are asked to define 2-3 personal policy and advocacy goals for the year. Over the course of the year, the Center faculty mentor residents to help them complete their Advocacy Action Plan. 

The Center is currently developing full month rotations that will provide residents with deeper experiences in policy and advocacy.