David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship Program

  • Program overview

    The David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship is a premier program in the Global Health Center at CHOP. It extends our healthcare and educational programs beyond the borders of the United States and into international partner communities.

    Established in 2008 by a generous gift of David N. Pincus, the program provides opportunities for Global Health fellows to enhance their clinical knowledge and leadership skills in pediatric global health. The fellowship seeks candidates who not only want to provide clinical service in the developing world, but are also problem solvers who will help design, implement and monitor outcomes of projects and research studies benefiting children in the partner communities. Accepted applicants join an intense and exciting two-year academic fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and work primarily in one of our partner countries: the Dominican Republic or Botswana/South Africa.

    Pincus fellows will have clinical, educational and research opportunities throughout the two-year fellowship and will be supported by Children’s Hospital Global Health faculty. The fellowship actively collaborates with the Columbia University International Family AIDS Program, Rainbow Sparrow Village, the Botswana-UPenn Partnership and the Centro de Salud Divina Providencia.

  • Fields of study and practice

    The two-year Global Health training model combines clinical service (50 percent effort) and scholarship (50 percent effort) in a developing country. The fellows’ clinical experience is focused on diseases particularly common in resource-constrained regions of the world such as malnutrition, water-related illnesses, acute respiratory disease, diarrhea, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Tropical diseases may also play a large role in the causes of childhood diseases in the partner countries. Each fellow has an opportunity to design and complete a research project under the mentorship of faculty members in the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.

    Clinical service

    Global Health fellows will work collaboratively with in-country professional colleagues. The fellow will have regular and ongoing primary pediatric clinical responsibilities. The range of clinical service includes ambulatory care in the Dominican Republic (outpatient preventive and sick office visits, outreach and home visits) and inpatient pediatric care performed at the level of a general inpatient pediatric hospitalist in Botswana.

    Fellows connect with and augment existing healthcare systems in their communities with the guidance of the fellowship faculty and in-country partners. They provide pediatric medical service in areas of minimal resources. In doing so, they develop and improve their clinical diagnostic skills by working in areas with limited diagnostic and therapeutic capacity.

    Education and teaching

    Global Health fellows actively coordinate and engage in educational activities in their community working collaboratively with other professionals. They are supported by the Global Health Faculty at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and receive mentoring from a variety of mentors. Fellows are also actively involved in supervising residents and students from CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania.

    The fellowship provides intensive epidemiologic and biostatistics coursework and additional activities (conferences, journal club, specialized training) are individualized given the interest and motivation of the Fellow.

    Research

    Study design and implementation is an important learning objective of the Global Health Fellowship. Fellows learn how to design global health research projects and use the principles of clinical epidemiology to understand statistical analysis during the Global Health Fellowship. Intensive coursework and training occur early in the fellowship at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Individualized research faculty mentoring allows fellows to choose to explore their specific research interests. Each fellow works closely with his or her research mentor(s) to design, plan and execute a research study. The realm of research projects is flexible based upon the interests of the fellow, but guided closely by a chosen faculty mentor.

  • Fellowship locations

    Fellows begin their fellowship at CHOP and spend four to six weeks orienting to the program, meeting with CHOP and Penn faculty and preparing for their assignment in partner countries. Fellows return midway through their fellowship to further develop their research project and scholarly pursuits. Fellows also return to CHOP for the final few weeks of their fellowship to finalize their training experience if necessary. It is estimated that 21 months of the total fellowship (24 months) are spent caring for children, studying, and researching in the partner country, which allows for an intensive global immersion education experience.

    The Dominican Republic

    Health indicators in the Dominican Republic demonstrate continued high levels of infant and under-5 child mortality, vaccine preventable illnesses, and malnutrition. During the two-year fellowship, the Fellow shares outpatient clinical time between the Centro de Salud Divina Providencia in the town of Consuelo (province of San Pedro de Macoris) and Clínica de Familia (supported through Columbia University’s Family AIDS Program) in the nearby city of La Romana. Clinical duties are accompanied by a scholarly community-based project conducted in Consuelo during the fellowship, with close mentorship and support in-country and remotely from CHOP.

    Consuelo

    In Consuelo, the fellow performs his/her primary clinical responsibilities in collaboration with CHOP’s partners at the Centro de Salud Divina Providencia. The fellow is an active pediatric provider in the Niños Primeros en Salud (NPS) community pediatric health program, caring for children less than 5 years of age who reside in six of the poorest neighborhoods in the town. The program focuses on preventive care, nutrition and breastfeeding, growth and development, vaccinations, as well as acute care issues, including respiratory infections, diarrhea, skin infections, malnutrition, parasitic infections, and dengue fever, among other conditions.

    Dominican pediatric residents from the Hospital Infantil Robert Reid Cabral, the main children’s hospital in Santo Domingo, rotate through Consuelo monthly for their community health rotation, providing ample opportunity for education and collaboration. The fellow also actively engages in community health and wellness programs (including those related to community health workers, nutrition, and parasitic infections) and conducts regular home visits in the Consuelo barrios with the pediatric/community nurse to improve access and provision of care to children living in extreme poverty.

    La Romana

    In La Romana, the fellow works at Clínica de Familia, supported through the Dominican Ministry of Health and Columbia University’s Family AIDS Program, aimed at improving HIV care for vulnerable populations in the eastern Dominican Republic. With a multi-disciplinary staff of over 70 people, the clinic provides free comprehensive family-centered primary and HIV-specialized outpatient medical care, along with community outreach, psychosocial support services, and an annual summer camp for HIV-positive children.

    The fellow functions as one of the two pediatric providers in the clinic, providing primary and HIV care for HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children, collaborating closely with a multidisciplinary team. The Fellow plays an active role in co-facilitating monthly pediatric department team meetings, participating in weekly clinical education conferences (often leading sessions on relevant clinical topics or cases), mentoring rotating medical students/residents, and supporting the pediatric nutrition program. The Fellow gains experience in pediatric HIV management, multidisciplinary teamwork, and delivery of comprehensive health services in resource-limited settings.

    Botswana and South Africa

    In these neighboring countries, the Global Health fellow works to provide clinical care and service to children in regions with extremely high HIV infection prevalence. The fellow shares time between Sparrow Village in Johannesburg (a residential pediatric AIDS facility for children), South Africa and Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana.

    Princess Marina Hospital, Botswana

    In Botswana, the fellow delivers inpatient general pediatric clinical care as part of the CHOP program in collaboration with the University of Botswana School of Medicine Department of Paediatrics and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership. The fellow may serve as an adjunct faculty member and lead a pediatric ward team made up of a variety of trainees caring for children admitted to the hospital. The fellow leads a teaching service and team on the pediatric ward during the clinical service at Princess Marina Hospital. The hospital serves as the referral hospital for the entire country and sees a high rate of HIV and AIDS related disease, tuberculosis, and malnutrition.

    The hospital is very large and busy and as a result the fellow will encounter many typical and also unusual, challenging medical cases. Teaching rounds are held every morning to review new cases, and to problem solve with the trainees and faculty on management of ongoing cases.

    Sparrow Village, South Africa

    The fellow also works for approximately two months per year in South Africa at Sparrow Village. This adult hospice and children’s home is located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sparrow Village was founded in 1992 as a hospice for children impacted by HIV. As mothers died from AIDS, the children were left behind. In 2004, South Africans first had access to life saving anti-retroviral medications. Currently, there are nearly 200 children, the majority of whom are HIV positive, who live at Sparrow Village. The age of the children rage from 2 to 20, with about half of the children being teenagers. These children attend nearby public school and are involved in sports, music and many other extracurricular activities. Sparrow Village is a very special place and is filled with hope and happiness.

    Sparrow Village is about a five-hour drive from Gaborone, Botswana. Fellows live on-site at Sparrow Village in a volunteer guesthouse, which is a fully equipped and very comfortable self-catering accommodation complete with endless entertainment. A fellow at Sparrow Village is not a medical doctor that provides care for the children because the children are well cared for by the local public health system. Instead, fellows implement a project selected in collaboration with the leaders at Sparrow. Previous projects include: HIV status disclosure to the children; physical and occupational therapy intervention to improve the development of the toddlers; and small groups with the teen girls focusing on sexual health, life-skills and healthy decision making, career planning, and building self-confidence.

  • Global health faculty and mentorship

    The David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship has diverse faculty with expertise ranging from infectious disease, general pediatrics, emergency medicine to nutrition and more. Faculty members maintain appointments at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Faculty members have clinical or research interests in global health and are available to support the fellow’s clinical, teaching or research activities depending upon his or her needs and interests.

    Together with the fellowship director, each fellow chooses a primary faculty research mentor during the first three to four months of his or her fellowship. The fellow and the research faculty mentor will meet regularly throughout the fellowship. Faculty mentors maintain regular contact with the fellow (via telephone, Skype, email, etc.) and they will mentor the fellow throughout the research study. Fellows will also have bi-weekly conference calls with the fellowship director.

    Examples of research projects undertaken by recent Pincus fellows

    • Development of a community health education model to increase rates of breastfeeding in poor neighborhoods
    • Analysis of the impact of traditional medicine use in the face of hospital admission for acute diarrhea and dehydration
    • Investigation of the infectious etiologies of respiratory infections in neonates who are exposed but uninfected by HIV
    • Understanding and evaluating the role of fathers and how they impact childhood health outcomes in resource limited communities

    Conferences

    Fellows’ scholarly activities will be presented at the annual Global Health Conference at CHOP. It may be possible to attend a national/international conference and fellows are encouraged to present their scholarly work at academic meetings and/or publish in a national or international journal.

    Faculty members

  • Benefits
    • Salary Compensation: Children’s Hospital standard for academic fellows based on PGY status
    • Benefits: Full benefits package standard for academic fellows at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; vacation, medical, dental, prescription, disability insurance, travel and evacuation insurance, 403B
    • Travel: transportation to global health site
    • Conference attendance registration and travel benefit with approval of the fellowship director
    • Full tuition for the coursework at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Eligibility

    The Children’s Hospital David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship seeks motivated pediatricians to apply for a two-year fellowship. Qualified applicants will receive an invitation to an onsite interview with the Global Health faculty and staff in Philadelphia. Interviews will be scheduled for qualified applicants only after receipt and review of all application documents and initial approval of the recruitment committee.

    Applicant requirements:

    • Must have an MD or DO degree
    • Must have completed a pediatric or med-peds residency at an accredited residency program
    • Must be United States Board Certified or Board Eligible
    • Must hold a license to practice medicine in the state of Pennsylvania and will be appointed to the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School in the Division of General Pediatrics. In order to obtain their faculty appointment, fellows will need to satisfy the requirements required by the Division of General Pediatrics and those of the Medical Staff Affairs office at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • How to apply

    Early career pediatricians interested in Global Health careers are encouraged to review the fellowship brochure (PDF) and download the application form. (PDF)

    Application deadline: Sept. 30, 2014

    Candidates must submit the following:

    • A completed electronic application form (including ECFMG certificate number and visa information, if a foreign medical graduate). Applications will only be accepted electronically.
    • An updated curriculum vitae (CV) must be submitted electronically
    • Three letters of recommendation from professional supervisors or faculty mentors familiar with the applicant’s recent professional work
    • An official medical school transcript
    • A one-page personal statement highlighting your professional passion, purpose for applying and career goals as they pertain to the fellowship. Please indicate your preference (if any) between the Dominican Republic and Botswana. If you're interested in serving in the Dominican Republic should, please describe your Spanish language skills in detail.
    • A current United States license to practice medicine. If accepted into the fellowship, applicants will be required to become licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.

    Please email all documents by Sept. 30, 2014 to: Global Health Fellowship Coordinator, JacQuita Lewis

    Or you can fax or mail your documents:

    Fax: 267-426-4991

    Mailing address:

    Global Health
    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    3535 Market St, Suite #1300
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

  • Time table

    July - Sept. 30, 2014: Applications and all required documentation accepted
    Sept. – Dec. 2014: Interviews at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    Jan. 2014: Notification and acceptance of new fellows
    July 1, 2015: Fellowship commences with orientation and coursework. Fellow must be available to begin in Philadelphia.
    Aug. 2015: Fellows depart for Global Health partner sites

Reviewed by Maura Murphy on June 10, 2014