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 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). It extends CHOP’s clinical, educational, research and advocacy programs beyond the borders of the United States and into international partner communities. The vision of the fellowship is to train leaders in pediatric global health.

Established in 2008 by a generous gift from David N. Pincus, this fellowship program provides opportunities for Global Health fellows to enhance their clinical, educational, research, advocacy and leadership skills in pediatric global health. The fellowship seeks outstanding candidates who not only want to provide clinical service and education in a global setting, but who are also problem solvers who will work with their mentors to design and implement projects and research studies that will benefit children in our partner communities. Accepted applicants join an educationally rich and exciting three-year, fully funded academic pediatric global health fellowship at CHOP and will work primarily in one of our partner countries: Botswana or the Dominican Republic.

Pincus Fellows have clinical, educational, research, advocacy and leadership opportunities throughout the three-year fellowship and will be supported by CHOP Global Health faculty. The fellowship actively collaborates with the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP), the Centro de Salud Divina Providencia in Consuelo (CSDP), Clínica de Familia La Romana, Columbia University International Family AIDS Program (IFAP) and the University of Botswana (UB).

The three-year Global Health training model combines clinical service, teaching and scholarship (50 percent effort) in a global setting. 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 such as dengue or various parasitic infections may also account for a significant burden of childhood diseases in partner countries. Each fellow benefits from funding, protected time and mentorship to acquire a master’s degree (e.g. MPH or MSCE through the London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene). Each fellow also has the opportunity to design, implement, present and publish a research project under the mentorship of faculty members in the Department of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.

Clinical service

Global Health fellows work collaboratively with in-country professional colleagues. The fellow will have regular and ongoing 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 modest resources while also being exposed to a broad range of interesting pathologies. In doing so, they develop and improve their clinical diagnostic skills and learn to optimize therapy using available resources.

Education and teaching

Global Health fellows actively coordinate and engage in educational activities in their community, in collaboration with other professionals. In both settings, this includes teaching opportunities with local pediatric residents, nurses and other learners. Fellows are supported by Global Health faculty at CHOP and receive mentoring from a variety of in-country professionals. Fellows are also actively involved in supervising residents and students from CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania that visit Global Health sites.

Through the continued generous support of the Pincus Family Foundation, starting in July 2019, the CHOP David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship will evolve from a two- to a three-year program, allowing for increased study and research time as well as funding to pursue a master-level degree by distance learning through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The fellowship also provides support for additional activities (conferences, journal club, specialized training) according to the interest and motivation of the fellow.

Research

Acquiring skills to conduct high-quality research is a valuable tool to advance global child health. Intensive coursework and training will occur throughout the fellowship through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Early in their first year fellows will enroll in a distance learning degree with courses starting in October 2019. Study design, implementation, analysis and write-up are important learning objectives of the Global Health Fellowship. Fellows learn how to design global health research projects and use the principles of clinical epidemiology and public health, adapting and applying them to Global Child Health. Fellows who already have masters training (e.g. MPH) will work with the program director and faculty to jointly design a curriculum that meets their learning goals.

Individualized research mentoring allows fellows to explore their specific research interests. Fellows have access to CHOP Global Health faculty as well as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania; the CHOP Global Health Center will connect fellows with faculty mentors according to each fellow’s specific research interests. Each fellow works closely with his or her research mentor(s) to design, plan, execute and write up a research study. The realm of each research project is flexible based upon the interests of the fellow, but is guided closely by a chosen faculty mentor and on the priorities of the relevant Global Health partner site.

We encourage you to explore these links to learn about the work of prior CHOP David N. Pincus Global Health Fellows: Lara Antkowiak, Marc Callender, Maria Dunn, Matt Kelly, Chloe Turner, and Henry Welch.

Fellowship locations

Fellows begin their fellowship at CHOP and spend three to four weeks orienting to the program in Philadelphia, meeting with CHOP and Penn faculty and preparing for their assignment in partner countries. They then relocate to their host country and live there. Fellows return to CHOP at least once midway through their fellowship to meet in person with mentors and to attend CHOP’s annual Global Health conference. Fellows also return to CHOP at the end of their second year to welcome the new class of global health fellows and share their experiences to date.

Each fellow is encouraged and funded to visit the second fellowship site during their second or third year of the fellowship; this visit builds rapport between fellows and further enriches their appreciation for the importance of context in Global Health as they explore the health systems in both the DR and Botswana.

It is estimated that at least 32 of the 36 total fellowship months are spent caring for children, studying, and researching in the partner country, which allows for an exceptional global immersion educational 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 his/her three-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 Macorís) and Clínica de Familia (partnered with Columbia University’s International Family AIDS Program) in the nearby city of La Romana. Fellows will also participate in an inpatient experience at a partner pediatric hospital, such as Hospital Infantil Dr. Robert Reid Cabral. Clinical duties are accompanied by a scholarly project conducted in either Consuelo or La Romana, with close mentorship and support both 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 community pediatric health program through Centro de Salud Divina Providencia known as Niños Primeros en Salud (NPS), caring for children less than 5 years of age who reside in seven of the lowest-income neighborhoods in Consuelo. This clinic and community program focuses on preventive care, nutrition, breastfeeding, growth and development, vaccinations, anemia, 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 Dr. Robert Reid Cabral (HIRRC), the country’s main children’s hospital in Santo Domingo, and from Hospital Materno-Infantil San Lorenzo de los Mina, the country’s primary women and children’s hospital also located in Santo Domingo, rotate through Consuelo monthly for their community health rotation. This exchange provides rich opportunities for both education and collaboration between the fellow and the Dominican residents. The fellow also actively engages in community health and wellness programs (including those related to community health workers, nutrition, and parasitic infections) and conducts home visits in the Consuelo neighborhoods (“barrios”) with the pediatric community nurse to improve access and provision of care to children who need it most.

La Romana

In La Romana, the fellow works at Clínica de Familia, which partners with the Dominican Ministry of Health and Columbia University’s International Family AIDS Program. Clínica de Familia is a model clinic caring for vulnerable populations in the eastern Dominican Republic. With a multi-disciplinary staff of over 100 people, the clinic provides 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 is one of two pediatricians 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. Additionally, the fellow gains experience in pediatric HIV management, multidisciplinary teamwork, and delivery of comprehensive health services in resource-limited settings.

Botswana

Botswana’s health challenges include the third highest HIV prevalence globally, prematurity, childhood diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition. In this setting, the Global Health fellow works to provide clinical care and service to children at the University of Botswana’s main teaching hospital, currently Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana. Clinical duties are accompanied by a scholarly project with close mentorship and support both in-country and remotely from CHOP.

Princess Marina Hospital

In Botswana, the fellow delivers inpatient general pediatric clinical care as part of the CHOP program in collaboration with the Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana (UB) and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership. The Fellow serves as an adjunct faculty member for UB and at different times leads both a pediatric ward team and a neonatal team. The team includes a variety of trainees (such as UB medical students and a UB resident) caring for children admitted to the hospital. The hospital serves as the referral hospital for the entire country and sees a high rate of prematurity, neonatal complications, pneumonia, diarrhea, HIV and AIDS-related disease, tuberculosis, and malnutrition.

The hospital is large and busy, and as a result, the fellow will encounter both routine and unusual, challenging medical cases. Morning report and teaching rounds are held each morning, Monday to Friday, to review new cases and to problem solve with trainees and faculty on the management of ongoing cases. Monthly academic meetings include pediatric journal club and pediatric and neonatal morbidity and mortality meetings. The fellow takes calls as a general pediatrician.

Global health faculty and mentorship

The David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship has a diverse faculty with expertise ranging from infectious disease to general pediatrics, emergency medicine to nutrition, public health to toxicology, informatics to infection control, epidemiology and more. Faculty members maintain appointments at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. They have clinical and/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 the fellowship and will meet regularly throughout the fellowship with him/her. Faculty mentors maintain regular contact with the fellow (via both in-person and other means including telephone, Skype, WhatsApp, email, etc.) and provide mentorship as needed throughout the research study. Additionally, each fellow also has a biweekly conference call with the fellowship director.

Examples of research projects undertaken by recent Pincus fellows

Conferences and scholarship

During the fellowship, fellows will enhance their skills to share their global health work with others. Fellows’ scholarly activities will be presented at the annual CHOP Global Health Conference. Additionally, each Fellow will present their work at a national/international conference and submit at least one manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Faculty members

Fellows have access to a wide range of faculty from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. These include but are not limited to:

Benefits

  • Salary Compensation: Children’s Hospital standard for academic fellows based on PGY status
  • Benefits: Full benefits package standard for academic fellows at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; vacation, medical, dental, prescription, disability insurance, travel and evacuation insurance, 403B
  • Travel: Annual roundtrip ticket to the global health site
  • Conference attendance registration and travel benefit with the approval of the fellowship director
  • Full tuition for distance learning for master’s degree at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (or funding for research, if fellow already has a pertinent masters-level degree)

Eligibility

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship seeks motivated pediatricians to apply for a three-year fellowship. Qualified applicants will receive an invitation to an onsite interview with 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. Pediatric subspecialists are also encouraged to apply.
  • Must be United States Board Certified or Board Eligible.
  • Must hold a license to practice medicine in the state of Pennsylvania. Selected fellows will be appointed to the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania 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 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. 23, 2018

Candidates must submit the following (note that applications will only be accepted electronically):

  • A completed electronic application form (including ECFMG certificate number and visa information, if a foreign medical graduate).
  • An updated curriculum vitae (CV).
  • 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, 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. 23, 2018, to Global Health Fellowship Coordinator, Tanya Tyler.

Questions: Please reach out to the Fellowship Director, Andrew Steenhoff MBBCh, DCH by email: globalhealthcenter@email.chop.edu

Timetable

  • July 1 - Sept. 23, 2018: Applications and all required documentation accepted
  • September – October 2018: Interviews at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • January 2019: Notification and acceptance of new fellows
  • July 1, 2019: Fellowship commences with orientation and faculty meetings in Philadelphia. Fellows must be available to begin in Philadelphia.
  • Late July – August 2019: Fellows depart for Global Health partner sites