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 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 and advanced thinkers in pediatric global health.

Established in 2008 by a generous gift of 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 developing 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 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.

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

  • The two-year Global Health training model combines clinical service, teaching 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 such as dengue or various parasitic infections may also account for a significant burden of childhood diseases in the partner countries. 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 will 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 the Global Health faculty at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and receive mentoring from a variety of professionals. Fellows are also actively involved in supervising residents and students from CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania that visit Global Health sites.

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

    Research

    Study design, implementation, analysis and write-up 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, 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.

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. They then relocate to their host country and live there. Fellows return to CHOP midway through their fellowship to meet in-person with mentors and to attend CHOP’s annual Global Health conference. Each fellow is strongly encouraged, usually during their second year, to visit the second fellowship site — 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. Fellows also return to CHOP for the last 1-2 weeks of their fellowship to finalize their training experience. It is estimated that 21 of the 24 total fellowship 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 his/her 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 Macorís) and Clínica de Familia (partnered with Columbia University’s International Family AIDS Program) in the nearby city of La Romana. From 2017, fellows will also participate in an in-patient experience. 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 six of the lowest-income neighborhoods in Consuelo. 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 (HIRRC), the country’s main children’s hospital 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 90 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. Additionally, the fellow gains experience in pediatric HIV management, multidisciplinary teamwork, and delivery of comprehensive health services in resource-limited settings.

Botswana and South Africa

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 which is 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, Botswana

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 medical students and a 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 mornings Monday to Friday to review new cases, and to problem solve with the trainees and faculty on management of ongoing cases. Monthly academic meetings include pediatric journal club, and both pediatric and neonatal morbidity and mortality meetings. The fellow takes call as a general pediatrician. 

Global health faculty and mentorship

The David N. Pincus Global Health Fellowship has 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 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 telephone, Skype, email, etc.) and provide mentorship as needed throughout the research study. Each fellow also has 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 low resource neighborhoods
  • Analysis of the impact of traditional medicine use in children admitted to hospital with acute diarrhea and dehydration
  • Investigation of both the outcomes and infectious etiologies of children under 2 years admitted to hospital with a respiratory infection
  • Understanding and evaluating the role of fathers and how they impact childhood health outcomes in resource limited communities
  • Evaluating resident wellness in Botswana
  • Exploring trash and the environment in Consuelo

Conferences

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

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 coursework at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Eligibility

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 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, 2016

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, 2016 to: Global Health Fellowship Coordinator, Tanya Tyler.

Or you can fax or mail your documents:

Fax: 267-426-6995

Mailing address:

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

Time table

July - Sept. 30, 2016: Applications and all required documentation accepted
Sept. – Dec. 2016: Interviews at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Jan. 2017: Notification and acceptance of new fellows
July 1, 2017: Fellowship commences with orientation and coursework. Fellow must be available to begin in Philadelphia.
Aug. 2017: Fellows depart for Global Health partner sites