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Unique Experiences

Besides the core rotation curriculum, our program offers a variety of unique experiences. These additional opportunities give residents the ability to add to their knowledge of pediatrics in ways that are of special interest to them. Please click on the categories below for more information.

Vision

The goal of the global health track is to provide residents with an extensive introduction to the health care issues of children worldwide and to encourage applying the learned skills to address these issues throughout their careers.

View the list of residents in our Global Health Track.

Visit our Global Health page for full details on our global health experiences for trainees at Children’s Mercy.

The goal of the Advocacy Track is to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to improve child health by engaging communities and using evidence based strategies. It offers a unique educational experience in that it is a statewide collaborative comprised of up to 2 residents per class from each of the 4 pediatric residency programs in Missouri. Participants will have ample opportunities to share ideas, working together to create broad system changes in their individual communities and across the state.

The Child Advocacy Track will go above and beyond the basic broad exposure provided during the required rotation in your PL-2 year—it is designed to support residents with a passion for advocacy and an interest in taking a leadership role throughout their careers.

Selected residents will attend a state-wide conference to learn key skills and strategies, such as leading a group effectively, identifying meaningful issues within a community, collaborating with community partners, building coalitions, writing grants, and influencing public policy. They will each complete an individual advocacy project, under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Some examples of past projects include:

  • Kristin Streiler – Amethyst Place is a transitional living community for mothers who are recovering from drug addiction and their children. Kristin organized sessions where mom and kids would prepare healthy food together with the goals of teaching them about nutrition and providing a joyful opportunity for moms and children to bond. She later used that platform to provide the moms with a smoking cessation intervention, including nicotine replacement therapy.

  • April McNeil – Synergy Services is an organization that, among other services, provides emergency shelter to adolescents who are in crisis due to abuse, neglect, running away, or homelessness. April implemented the use of a standardized screening tool for high risk sexual behaviors for adolescents upon arrival to Synergy, then facilitated access to healthcare services and contraception.

    April McNeill, MD, Emergency Medicine Fellow, will be honored at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conference this October with the AAP Section on Medical Students, Residents and Fellowship Trainees Anne E. Dyson Child Advocacy Award. This award celebrates the outstanding efforts of pediatricians-in-training as they work in their communities to improve the health of children. She wins this award for her work on teen contraception, which was the longitudinal project she worked on as a member of the advocacy track. The track assists residents with collaboration across the state of Missouri and project building, expansion, and completion.
  • Luke Prest – First Steps is the birth to three early intervention program for the state of Missouri. The goal of Luke’s project was to improve the First Steps referral process. He did this by speaking to First Steps staff and surveying pediatricians, then creating educational materials.

The Clínica Hispana de Cuidados de Salud (CHiCoS) sets Children's Mercy apart by offering a unique, formal program for learning medical Spanish as part of a resident’s weekly continuity clinic. Selected residents with at least intermediate Spanish proficiency are able to work alongside bilingual general academic pediatricians while using a dedicated Spanish culture and language coach to provide care to Spanish-speaking families.

In addition to developing bilingual language skills using a formal curriculum, CHiCoS residents learn how to provide culturally-appropriate support for the growing Spanish-speaking community of Kansas City. The goal is to increase Spanish culture and language proficiency with the vast majority of residents graduating the CHiCoS continuity clinic as qualified bilingual pediatricians.

Pediatricians are encouraged and expected to be champions of Advocacy, Research / Quality Improvement, and Wellness. Each of the three chief residents now chairs a committee of residents to increase exposure directed at one of these three non-clinical tenants of pediatrics.

This organizational strategy began in July 2018, and has led to an increase in resident engagement, both with respect to participation in institutional opportunities at CMH as well as organizing outside community events that promote child health and/or physician wellness. The chief resident office has also started a new Diversity Committee as of July 2019.

Advocacy


One of the chief resident leads a committee of residents who are interested in participating and planning events within the community. The goal is to make a positive impact in children’s health within the Kansas City area. Events this year have included providing smoking cessation education and resources to mothers at Amethyst Place, teaching children at Operation Breakthrough about asthma and its effects on the lungs, and maintaining a community garden that supplies local food kitchens. Residents also completed a very successful donations drive that collected items needed for the CMH Foster Care Clinic. Residents have found these opportunities to be rewarding both directly and indirectly: they enjoy making a positive impact in the lives of their patients, and they particularly relish any chance to do so outside the confines of a hospital.

Wellness


The Wellness committee is chaired by a chief resident whose responsibility is to help residents brainstorm and implement activities that will amplify the sense of community within the residency program. This committee has been exceptionally successful with high turnout rates for activities such as axe throwing, group karaoke, bowling, and trips to the pumpkin patch. Residents’ children and significant others are encouraged to attend these events as well, which has noticeably increased participation.

Research


The third chief resident chairs a Research / Quality Improvement arm of the residency program by representing the residents on the Research Education Committee, leading a committee of residents who plan a quarterly journal club, matching residents interested in research with faculty who are experienced mentors, and serving as a billboard of advertisements for various conferences in which residents might be interested in presenting their scholarly activity. The residency program has seen an increase in scholarly activity logged, and recently residents have presented their work at conferences in Seattle, Atlanta, Vancouver, Orlando, and Italy, just to name a few.

Diversity


The Diversity and Inclusion Committee was created in 2019 with the goal of raising awareness of and celebrating diversity within the Children’s Mercy residency program, as well as providing education on issues regarding diversity and inclusion. Resident members will put together quarterly events to celebrate cultural occasions, such as Hispanic Heritage month, Black History month, and Pride. Other events will include discussions of hot topic issues within Pediatrics, such as cultural competency and implicit bias.

Residents participate in simulation sessions using high fidelity mannequins during their outpatient elective months. Residents work in teams of 4-6 residents to address common pediatric critical illnesses, including altered mental status, respiratory failure, and cardiac emergencies. Residents have the opportunity to work on resuscitation skills and procedures, such as vascular access and airway support, as well as improve their leadership and communication ability in crisis situations.

Simulation sessions are facilitated by both physician staff and a multi-disciplinary team including nurse and RT educators. In addition to the in-depth simulation experience, residents are also provided with supplemental electronic learning resources as a review of these important topics.