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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.


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:

  • April McNeil, MD – 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 health care 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, DO – 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.

  • Alexandra Prosser, MD - Alex coordinated healthy food demonstrations for patients and their families at the Children's Mercy Broadway Clinic with the goal of addressing food insecurity and obesity prevention. At these events, chef educators demonstrated interactive, healthy recipes and a local mobile market provided free bags of produce for families to take home. Additionally, there was a table of resources that included information on nutrition, government programs, and local food pantries.

  • Kristin Streiler, MD – 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.

View the roster of residents in the Advocacy Track.

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.

Learn more about CHiCoS

Pediatricians are encouraged and expected to be champions of Advocacy, Research / Quality Improvement, Wellness and Diversity. 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.


This committee of residents is 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. Past events 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.


The Wellness committee brainstorms and implements 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.


This committee of residents plans a quarterly journal club, matches residents interested in research with faculty who are experienced mentors, and serves 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.


The Diversity and Inclusion Committee was created 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. Read more about diversity efforts within the residency program.

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.

In addition to experiences in the Simulation Center, the resident program has a small sim lab in the Housestaff lounge area that residents can access at any time in order to practice procedures as needed.