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Ital J Pediatr. 2014 Feb 5;40:13. doi: 10.1186/1824-7288-40-13.

International child health elective for pediatric residents.

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Department of Woman's and Child's Health, Pediatric Residency Program, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.



There are increasing evidence highlighting the importance of incorporating issues of global health into pre- and post-graduate medical curricula. Medical international cooperation is a fundamental component of strategies to include global health issues in post-graduate medical curricula.


Here we describe a seven-year cooperation between the Non Governmental Organization (NGO) "Doctors for Africa CUAMM" and the Pediatric Residency Program (PRP) of the University of Padua (Italy) that offers residents a well-articulated personalized international child's health (ICH) elective in Africa, called "Junior Project Officer". The elective includes: a careful candidate selection process; pre-departure educational course; preceptorship in Padua and Africa, personalized learning objectives, a personalized job description, a six-month hands-on learning experience in Africa, evaluation of the experience, and formal private and open feed-backs/reports.


Between 2006 and 2012, 14 residents aged from 27 to 31 years, six attending the III, nine the IV and two the V year of residency completed the six-month stage in Africa. All worked in pediatric in-patient units; seven also worked in out-patient clinics, six in emergency rooms and seven in community health centers. Eleven were involved in teaching activities and four in clinical research projects. All residents claimed to have achieved their learning objectives.


A strong partnership between the NGO and the PRP, and well-articulated personalized learning objectives and job description contributed to a successful ICH elective.

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