Community Pediatrics Training Program

The mission of the Community Pediatrics Program is to improve the health status of children and adolescents in the communities of Northern Manhattan. Through collaborative partnerships between community and academic organizations, innovative pediatric training experiences, population health initiatives, and enhanced academic leadership, we believe that we can significantly and permanently improve how pediatricians relate to, advocate for, and remain committed to the children and the community for whom they care.

Training Overview 


Community pediatrics training is an opportunity for residents to focus on core concepts of community pediatrics, including population health, social determinants of health, disparities, cultural humility, and legislative advocacy. 

By the end of three years training, pediatric residents will:  

  • be able to examine health and wellbeing from a population perspective
  • understand the impact that social determinants of health have in overall health
  • learn principles of maternal child health
  • engage in legislative advocacy around topics in child health
  • understand how to approach encounters with humility toward a person/population’s background, culture, heritage, ethnicity.

Training Methodology 

The program spans the three years of training and is embedded into the ambulatory block during each year. Introduction to the program and community is conducted through a walking tour of the Washington Heights community during intern orientation.

For residents with a particular interest in community pediatrics, a special interest group offers an enhanced experience that fosters the development of future leaders in the field. Interested residents are offered focused faculty and peer mentorship, scholarly project ideas in community pediatrics, as well as opportunities to present their work in different venues (e.g. annual departmental scholarly forum, community pediatrics chief of service, diversity and inclusion symposium). This group meets regularly to share project updates and engage in dialogue around community pediatrics topics.

Multiple training methodologies are used to deliver these objectives:

Service-Learning: a structured learning experience that combines community service with explicit learning objectives, preparation, and reflection. Residents visit multiple community-based programs that are at the core of community child health. Following the service-learning methodology, residents will:

  • Learn about the agency and the context in which the service is being provided.
  • Provide service to the clients of the program, mostly in the form of health education.
  • Learn from the community workers at each program and become aware of the cultural underpinnings of the service being offered at the site.

Self-directed learning: asynchronous learning methodology that capitalizes on adult learning principles to empower trainees to be in charge of their education. Topics include: Reach out and Read, legislative advocacy, gun safety, and health literacy, and they are taught through web-based presentations, reading, and written exercises.

Traditional didactic sessions: embedded topics covered by experts throughout the year in established lecture times such as chief of service, grand rounds, and noon lectures. 

Resident-driven projects: advocacy projects driven by individuals or by resident groups (Columbia Pediatric Advocacy Program or CPAP); scholarly projects in the field of community/population health, social determinants, disparities, or cultural humility.

Experiential workshops: week-long resident workshops on cultural humility facilitated by faculty: Engaging Residents in Cultural Humility, or “EnRICH” week

Themes of Care

Each training year has a particular content focus within community pediatrics to help trainees gain an appreciation for themes of care that apply more globally to the care of children and their families.

Year 1: Early childhood development
Year 2: Legislative advocacy and social determinants of health
Year 3: Children with special healthcare needs/special populations


If you have questions or would like more information about the Columbia University Pediatric Residency Program, please contact us.

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