Community for Children's curriculum is focused on professional development of the physician as advocate within an international setting. Medical students and residents are taken out of the hospital and clinic settings into an international setting to discover sources of health, disease and healing within any particular community. A significant amount of time is spent in the community, assessing needs and implementing advocacy projects, in collaboration with community organizations and the families they serve. Participants make house calls, getting to know the families and their struggles. There is also protected time for reflection, the role of advocacy in participants’ lives and work, individualized development counseling and close mentoring from CforC faculty.

The focus of the curriculum is not clinical, but rather leadership development and advocacy within community.  A key component of the curriculum is fostering a culture of compassion among physicians as they attempt to provide a culture of healing and compassion for their patients.

Curriculum themes include: 

1. Rights of the Child

  • Workshops based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Meetings with attorneys and judges working in children's rights
  • Interviews with child detainees and officials at U.S. federal detention centers

2. Social Determinants of Disease and Health

  • Lectures on social determinants from an international public health perspective
  • Meetings with migrant clinicians and promotoras

3. Ethics of Global Health

  • Didactics and discussion on ethical issues of care in resource-poor regions
  • Global health resources

4. The Impact of Poverty, Immigration and Violence

  • Home visits with faculty and lay health educators
  • Examination of roots of poverty  and immigration issues through interaction with faculty, families, community leaders, organizations and literature review
  • Reflections on observations and experiences

5. Preparing for Advocacy

  • Community-based advocacy project
  • Meetings with community activists and advocates

6. Cultural Humility

  • Review of current literature
  • Daily opportunities to encounter people whose language, values, affect, economics, religion, norms and politics are personally foreign to participants
  • Individualized Spanish classes

7. Fostering a Culture of Compassion

  • Guided reflection to explore how medical training supports or undermines compassion for self and others
  • Reflection on the meaning, causes and repercussions of poverty and our own emotional responses to the poor among us

8. Professional Development

  • Correspondence prior to attendance to encourage reflection on personal values, affinities, and the "heart" in medicine
  • Private time for reflection on personal meaning, call to action, sense of direction
  • Individual development counseling
  • Post-elective mentoring