Community Pediatrics Training Initiative

IU School of Medicine believes that an important role for pediatricians is to improve the health of their patients by connecting patients and families to community resources and services. The school’s pediatric residency program trains physicians to actively advocate to address community concerns and improve systems of care. In 2002, the Pediatric Residency Program at IU School of Medicine was one of only 10 programs to be awarded the Anne E. Dyson Community Training Initiative grant to incorporate community-based medicine and advocacy training into its residency program curriculum.

The Community Pediatrics Training Initiative helps residents become leaders who address child health issues with a community perspective and advocate for positive, lasting change. As trusted voices in the public arena, pediatricians are in a unique position to do this. Based on input from the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), the Community Pediatrics Training Initiative program strives to equip all residency graduates with the skills necessary to engage in evidence-based community health activities and effective collaborations with community-based organizations to achieve optimal well-being for children.

Empowering Community Leaders

Community Pediatrics training at IU School of Medicine includes a core curriculum, community outreach, and service learning experiences that support resident competency development in these general domains: Advocacy, Culturally Effective Care, Medical Home, Collaboration, Health Literacy, Public Health, Community Resources, Inquiry and Application, Special Populations.

Depending on the specific residency program, Pediatrics Residents at IU School of Medicine complete one to two years of the Community Pediatrics rotation curriculum. During the rotation, residents regularly partner with multidisciplinary faculty, family representatives, and leaders of community based organizations (CBOs) to learn the skills needed to provide a Medical Home for families and how to advocate for patients, their families and their communities. Residents are introduced to the concepts of child rights, social justice, social determinants of health, health equity via lectures, and advocacy via readings, community partner site visits, service learning activities, reflective writing, and more. Residents also complete Continuous Quality Improvement activities.

Learning on this rotation occurs in a very different model than the typical inpatient/outpatient clinical rotation, as it’s designed with an exploratory adult-learning approach that requires residents to use advanced problem-solving techniques to address health issues and explore community expectations of physicians as partners and leaders. Other rotations include Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Rotation, Ambulatory Rotation and Continuity Clinic.

Training Partners and Activities

Community Pediatrics Training Initiative maintains partnerships with community-based organizations as well as IU Health, Eskenazi Health and state agencies to offer unique and meaningful learning experiences for pediatric residents. Partners share their time and expertise to enhance residents’ understanding of various community-based child and family services and help them learn how to work with special populations of children/families. Pediatrics residents have learning experiences that include (but are not limited to) the following programs.

Community Partner Activity Purpose Assignment
Book Club Health literacy/advocacy/self-care Brief summary
About Special Kids (ASK) About Special Kids presentation and discussion


Become familiar with resources ASK has to offer families of children with special needs read article before session
IUSM Faculty & ASK Medical Home presentation and interactive reflection Lecture and role play clinic scenarios to learn about and identify medical home components; discuss HEADS AT article and how a framework can be helpful as approach to addressing the whole needs of a complex child read HEADS AT article before session
IUSM Faculty Continuous Quality Improvement design and implementation Learn what quality improvement is and understand the PDSA cycle Complete IHI Modules prior to orientation; Pre-test;

Chart Review & Change Implementation w/2 part-PDSA report; Post-test

CYACC Clinic


Clinic shadow/observation


Understand transitional care from peds to adult care for those w/special health care needs Readings
Various Behavioral and Diagnostics-focused Riley Hospital Clinics Behavioral and diagnostic clinic experiences Opportunity to develop clinical skills and perspective in behavioral assessment and diagnostic evaluation working with highly skilled clinical & faculty preceptors Readings, Reflective Assessments
Central Indiana First Steps First Steps Information session


Learn about early invention services N/A
IUSM Faculty Food Insecurity – neighborhood tour and interactive discussion


Understand significance and prevalence of food insecurity and how it affects health and wellbeing N/A
Indiana Legal Services Healthcare Disparities presentation and interactive discussion


Understand healthcare disparities, their negative impacts on health and how prevalent they are Readings
Family Leader Staff Healthcare Financing presentation & discussion


Understand the complexities of financing healthcare for families N/A
Indiana Youth Group


Indiana Youth Group information session


Learn how IYG advocates for LGBTQ youth and resources they provide Readings
Indiana Head Start Head Start center tour and information session Learn about Head Start services, how they impact and educate children & families in their communities N/A
Indiana AAP Current & “Hot” Medical & Legal Advocacy Topics Medical & Legal Advocacy topical discussions N/A
IUSM Faculty IndyGo Bus Activity


Learn about and experience using the city bus and the pros and cons of doing so to better understand the modes of transportation that patients and families access Watch videos, readings, pre- & post-tests
Julian Center Site visit with tour and discussion



Learn about the cycle of violence, the importance of screening for domestic violence, and the services/resources the JC provides Readings
La Plaza


La Plaza information and hot topic discussion/211


Learn about La Plaza and how they serve the Latino community as well as how to use the “211” service n/a
IUSM Faculty Latino Business Community Tour


Learn about how the grocery serves the Latino community as well as differences between it and traditional grocery stores. Learn about folk medicines and how to talk to Latino families about them Readings
Eskenazi Medical Legal Partnership attorneys Medical Legal Partnerships


Learn what medical legal partnerships are and how they can help families Readings
Neighborhood Legal Christian Clinic Shadow immigration intakes Learn about the complex legal justice issues immigrant families can face n/a
Riley Hospital Resource Services staff Riley Scavenger Hunt Learn what each of the different resources do to help families at Riley Riley Scavenger Hunt document
Safe Families of Children Visit Safe Families for Children Learn about Safe Families’ “host families” services and how they can help vulnerable children and families n/a
Washington Township Schools School RN Visit Observe what School RN does, how many children are seen, etc. Experience summary
IUSM Faculty Parenting Lectures Learn about and discuss various parenting techniques & approaches to foster child learning, growth and development to better help address needs of families in clinic
Various Area Preschools Preschool Visits Tour and observe a variety of preschool settings and approaches to learn about the various types available to families
Indiana WIC Clinics (multiple) WIC


Learn what WIC does and how families use their services Readings
IUSM Faculty Gender Health


Presentation and discussion on gender health basics and best clinical practices Readings/videos
IUSM Faculty KidsHealthcast podcast


Develop a podcast of health information for the general public and record it Submit a written podcast combining everyone’s contributions
Various CBO and IUSM Clinic partners Service learning with CBO partner (Residents only)


Complete service learning passport and/or assignment and debrief with CBO partner at the end of the rotation Completed service learning passport, reflection, and evaluation of your CBO partner

Kids Healthcast Podcast

The Kids Healthcast Podcast covers health topics that interest parents in a monthly 20-30 minute podcast. Started in 2011, this podcast is developed by IU School of Medicine pediatric residents. Each podcast includes health news, medical trivia, parenting tips and segments on children’s health. During the first year of the Community Pediatrics rotation, interns (as well as some residents in the second year on the rotation) are involved in creating a podcast episode.