Childhood Poverty and Its Effect on Health and Well-being: Enhancing Training for Learners Across the Medical Education Continuum.

OBJECTIVE: Childhood poverty is unacceptably common in the US and threatens the health, development, and lifelong well-being of millions of children. Health care providers should be prepared through medical curricula to directly address the health harms of poverty. In this article, authors from The Child Poverty Education Subcommittee (CPES) of the Academic Pediatric Association Task Force on Child Poverty describe the development of the first such child poverty curriculum for teachers and learners across the medical education continuum. METHODS: Educators, physicians, trainees, and public health professionals from 25 institutions across the United States and Canada were convened over a 2-year period and addressed 3 goals: 1) define the core competencies of child poverty education, 2) delineate the scope and aims of a child poverty curriculum, and 3) create a child poverty curriculum ready to implement in undergraduate and graduate medical education settings. RESULTS: The CPES identified 4 core domains for the curriculum including the epidemiology of child poverty, poverty-related social determinants of health, pathophysiology of the health effects of poverty, and leadership and action to reduce and prevent poverty's health effects. Workgroups, focused on each domain, developed learning goals and objectives, built interactive learning modules to meet them, and created evaluation and faculty development materials to supplement the core curriculum. An editorial team with representatives from each workgroup coordinated activities and are preparing the final curriculum for national implementation. CONCLUSIONS: This comprehensive, standardized child poverty curriculum developed by an international group of educators in pediatrics and experts in the health effects of poverty should prepare medical trainees to address child poverty and improve the health of poor children