Welcome future pediatricians and global health enthusiasts! I am so excited to introduce you to the unique training program that is the Dr. Kelly DeScioli Global Child Health Pediatrics Residency Program at Baylor College of Medicine!
This one-of-a-kind training program provides residents the opportunity to spend a full year on an international assignment at one of the Texas Children’s Global Health Network sites, which include Malawi, Botswana, Uganda, Eswatini, and Lesotho. During their international assignment, our residents work with local partners to provide quality care for children with HIV, malnutrition, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases that are not as commonly encountered in resource-rich settings. This unique experience allows our residents to not only learn about the challenges and intricacies of delivering care in low-resource communities, it also helps them to develop a critical consciousness about the local cultural, historical, and socioeconomic conditions. In addition to the standard pediatric residency curriculum, our trainees conduct research, engage in advocacy, and work on initiatives to improve access to care on a broader scale.
As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed the greatest threat to global public health in decades. I am proud to say that, despite the many challenges faced during the pandemic, our program has continued to adapt and persist during these difficult times. As part of the first group of global health residents to return abroad after the start of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to work and train in Malawi from 2022-2023. The experience was truly formative and enriching, to say the least. In some respects, working in Malawi in the midst of the COVID pandemic showed me how interconnected we are, as a human race. The challenges that are faced by physicians in the US (rampant spread of the virus, vaccine hesitancy) are the same as those faced by healthcare workers in Malawi. However, in addition to these new global threats, Malawians must also bear the continuing burdens of food insecurity, climate change, and the multiple effects of diseases such as malaria and HIV/Aids.
Now more than ever, it is imperative to continue cultivating a future generation of pediatric leaders who approach care from a global perspective. Since 2014, our residency program has trained pediatricians who continue to share their knowledge and skills for the betterment of global child health. Our graduates have gone on to work at various local and international institutions, such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
I feel that my training with the Dr. Kelly DeScioli Global Child Health Pediatrics Residency Program has truly prepared me for a rewarding career as a pediatrician and a global child health advocate. I am very passionate about this program and happy to tell you more. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. We can’t wait to meet you soon!
Shenila B. Lallani, M.D.
Global Child Health Residency Program Chief Resident, 2022-2023