Global Health Opportunities at UCSD Pediatrics


For the individual resident:

  • Address health needs specific to children in developing countries
  • Develop clinical skills and critical thinking to optimize patient care in resource-poor settings
  • Understand cultural differences in the practice of health care and provide culturally-competent care to all populations
  • Witness and comprehend the social and economic determinants of health in a global context, and advocate for health equality

For the program:

  • Promote bi-directional research and clinical collaboration with international colleagues, guided by appropriate ethical principles
  • Cultivate lifelong interest in global health and offer mentorship in career development for those residents interested in establishing careers in international medicine
  • Appreciate the unique geographic location of UCSD/Rady Children's Hospital. Its proximity to the U.S.-Mexican border provides San Diego with a global population in a local vicinity


International Educational Conferences

In collaboration with the Pediatric Residency Program at the Hospital Civil de Guadalajara, the UCSD Pediatric Residency Program uses ZOOM technology to host a monthly Binational Morning Report. The series is held on the second Wednesday of each month from 7:30am - 8:30am at Rady Children's Hospital - Education and Office Building.   The case presentations alternate between San Diego and Guadalajara and between English and Spanish.  

Cultural Immersion Days

Developed by the PACCT program (Pediatricians and Community Collaborating Together), this series was developed to raise awareness of the societal factors that contribute to child health, as well as to increase understanding of the many local micro-cultures present in San Diego and its surrounding areas. These events are open to all pediatric residents, and recent topics have included Traditional Mexican Healing, Military Families, and LGBT communities.

Ultrasound in Resource-Limited Settings

Clinician-performed bedside ultrasonography is emerging as a useful diagnostic tool for healthcare providers in resource-limited settings. Many studies are demonstrating how ultrasound use for patients in LMICs can significantly impact the diagnosis and management.  To ensure sustainability of ultrasound programs in resource-limited environments, the UCSD Pediatric Global Health Program will include annual evening sessions on the use of ultrasounds, including both lecture and practical experience.

Helping Babies Breathe

Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an evidence-based educational program to teach neonatal resuscitation techniques in resource-limited areas. HBB® aims to help meet Millennium Development Goal 4 targets for reduction of child mortality by addressing one of the most important causes of neonatal death: intrapartum-related events (birth asphyxia).  The HBB® Master Trainer and Facilitator Workshop is designed for those with experience caring for newborns and who will train health care providers as well as birth attendants in low resource settings.  This workshop will be held annually for the UCSD Pediatric Residents interested in Global Health. 


Four weeks of Community Pediatrics

A sound fund of knowledge in Community based care is integral to providing competent care for the global patient. UCSD/Rady Children’s Hospital has world-renowned leaders in community pediatrics who are an invaluable asset to the Global Health Track.


During residency, you are allotted four weeks of scheduled research time. Residents may choose to focus on clinical research, curricular development, or advocacy and policymaking. Research mentors are provided to guide residents in their chosen direction.

"Think Globally, Act Locally" TGAL

This 2-week elective, available in the second or third year of residency, provides residents with the opporunuity to work with refugee, immigrant and cross-border populations in San Diego County and Tijuana. 

Field experience

Residents have the opportunity to travel abroad for two four-week electives, traditionally in the second and third years. A resident may select from the following previously established rotations:

- Guadalajara

- Saipan 

- Uganda (Kampala)

- Chile (Santiago)

Mozambique 3.JPG


International Health Collective (IHC) Free Clinic

This student-run organization has an establish free clinic in the eastern region of Tijuana, Mexico, providing high quality, comprehensive, patient-centered healthcare services to the underserved communities of Tijuana Progreso/Girasoles. The clinic runs the first Saturday of every month, seeing predominantly pediatric patients, with help from UCSD faculty, residents, and undergraduate students.   For more information about the organization visit 


The program receives some funding from UCSD, but the majority of faculty who participate do so on a volunteer basis because they are committed to furthering resident education in global health. Residents are also encouraged to apply for the semiannual American Academy of Pediatrics International Elective Award as well as other available travel scholarships. Resident salaries are not interrupted during their elective time abroad.

International Elective Awards – Deadline September 15 & March 15 each year
Each academic year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will designate several $1,000 awards split in two cycles (number awarded per cycle will be at the discretion of the review committee) to categorical or combined-training pediatric residents who wish to complete a clinical pediatric elective in the developing world during residency. Applicants must be a member of the AAP Section on International Child Health (SOICH) in order to apply. Awards are given solely on the basis of the application and an online recommendation form.  Please visit the International Elective Award webpage for the application and more information. 


Following graduation, many residents who have done electives abroad continue to focus on global health in their careers. Several have chosen to work with immigrant populations in the primary care setting, while others have chosen to pursue additional education by way of a fellowship in global health.