The University of Miami Mailman Center LEND Program Empowers the Next Generation of Physicians

June 1, 2021

The Mailman Center LEND program has teamed up with the medical school's NextGenMD program to develop a pathway in Child Health, Development, and Leadership. The Next GenMD curriculum pathway provides a longitudinal, structured learning opportunity for a non-dual degree medical student in the form of didactic sessions, required coursework, research under the direction of faculty mentors, experiential learning, professional development through participation in organizations, societies and scientific meetings, and self-directed learning activities, both conventional and web-based.

The newly-created pathway in Child Development, Leadership, and Health is designed for medical students to participate in the Mailman Center's LEND program and explore their interests in child development and well-being. Through a variety of community and clinical experiences, small group interactions, and online learning modalities, 8 first-year pediatric medical students are joining LEND trainees, representing 12 disciplines such as psychology, nursing, social work, speech and language pathology, and family members/people with disabilities. Under the close supervision of a mentor, the NextGenMD medical students will complete an independent capstone project demonstrating leadership development and systems-level change for the pediatric population.

Unique features of this pathway include: 1) examination of the broad range of typical and atypical child development and identification of risk factors that impact child health and well-being, 2) application of classroom learning to a dedicated field experience with a community partner to address a broad issue in child development and well-being, 3) identification of various research methodological approaches and application of research methods to conduct a scholarly project, and 4) exploration of the importance of interdisciplinary teaming, family-professional partnerships, and cultural humility when working with children with NDD and SHCNs.

Pathway Director Dr. Michelle Schladant oversees more than 40 long term trainees (e.g., graduate students in psychology and public health) and more than 40 medium term trainees (e.g., pediatric and medicine residents). The Pathway Co-Director Dr. Jeff Brosco is a developmental pediatrician who also directs the Medicine as a Profession (MAP) portion of the NextGenMD curriculum. The Director and Co-Director work with the Mailman Center Training Workgroup to oversee the development, implementation, and evaluation of the pathway. The workgroup consists of Mailman Center core discipline directors and trainees and meets quarterly to discuss recruitment, selection, training content, and core competencies for all disciplines. In addition, at the completion of their pathway experience, medical students will complete an evaluation to evaluate their specific field experience, mentors, supervisors, and provide an overall rating of the pathway.