Frequently Asked Questions - Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track
Why should I choose the Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track?
Children’s National is one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals. Our diverse patient population and extensive connections with local community agencies and The George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services will give you an unparalleled opportunity to learn about community pediatrics in an academic setting. In addition, our location in the nation’s capital gives you unique access to many national organizations working to better the health of children as well as plenty of opportunities to advocate for children on a national level.
The Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track is the track for you if you are interested in learning how broad factors such as lack of investment in communities, systemic racism, and public policy can affect children’s health and cause inequities especially in under-resourced populations. Residents learn to create successful community partnerships, utilize available community resources, advocate for children, and integrate public health concepts into the everyday practice of medicine to improve the health of under-resourced communities.
What am I trading in if I am in the Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track instead of the Primary Care Track or the Categorical Track?
For the most part you receive the same inpatient training as categorical residents. During the course of three years, you will have one less month of inpatient pediatrics, but the same amount of time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department and electives. The major difference in the training lies in what you do during your ambulatory months. As part of the LAUnCH track, you will be assigned to continuity clinic at an under-resourced community site with a mentor who is interested in community pediatrics. You will also have specific outpatient rotations designed for you, such as Introduction to Community Building Blocks, time at Children’s Health Center at THEARC and on the mobile medical vans, a rotation through Children’s Child and Adolescent Protection Center, a block at the Child Health Advocacy Institute and a health policy elective (see Our Curriculum).
Many applicants ask about the difference between the Primary Care Track (PCT) and the Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health equity (LAUnCH) Track. The PCT provides an opportunity to learn in one setting during a concentrated period of time, thereby becoming an integral part of a working pediatric practice. PCT residents spend five blocks of time in both their second and third year working closely with office staff and seeing patients side-by-side with the attendings, to gain in-depth exposure to daily primary care pediatric practice. The LAUnCH tracks main focus is on advocacy, public health and serving under-resourced populations. Therefore, LAUnCH residents will spend outpatient time learning about public health techniques used to identify and address community health needs, becoming a physician advocate and how to address health inequities.
Is there any time set aside for working in the community?
In your second and third year of training, you will have one half-day a week set aside to do a longitudinal community-based project. You use this time to design a health promotion project for your local community using the concepts of community-oriented primary care and working with a faculty mentor. Additionally, several of the LAUnCH rotations, such as Population Health and Leadership and the Advocacy selective, provide you with time to work with local community-based organizations.
What sort of mentorship is available for residents in the LAUnCH Track
At the beginning of their first year, each LAUnCH resident is assigned a portfolio advisor who is committed to community pediatrics. As topics for longitudinal projects are identified, additional mentors will be assigned to each resident. Additionally, all of the faculty members of the Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health are available to offer career advice for our residents.
What do you expect residents to do after they graduate?
We expect that residents will choose to practice in under-resourced areas and become leaders in community and public health, even if they decide to subspecialize within the field of pediatrics. In the past, our residents have gone into both primary care practice and subspecialty fellowships such as in the Emergency Department or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We also expect that some of our residents will choose to further their education by obtaining a Master’s of Public Health degree, pursuing a fellowship in general pediatrics or preventive medicine or applying for Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars.
If I decide I want to do subspecialty fellowship training, will my options be limited?
The LAUnCH Track does not limit your choices, as your inpatient time is almost identical to the Categorical Track. In addition, you will have ample elective time to explore subspecialties of interest during your three years of training.
What is the application process?
Children’s National Hospital has eight residency positions available each year that are designated as Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track positions. Residency applicants interested in being considered for a LAUnCH Track position should check off the appropriate box in ERAS. Checking the box does not obligate an applicant to enter the LAUnCH Track, but interested students selected for interview will have one of their interviews with our LAUnCH Track faculty members.
Since the Categorical, LAUnCH Track and Primary Care Track have separate match numbers, LAUnCH applicants may rank from one to all three of the tracks at Children’s National.