When Dr. Rony Saint Fleur first came to Hôpital Universitaire Justinien (Justinien Hospital) as a resident in the pediatric service, there was no documented curriculum for pediatric residents. At the end of their 3-year program, there was no way for faculty to evaluate residents’ skills. Having had the opportunity to train in the U.S. and France, Dr. Saint Fleur saw the difference that a good curriculum and evaluation could make in the quality of patient care.
Five years ago Dr. Saint Fleur approached Konbit Sante and asked to work together to develop a new system for curriculum and a new evaluation system. The goal? To create a three-year curriculum that strengthens the pediatric training program at Justinien and contributes to the development of a cadre of high-performing pediatric generalists in Haiti. Five years later, Justinien is the only one of the four public teaching hospitals in Haiti that has such a curriculum.
The program, jointly developed by Justinien pediatrics, the head of training and medical education at Justinien, and Konbit Sante includes a lecture schedule covering 51 pediatric topics including neonatology, critical care, and pulmonology, just to name a few. The curriculum is implemented by a team of interns, residents, and volunteer doctors from the U.S.
Residents are assessed on nine areas of proficiency. In addition to neonatology, critical care, and pulmonology, these proficiencies include history taking, organizing patient care, clinical knowledge, professional behavior, and patient- and family-centered communication.
How do residents respond to this program? Dr. Saint Fleur says they are always asking for training. “They want the curriculum. They want the best training they can have. And we are responsible for giving them the best. They used to come to Hôpital Justinien because they had no other choice. Now we want to be the best choice in Haiti for them.”
Konbit Sante and Justinian pediatrics are enormously grateful to Konbit Sante board member Dr. Adam Silverman, pediatric emergency medicine physician and Director of the Center for Global Health at Connecticut Children’s, for his active and ongoing involvement in developing and implementing this program. He is joined in his work and our appreciation by Dr. Dan Sobel, retired chief of neonatology at Maine Medical Center, and Dr. Hareem Park, a pediatric hospitalist at Connecticut Children’s.
When asked about the program’s impact, Dr. Saint Fleur responds, “Patients will have better care. And that will be a good thing for the country.”