In the fall of 2010, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTC) enrolled its inaugural class of 42 students. This unique allopathic medical school employs a problem-based curriculum with a particular emphasis on competency with medical research.
Modeled partially after some of the most prestigious and innovative schools in the country, VTC is located in Roanoke, Va., adjacent to Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital (located inside Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital). Not only does this endeavor round out Carilion Clinic’s transformation to a clinic model providing superior patient care, cutting edge research and education, but it also provides the Pediatric Residency program with excellent opportunities for innovative approaches to pediatric medicine.
A Unique Residency Program
There are currently four pediatric residency training programs in Virginia: Inova Fairfax Hospital, Virginia Commonwealth University, Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters and the University of Virginia. The Carilion Clinic - Virginia Tech Carilion Pediatric Residency will be smaller (six residents per year) and will focus on community pediatrics.
Community pediatrics is the study and practice of translating the new science of epigenetics and brain development to maximize the health and development of children. The science of early brain development and the recognition of environmental modulation of gene expression have revolutionized our understanding of the social determinants of health.
Health is both a building block and an outcome of successful development. Good health is necessary for raising resilient students and citizens; toxic psychosocial stressors induce biochemical changes in DNA, which can be correlated to adverse health outcomes. Food insecurity, lack of health services, substandard housing, and exposure to violence contribute to the toxic stress experienced by generations of people living in poverty. Pediatric residents at Carilion Clinic - Virginia Tech Carilion will learn how to address health disparities as they understand their role in connecting services that mitigate the effects of toxic stress and improve the life-course health trajectory of the children in their care.