A program that started in New Mexico is taking on the global shortage of child doctors.
Project ECHO uses video conferencing to mentor rural doctors in specialized medicine with experts in Albuquerque and elsewhere. Now, the project is teaming up with the world’s largest pediatric organization to bring healthcare to rural kids.
Project ECHO started at UNM 13 years ago as a way to connect doctors and nurses in far flung parts of the state with medical expertise in urban hospitals. Since then ECHO programs have sprung up across the world.
This week the program announced it is partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to train rural doctors and nurses in specialized children’s care.
"There’s a tremendous shortage in the world for child psychiatrists and specialists for children, so children have a very hard time getting specialized care," said Project ECHO director Dr. Sanjeev Arora. "If you want to improve the health of a population, children are the best place to start."
Arora says the partnership will make pediatric care available to 150 million children worldwide over the coming decade.