Child Healthcare

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

Course 1: Current research in pediatrics
The aim of this course is in bridging the gap for students between
clinical practice and research. After this course, the student can
describe the specific challenges and disease backgrounds in pediatric
clinical care–specifically in neurology, gastrointestinal disease,
perinatology and infectious diseases–and can explain how research
questions arise from clinical problems and formulate relevant research
questions and hypotheses within the area of pediatrics.

Course 2: Food and health
After this course, the student can describe the effects of metabolic
disorders and diet during early life on the development and function of
different organ systems, including the immune system. The student can
explain the concept of failure to thrive and reflect on translation
between laboratory findings/animal experiments and clinical research.

Course 3: Child and adolescent public health
After this course, the student can reproduce the definitions,
determinants, and indicators of child and adolescent public health; can
explain and reflect on the meaning and implications of "tracking"; and
can explain the importance and identify the successes and pitfalls of
prevention programs. The student can also identify, describe and reflect
on strengths and limitations of different study designs, data analyses
and ways by which to report study results. The student can describe the
translational links between research and clinical practice regarding
specific topics in child and adolescent public health and write his or
her own research proposal.

Inhoud vak

This module is divided into 3 sub-courses and builds upon knowledge
obtained in the major, specifically from courses "Start of Life" (Start
van het leven) and "Growth and Development" (Groei en ontwikkeling). It
comprises current research topics in pediatrics and the challenges and
differences in providing healthcare for babies through to adolescents
when compared to adult medical and psychiatric care.

Our courses:
Course 1. Current research in pediatrics
Course 2. Food and health
Course 3. Child and adolescent public health

Course 1: Current research in pediatrics

Research on and with children comes with a very specific set of
challenges. This course aims to allow students to bridge the gap between
clinical practice and research. It equips the student with a knowledge
of normal child development and some of the specific diseases and
disorders of children and adolescents. The emphasis lies in
contemporary, world-leading clinical and translational research into
pediatrics and shows students how scientific research is translated into
clinical practice and how patient care generates research questions. In
each week of the course, latest developments in a specific pediatric
research field are introduced. For example, there is a focus on current
insights into the role of the microbiome in health and disease, and
research into neurological disorders. Finally, the relationship between
several disciplines such as neurology, perinatology, and neonatology
will be explored.

What we address in course 1:
● Building an understanding of some of the specific diseases and
disorders of children, especially in the areas of neurology, infectious
diseases, gastroenterology, and perinatology.
● Current world-class clinical and translational research within
● How research in children has changed child health care and how
developments in child healthcare have changed research.
● What are the ethical and legal aspects of research in children?
● How do you obtain the informed consent of a child?

Course 2: Food and health: pediatric advances and challenges
Young children have substantially different energy requirements from
adults, not only to support day-to-day activity but also to promote
growth. Genetic defects in metabolic enzymes or endocrine systems can
lead to metabolic disorders that can be fatal if not detected and
treated early in life. In this course, we will address, at the molecular
level, the biochemical and immunological effects of dietary composition
and endocrinology on metabolism. A correct and balanced diet is
essential for the child’s chances later in life, especially if a child
is born prematurely and has to stay for a prolonged period in the
neonatal intensive care unit. "Failure to thrive" is often seen in
hospitalized infants and children and can be caused by several
underlying disease processes as well as inefficient nutritional
management, quickly leading to malnourishment even in hospitals.
Therefore, this course emphasizes the underlying scientific and clinical
evidence base required to understand normal and abnormal child
development from a nutritional perspective.

What we address in course 2:
● Which metabolic disorders should be treated early in life?
● How does nutrition affect the immune system?
● What are the specific problems faced by preterm infants, in the short
and long-term?
● What is "failure to thrive" and what does it mean later in life?

Course 3: Child and adolescent public health

Why are child and adolescent public health so important? A wide range of
diseases has, at least in part, a childhood origin–for example, obesity
and hypertension. Promoting healthy behavior in childhood and
adolescence is very important, especially since numerous childhood
health problems continue into adulthood. Furthermore, many problems
encountered in childhood can have serious long-term consequences, such
as child neglect and child abuse. Prevention and early recognition of
these health problems are therefore of the utmost importance. The course
will begin by defining child and adolescent public health, including the
factors that influence child health. Then, several child and adolescent
public health topics are discussed and studied, with an emphasis on
contemporary research. During interactive lectures, study groups and
site visits, we will address the determinants and the early recognition
of pediatric public health issues; psychosocial challenges in childhood;
growing up in a problematic environment; health-risk behaviors in
adolescence; and addressing public health challenges from a global
perspective. We will also explore different methods commonly used in
public health research. Alongside lectures, students attend study groups
in which they are guided through the process of writing a research
proposal on a child or adolescent public health topic.

What we address in course 3:
● What is public health, why is it important and how is it organized in
the Netherlands?
● What are the risk and protective factors for (mental) health in
childhood and adolescence?
● Why and how should we prevent or intervene in health risks/problems?
● Public health for refugees and in low-income countries: how does it
● Learn about a broad range of public health topics from a national and
global perspective.
● Learn to write your own research proposal.


Lectures, practicals, working groups, excursions, patient presentations


A written exam will asses students' understanding of each sub-course
open questions and a writing assignment, like the critical appraisal of
a topic.


An overview of the study material is placed on CANVAS.


Bachelor’s students of VUmc School of Medical Sciences and external (and
international) students with a (bio)medical background.

Overige informatie

Course 1: Sintha Sie (Pediatrics/Neonatology)
Course 2: Dr ing. Sandra van Vliet (MCBI)
Course 3: Vera van den Berg (Public and Occupational Health).

Afwijkende intekenprocedure

Before the start of the semester, students will be invited to select their preferred minor track. However, the Institute of Education and Training (IET) will make a final selection based on both student preferences and availability in the different tracks. Once you have been selected for a track, the IET will make sure you’re registered for all educational activities such as study groups, courses, and exams. Important: Please be aware that in the case that you do not pass an exam, you will NOT be automatically registered for a re-examination, and will need to do this yourself. In order to sign up to resit an examination, you will need to apply no later than 2 weeks before the re-examination through the form “Re-take Exam Bachelor of Medicine.”

Toelichting Canvas

This course is supported by a corresponding CANVAS course, which
contains all of the required information of this course including an
overview of the required articles and assignments. The CANVAS course
will also be used to post announcements relevant to the course. You will
automatically have access to the CANVAS course.

Algemene informatie

Vakcode M_BCHC16
Studiepunten 18 EC
Periode Semester 1
Vakniveau 300
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit VUmc
Vakcoördinator drs. S.D. Sie
Examinator drs. S.D. Sie
Docenten V. van den Berg

Praktische informatie

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Werkvormen Hoorcollege, Studiegroep, Practicum