Preventive Medicine Training Program
All trainees are required to complete 12 months of practica in public health and preventive medicine. Trainees participate in practicum experiences throughout the two-year program. However, the practicum experiences are concentrated in the second year of training, after completion of the core MPH courses. The schedule and content of practica are designed to provide trainees with opportunities to develop required and optional competencies and to maximize career goals. The practicum experiences are individualized for each trainee based on baseline competencies, MPH course work completed and career interests and goals. Practica are supervised learning experiences which are typically scheduled for one half day to two days a week for two to six months.
The program offers required and elective practica for trainees. A description of each practicum experience is included in the Program Manual. Each trainee must complete the required practica. However, given the diverse background of trainees in the Program, flexibility exists within required practica. For instance, trainees participating in the required Public Health Agency practicum have a choice of projects and activities.
The following practicum experiences are required of all trainees:
- The equivalent of two months, full-time, in a public health agency. This required rotation typically takes place over 3-4 months with residents spending 2-3 days/week at the agency. Examples of public health agencies include the following: state, regional, or local departments of public health, federal agencies such as the ODPHP and the CDC, international agencies such as WHO.
- The equivalent of one month, full-time, working on a project with our CDC-funded Worcester Country Prevention Research Center. Residents are introduced to the current projects and choose a topic/activity of interest.
- A six month, part-time, rotation in clincal preventive services in our Benedict Practice/Family Medicine Clinic. Second year residents complete one session per week over six months, seeing patients and working on a quality improvement activity related to clinical prevention.
- A two-month, part-time, rotation in clinical and community nutrition with the UMMS Director of Nutrition Services. Residents see patients and engage in community-based progarms for 1-2 days per week during the rotation.
- The equivalent of one month, full-time, in a clinical elective related to preventive medicinne, (e.g., Sports Medicine, Refugee and Immigrant Health, Addiction Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Correctional Medicine)
In addition to the required practica listed above, trainees participate in a number of elective practica. Each trainee works closely with her/his faculty advisor to schedule elective practica that will advance the development of competencies and enhance career options. Elective practicum experiences are available in a wide variety of organizations and settings including academic medical centers, public health and community agencies, health maintenance organizations, community health centers and research institutes. Trainees are encouraged to participate in a rotation in a federal agency such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In recent years, trainees have completed successful elective practica at the following training sites:
- Federally qualified urban and rural community health centers
- Community-based health education programs
- Federal pubic health programs (CDC, ODPHP)
- ABC News Medical Unit
- Global Health Sites
Table 4: Example of Year 2 schedule.