An innovative approach for training medical students for the real world of public health
AbstractAlthough proposals for more public health education go back to 1855, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) landmark report, The Future of Public Health (1988) set the modern stage for reform of medical student education regarding public health. The momentum to improve and increase public health education has grown over the last several decades. The authors present the design of a unique public health clerkship for third and fourth year medical students, the Public Health Field Practicum. Students spend four weeks in an integrated program of public/environmental health activities, coupled with weekly didactic and feedback sessions with the course directors. Ten students have completed the practicum since its inception in March 2007. Significant increases in knowledge, desire to include public health in their medical career, and satisfaction are documented. Students gained substantial insight into public health and how it functions in the real world. This training requires a partnership between schools of public health and medicine and local/state health departments. Medical schools should develop these relationships to provide experiential public health opportunities for their students.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Samuel Stebbins, Sean Tackett, Charles J. Vukotich
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