Introduction The Community Health Project(CHP)partners medical students and MPH students with community based agencies for an intensive summer internship. The goal is for interns to gain exposure to the health needs of individuals from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. During their internship, students' research and problem solve current issues associated with the services offered by the participating agencies. In addition, they complete special projects of value to the agencies' needs. Physicians typically receive little training in the area of public health and preventive medicine. Physicians who understand the services that community agencies offer may be able to more successfully steer their patients towards more comprehensive health care services. Methods A total of 40 second year medical and MPH students were matched with one of 43 participating community based agencies. A pre/posttest survey design was employed. Knowledge, attitudes and behavioral intentions toward public health/social service involvement, and the Swartz Values Survey were included as evaluation measures. Results Findings from sign tests revealed significant improvements from pretest to posttest in attitudes toward public health (p < .05), intentions to utilize community agencies (p < .05), public health knowledge (p < .05), and personal values (p < .05). Conclusions The CHP provides medical and MPH students with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with community based agencies. This exposure may help to bridge the gap between the medical and public health communities by teaching physicians-in-training about the utility, purpose, and value of preventive services and public health.
Learning Objectives: 1.Identify some key elements of a successful community health based intership program for medical students. 2.Articulate aspects of broadening medical education into a broader public health context
Keywords: Community Preventive Services, Medical Care
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA