132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

Community-academic partnerships: Teaching medical students public health

Jan K Carney, MD MPH1, Dana Walrath, PhD1, and Yvette Pigeon, EdD2. (1) General Internal Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine, 371 Pearl St., Burlington, VT 05401, 802 847-8268, jan.carney@med.uvm.edu, (2) Medical Education, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Given Building, Burlington, VT 05401

Physicians face a growing list of public health issues in clinical practice today, including emerging infections, obesity, and chronic care. Public health education is essential to prepare physicians for clinical practice in the 21st century. Working side by side with community organizations involved in health will facilitate educational efforts. We describe an innovative program to teach public health to medical students utilizing community-academic partnerships. The Vermont Integrated Curriculum (VIC) of the University of Vermont College of Medicine was implemented in fall 2003, integrates sciences and clinical medicine from the beginning of medical school, and develops skills needed for life-long education. Public health projects have been added as a requirement for all students beginning in fall 2004. Projects will be undertaken in local Vermont communities, and must address a public health issue (using Healthy People 2010), utilize scientific methods, and demonstrate a health benefit to the community. A partnership was developed between the College of Medicine and the United Way of Chittenden County, Vermont's largest county, and a joint letter was sent inviting participation from local organizations involved in health. A simple form was developed to facilitate participation and identify Healthy People 2010 focus areas. This paper will describe the process and product of this collaboration and examples of student projects. Such community-academic partnerships have potential to teach public health, provide health benefits to local communities, and prepare medical students for clinical practice in the 21st century.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Public Health Education, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Handout (.ppt format, 2890.0 kb)

Obesity, Diabetes and Nutrition: Addressing Lifestyles and Environmental Issues

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA