249752 Incorporating Practicing Physicians into the Public Health Academic Milieu: A successful academician practice learning initiative

Monday, October 31, 2011

James A. Mobley, MD, FAAFP , School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Portland, TX
Aldo Martinez, MPH-C, BS, BA , School of Rural Public Health- Department of Health Policy and Management, Texas A&M Health Science Center- McAllen Campus, McAllen, TX
Miguel A. Zuniga, MD, DrPH , Department of Health Policy and Management, Texas A&M Health Science Center, McAllen, TX
In 2010, a Family Physician and Health Authority for a rural Texas county decided to earn a Masters of Public Health. Like many rural health authorities, he had no formal schooling in Public Health beyond his Family Practice Residency. In one of his courses, the Family Physician was paired with a graduate student to work on an asthma research project. As part of their inquiry, data was developed around issues of health care and access to care in the rural county. Under the instructor's guidance, the pair has prepared presentations for local health boards and coalitions. These presentations stimulated inquiries by the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry, and local health boards and coalitions. Advantages of pairing graduate students with practicing physicians are the cross fertilization of ideas, and the making available of academic tools and assets. The synergy developed from this linking of academia, public health and private practice is an example of what opportunities are available to creative health care practitioners. A key to the process was the availability of on-line educational opportunities. These pairings and opportunities are limited by available time of the practicing physicians and the availability of distance learning and communications suites that will allow the partnership to develop. We believe these limitations are not insurmountable when public health entities commit to support workforce development through distance-based education. Pairing private physicians and academic units has the potential to distribute educational opportunities and advantages to parts of the nation where no such opportunities currently exist.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe how an academic/practice partnership came about. Describe advantages and impediments to such partnerships. Describe synergistic effects of academic/practice partnerships with examples.

Keywords: Primary Care, Public Health Curriculum

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Private Practice Physician Health Authority, San Patricio County Texas Graduate Student in MPH Program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.