MD/MPH Mission 2012: Tikantiki, San Bigs Islands, Panama
The MD/MPH program offers a four-year curriculum that truly integrates much of the MD and the MPH course work. Several new courses in both the MD curriculum and the MPH curriculum have been developed in order to enhance this integration. This is not a program that merely delivers two separate degrees. The integrated curriculum addresses the knowledge, skills and experiences fundamental to those competencies required of a public health physician at the time of graduation from medical school.
In addition to providing an outstanding foundation in the sciences basic to the practice of medicine and the pathophysiology of disease, the first two years at the Miami campus emphasize building a foundation and a community perspective in the principles of public health. Students move to the regional campus in Palm Beach and Broward Counties for years three and four of the program where the emphasis is on applying those principles to the clinical practice of public health while working in community teaching hospitals and public health department clinics and programs.
The MD/MPH program is a natural evolution of the UMMSM’s Continuity Medical Curriculum (CMC) MD educational track which was first implemented at our Regional Medical Campus in 2006. The CMC educational track is founded on the UMMSM’s traditional MD curriculum. It has been designed to provide special education and training in additional areas of expertise that naturally integrate with competencies and expertise included in an MPH degree. Now, by merging the MD and MPH degrees into a single four-year educational program, it is possible to define and teach those competencies that largely lie in the area where a public health physician will function as a clinician, an administrator, a researcher, and a policy planner.
The CMC track was designed to accommodate study for an additional degree and the MPH course work has been added without the need to replace any existing courses in the MD curriculum. This is accomplished by:
- Beginning MPH studies the summer before starting medical school;
- Completing MPH course work during one afternoon, three hours per week, during parts of the first, second, and third years;
- Using the shortened second year to complete MPH courses after taking the USMLE Step 1 examination and before starting the clinical clerkships;
- Transferring nine credits of MD course work to the MPH degree.