Preventive Medicine Training Program
Year 1: Academic Phase
Preventive Medicine Residents and Fellows are required to complete academic training leading to the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. The training program provides funding for all MPH requirements, as well as protected time to attend classes, study and complete assignments. Although most trainees prefer to integrate MPH coursework with clinical, practicum and teaching activities over the two year program, trainees are encouraged to complete the majority of the MPH courses during the first year of training. Most trainees complete 8 or 9 of the required 14 courses before beginning the practicum year of training. The didactic training provides a foundation for the practicum and research activities in the second year. The MPH degree is offered through the Blended MPH Program based in Worcester. It is provided through the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) in Amherst. The Worcester MPH program is blended with the SPHHS online Public Health Practice Program. This allows students to take some of their courses in the classroom and others online. The option allows for flexibility in scheduling classes and makes it possible for trainees to take MPH courses while they are participating in off-site rotations. The Blended MPH Program fulfills the requirements of the American Board of Preventive Medicine by offering courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, environmental health, and social and behavioral influences on health.
During the first year, trainees typically enroll in three courses per semester during the academic year and one to two courses during the summer session. Live classes offered during the fall and spring semester courses are conducted once a week for 14 weeks; summer session courses are offered in six-week blocks with courses conducted twice a week. On the Worcester Campus, courses are taught from 5:00 to 7:30 in the evening, allowing trainees flexibility to schedule practicum, clinical, teaching and/or research experiences during the day. The requirements for the MPH degree include a total of 42 credits, with up to six credits being earned through a required MPH project.
Although MPH coursework accounts for the largest time commitment during the first year, all preventive medicine trainees are required by ACGME to complete the equivalent of two months of clinical work during each year of training. This requirement is typically met by working in outpatient settings on a longitudinal basis. The sample schedule for Year 1 reflects a typical activity plan, but our Program offers a good deal of flexibility with a strong emphasis on developing a schedule that is closely aligned with our trainees’ career interests and goals.