Preventive Medicine and Biometrics


Key Educational Strategies: The Core Academic Curriculum and Preventive Medicine Competencies

Various strategies are employed to reach residency objectives and achieve preventive medicine competencies including academic year class work, practicum year experiences, participation in Journal Club, and regular assessments and evaluations of the resident's progress.

Residents are expected to understand the goals and objectives of the residency, the strategies used to achieve these objectives, and the assessment and evaluation tools used to determine success. Residents are also expected to play an active and central role in planning, implementing, and evaluating the overall program and their own educational plan.

Two important points deserve emphasis: First, every resident must master the core academic curriculum. This is primarily achieved through class work during the academic year. Having an adequate knowledge base is an essential part of becoming a competent preventive medicine physician. This knowledge is also necessary to pass the ABPM certification examination. Success in the rigorous USUHS MPH/MTM&H graduate program demands that residents hearken back to college and medical student days, re-acquiring (or quickly learning) successful academic study habits.

Secondly, residents must become proficient in the competencies developed by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and adopted by the Preventive Medicine Residency Review Committee (RRC) of the ACGME. Developed by a consensus panel of residency directors and leaders in the field, "competencies" consist of the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to practice preventive medicine successfully. Acquiring factual knowledge is not the end goal of the GPM residency. Rather, being able to apply factual knowledge in the broader context of the practice of preventive medicine by mastering the ACGME competencies is the central task of the GPM residency.

By the end of the residency, the successful graduates will have demonstrated proficiency in the ACGME General, Public Health and General Preventive Medicine Residency, and Military Unique competencies necessary to practice independently.

The NCC (USUHS) GPM Competencies

General ACGME Competencies

The ACGME requires all accredited residencies to develop the following six competencies in residents to the level expected of a new independent practitioner. These competencies support an emphasis on outcome assessment and are central to program accreditation. While clinically focused, they are fully adaptable to the population perspective of preventive medicine. The six ACGME general competencies are:

  1. Patient Care: Residents must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.
  2. Medical Knowledge: Residents must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.
  3. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Residents must be able to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their patient care practices.
  4. Interpersonal And Communication Skills: Residents must be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, patient families, and professional associates.
  5. Professionalism: Residents must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.
  6. Systems-Based Practice: Residents must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively utilize system resources to provide care that is of optimal value.

Public Health and General Preventive Medicine Residency Competencies

For additional details regarding specifics of how the various Preventive Medicine-specific competencies fit under these 6 primary ACGME competencies, please see the entire listing of Preventive Medicine competencies under the new (effective 1 July 2011) requirements for Preventive Medicine residencies developed by our specialty's Residency Review Committee (RRC).

Attaining preventive medicine competencies requires a sequence of continued learning and supervised application of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of preventive medicine. The resident must assume increasing responsibility for the management of population health during the course of training.

Military Preventive Medicine Competencies

Based on a cooperative effort of military preventive medicine residency program directors, the following military unique competencies have been identified as essential for military GPM residents. NCC (USUHS) GPM Residency graduates should also be able to:

  1. Assess the threat, develop and implement effective countermeasures against infectious diseases of military importance in field operational settings, including malaria, arboviral and other vector-borne diseases, enteric infections, water contact diseases (e.g. leptospirosis and schistosomiasis), soil contact infections (e.g. hantavirus), sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and biological warfare agents
  2. Assess the threat, develop and implement effective countermeasures against heat, cold and occupational injuries in military populations.This includes exposures to chemical weapons, depleted uranium, and other hazards unique to the military
  3. Identify and counter disease and injury threats unique to recruit training settings, including respiratory disease and training injuries
  4. Conduct ongoing surveillance that rapidly identifies and responds to significant disease and injury threats in military populations in a variety of settings on an ongoing basis
  5. Devise, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs in military populations
  6. Assess and respond effectively to the public health needs of civilian populations displaced by military conflict or natural disasters