To successfully complete the PGY2 year, residents must meet the educational requirements for a USUHS MPH or MTM&H degree other than full completion of their project, completion of which may be deferred until the PGY3 year. In the case of the MTM&H degree, the six-week tropical medicine field experience degree requirement is typically accomplished during the PGY3 year after didactic courses are completed. The resident will confer with the Program Director regarding required, recommended, and other elective coursework and individualized Educational Plan that best addresses the previous background and interests of the resident. One year is a limited amount of time and residents must make difficult choices. A concentration in one area will mean forgoing opportunities in other areas. Residents should remember the primary objective of the academic year is to provide a solid academic foundation in epidemiology, biostatistics, occupational and environmental health, health services administration, and social/behavioral aspects of public health-the core curriculum of preventive medicine, while still affording the opportunity to obtain two months of DPC.
The GPM Program Director and the Associate Program Director serve as academic advisors to all GPM residents and work closely with them in the selection of their core, concentration, and elective courses. Other PMB faculty and PGY3 residents may also assist PGY2 residents in making informed choices. Guided by a careful assessment of the resident's background and a self-assessment by the resident of their proficiency in preventive medicine competencies, an educational plan is established for each resident soon after residency matriculation. The resident's educational plan balances the resident's interests, the needs of the military, the requirements of the MPH or MTM&H, and the requirements of the ABPM, ACGME, and institution. The educational plan is not static but may evolve as the resident progresses through the program. Careful assessment, evaluation, and feedback are essential to modifying the plan.
In addition to course work, the MPH and MTM&H degrees require completion of an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty project mentor. Although some residents may continue to work on independent projects during their PGY3 year, enough work must be completed on the independent project during the academic year to satisfy the Program Director and the Director of the Practicum and Independent Project course series that they are on track to complete substantive work on their project by December of their PGY3 year. The practicum year may also provide time to draft manuscripts of the project for publication if completed or nearly completed by the end of the PGY2 year.An integral requirement of the MTM&H degree is a six- to eight-week field tropical medicine experience which can be completed in the "Summer" quarter and/or the practicum year.
Additional details on the MPH and MTM&H requirements, learning objectives, course descriptions, and the independent project are provided in the MPH program handbook.
Below are the American Board of Preventive Medicine subject matter areas in which the resident must develop a sound fund of knowledge during the PGY2 year. They may be viewed as the fundamental knowledge base required for board certification in the practice of GPM. The resident's principal job during the academic year is to excel in the core MPH courses and then to apply and integrate this core public health knowledge in the execution of an independent project while also gaining ≥ 80 half-days of DPC.Core Academic Curriculum Subject Areas for the MPH
These seven areas include the core knowledge content areas applying to all preventive medicine specialties (including aerospace medicine and occupational medicine) as well as the content knowledge areas for board certification in GPM.
Additional PGY2 Year Requirements for NCC (USUHS) GPM Residents
Additional requirements and recommended courses for the PGY2 resident, beyond the minimum MPH student requirements, include:
Highly Recommended (negotiable depending on residents' past and anticipated future experience)
Often Encouraged or Required based on residents' past and anticipated future experiences, also depending on PMB Departmental resources
The independent project is a major part of the academic year and the GPM residency. A few points are worth emphasizing here. It is important to realize the independent project is not an "aside" carried-out in one's spare time. Rather, it takes a significant amount of time and effort, and is the capstone event of the residency's academic effort. There are high standards for this project-it is expected to be rigorous and academically sound, and ideally should ultimately culminate with publication in a peer-reviewed public health journal or at minimum a poster or oral presentation at a professional meeting. The independent project should be seen as an opportunity to integrate much of the information and practice many of the skills learned in the classroom. Most residents find that what seems clear in the classroom setting is not so clear when applied in a real project. Thus, the independent project greatly enhances, enriches and reinforces the classroom experience. Moreover, the independent project is a very important opportunity to learn about and practice the essential competencies needed in the practice of preventive medicine. In the course of completing the independent project, residents will have the chance to apply knowledge and skills on research ethics, research methods, oral and written presentations and collaborate on teams.
Residents must devote enough time during the spring and summer and earlier quarters to accomplish the independent project. It is during the spring quarter that typically most of the work is done, but work done in earlier quarters is often critical for high quality projects. Academic credits are awarded for the independent project. Credits are awarded, in part, to emphasize the significance of the independent project to the MPH and MTM&H degrees.
It is expected that most residents continue to work on their independent project during the PGY3 year, but enough work must be completed on the independent project during the PGY2 year to satisfy the Program Director and the Director of the Practicum and Independent Project course series that they are on track to complete substantive work on their project by December of their PGY3 year. This puts a fair amount of time pressure on USUHS residents; we highly encourage getting moving significantly toward a specifically identified project, including identification of a project mentor during the Pre-Fall or at the latest, the Fall Quarter. Residents must be proactive and creative in this process. Residents may prepare the results of their independent project for presentation or publication during the practicum year. In contrast to extensive projects requiring primary data collection (i.e., collecting new data); projects involving secondary data analysis are more feasibly concluded by the end of the academic year.
One of the most difficult issues for residents is the selection of an independent project topic, which, due to time constraints, must be done early in the PGY2 year. This is not an easy task. Although some projects meet MPH/MTM&H requirements without involving data analysis, it is preferred that GPM residents identify a project allowing the development and utilization of skills and competencies learned in the core academic disciplines, including research methodology design, database access, and analysis and interpretation of data using solid epidemiological principles.