There are 6 major components to the curriculum, which is designed to promote residents’ achievement of the common and specialty-specific competencies specified by ACGME and the Preventive Medicine RRC. The 6 major elements of the residency training program are listed below, with specific goals and objectives for each.
1. Academic Studies. Each resident must complete an MPH degree in an accredited School of Public Health. Residents must take required courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health management, and social/behavioral sciences (put in exact ACGME academic requirements). Residents may complete this requirement through the Emory Rollins School of Public Health or at another institution.
2. Seminars, Workshops, and Computerized Modules. There are three components of the seminar and workshop series: (1) Program-specific didactic seminars are held bi-monthly for two hours (the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month) and include lectures on topical areas in preventive medicine, public health, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Monthly the didactic seminars include a journal club presentation, which involves a critical discussion and evaluation of the content of the article as well as the design and methodological aspects of the research), and a resident ‘review of systems’, which involves each resident giving an oral report (including progress to date, lessons learned, hurdles to performance of the project) to attending faculty and peers and a candid discussion of their progress. The topics for the didactic seminar series are given in the sections below. (2) Workshops in methods and software useful for conducting preventive medicine and public health research and evaluation, including ArcGIS (geographic information system and geospatial analysis tool), Feedback Server (e-survey and data base management), and SPSS (form builder, data base management and analysis); (3) CDC Leadership Skills and Environmental/Occupational Health Seminars; (4) American College of Preventive Medicine annual ‘Preventive Medicine’ conference; and (5) Computerized self-directed modules in human subjects research training and program evaluation. Details of each component of the seminars, workshops, and self-directed computerized modules are found in the next section.
3. Research/Evaluation Activities. Each resident must complete one or more research or evaluation projects that involve applying the methodological skills learned in coursework and seminars to a public health area of interest. Residents may conduct their projects independently or work with faculty to complete a project.
4. Public Health Agency Rotation. Each resident must spend at least 4 weeks working in a public health agency at the local, state, or federal level. The program has standing program letters of agreement with the Georgia Division of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Atlanta VAMC. Past residents have completed elective rotations that satisfied this requirement at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the House Ways and Means Committee, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Institute of Health, the World Health Organization, and local health departments.
5. Health Care Management and Administrative Experience. Each resident will complete a project using management information system strategies and/or quality improvement to fulfill one of the public health/general preventive medicine competencies.
6. Other Experiential Activities. Each resident is expected to take part in additional experiential learning activities, typically through placement at one or two sites during the training period. Presently, regular funding is available for placement of residents at the Atlanta VAMC and Grady health System; on occasion, funding is made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Division of Public Health. In addition, residents may work with the Program Director (and other faculty) to identify experiential experiences at sites of their choosing that best fit their long-term career goals and their training needs to achieve their career goals. For all experiential activities (whether at regular program sites or at sites identified for a particular resident), the Program Director and resident work to craft an educational plan that specifies competency-based learning activities, identify an appropriate site supervisor, and obtain a program letter of agreement between Emory and the site.