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A Community Health Assessment Curriculum to Develop Population Health Competencies. PRiMER 2017 Sep;1:1



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INTRODUCTION: The Institute of Medicine, Association of American Medical Colleges, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend population health training for medical students. Medical schools struggle to teach and evaluate population health curricula. We developed, implemented, and evaluated a community health assessment exercise (CHA) within a required clinical rotation to address this need.

METHODS: Descriptive statistics and t-test comparison of means were used to analyze student scores on curricular assignments and responses to pretest and posttest items assessing student-rated skill and likelihood of conducting a CHA in practice, and in finding evidence to support public health programs and policies.

RESULTS: Student-rated skill in conducting a CHA increased from 3.3 A? 1.2 on the pretest to 4.8 A? 0.9 on the posttest (P < 0.01). Student-rated skill in finding evidence that supports public health programs and policies increased from 4.0 A? 1.1 to 5.1 A? 0.9 (P < 0.01). There was no difference between pretest and posttest in the likelihood of participating in a CHA organized by others (4.7 A? 1.3 vs 4.9 A? 1.3, p = 0.4), or in initiating a CHA as a practicing physician (4.2 A? 1.4 vs 4.3 A? 1.4, P = 0.8). Asked if the CHA improved their educational experience, 56% of students agreed and 25% disagreed. Asked if the CHA improved their ability to provide patient care, 40% of students agreed and 37% disagreed.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of a CHA to a clinical rotation is feasible and develops key medical student public health competencies.

Author List

Prunuske J, Remington PL


Jacob P. Prunuske MD Assistant Dean, Professor in the Medical School Regional Campuses department at Medical College of Wisconsin