Public Health, Prevention and Health Promotion
The core philosophy of the Public Health, Prevention and Health Promotion theme is that the successful practice of medicine is inextricably linked to public health, wellness and the realization of how our social circumstances and lifestyle choices ultimately impact the maintenance of health or the development of disease. With this philosophy in mind, this theme focuses on the following core concepts across the four-year medical school curriculum:
- The relationship between medicine and public health — how these two spheres are different and how they reinforce and complement each other as part of an effective health care system.
- The science of epidemiology and how it identifies key patterns of disease and health in communities and populations.
- The critical importance of prevention, what it means, its goal of morbidity compression and how it needs to be reengineered into our health care system to prevent the diseases of our time.
- The recognition of health as a concept beyond simply the absence of disease coupled with an understanding of how to maintain and promote health through motivational interviewing and evidence-based lifestyle therapies including diet, exercise, as well as mind-body practices designed to reduce stress and boost mental and emotional wellness.
- The critical importance of nutrition and the recognition of food as medicine to prevent, treat and sometimes reverse the diseases of our time.
- The social determinants of health — how where we live, work and play impacts our individual health outcomes — and how public policies shape these factors and how to address them in clinical practice.
- The concept of Integrative Medicine — a patient-centered, whole person approach that sees value in the therapeutic relationship between a doctor and patient, where all aspects of lifestyle are considered, as well as both conventional and complementary therapies that are evidence-based and safe.
Emerging curricular initiatives and elective opportunities include the social determinants of health, public health courses as part of the MD-MPH program, a 4th year elective in culinary medicine with medical and culinary professionals, and integrative medicine.
Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH