Welcome From the Program Director
The Cook County Health & Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine – Public Health & Preventive Medicine Program at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County is committed to training primary care and/or public health–oriented physicians in the principles and practices of population-based health care and in the care of underserved populations.
The two-year, ACGME–accredited residency has concurrent academic and practicum phases.
The program is focused on preparing physicians with skills to improve the organization and delivery of preventive and chronic care services in a population framework, with a focus on strategies to reduce health disparities. The educational goal of the program is anchored by an ethic of service, recognition of the dignity of our patients, respect for human diversity, and commitment to human rights.
Our trainees benefit from a diverse training experience created through collaboration and partnerships between Stroger Hospital and Northwestern Medicine (the aligned academic medical center formed by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (NU-FSM) and Northwestern Medicine), other academic institutions on Chicago’s west side Medical Center campus, and with public health agencies in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Pamela Ganschow, MD Program Director
The overall educational objectives of the program are:
- To develop behavioral and technical clinical skills necessary for the delivery of preventive medicine services for reduction of morbidity and mortality from adult chronic diseases
- To plan, implement, and evaluate population-based initiatives in the setting of health care organizations and/or departments of public health
- To develop critical assessment, methodological, and analytic skills with respect to evidence based public health research, with a particular emphasis on links between epidemiology, behavioral medicine, and prevention
- To develop communication skills in the context of multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary clinical and public health settings as well as academic and organizational/administrative settings
This program is accredited by the ACGME to accept and train two residents each year.
All residents spend 24 months in the full-time program during which academic and practicum phases are done concurrently. The curriculum includes the following:
Master of Public Health Degree
A broad introduction to public health with an emphasis on the skills of epidemiology and biostatistics. The MPH is at the NU-FSM where the program in public health emphasizes the interface between public health and medical care.
Longitudinal rotations in primary care; screening, prevention and risk assessment for cancer and cardiovascular disease; smoking cessation; obesity management; occupational medicine, and multidisciplinary chronic disease management. Rotations occur in a variety of outpatient settings affiliated with Stroger Hospital, NU-FSM and other community health centers.
Public Health Rotations
Orientation and a mentored project at the Cook County Department of Public Health. Participation in a disease outbreak investigation. Workshops and simulations in emergency preparedness and response through the ER department at Stroger Hospital.
Teaching of prevention topics to internal medicine trainees and/or other health professionals.
Topics in preventive medicine and population health with faculty from Stroger Hospital and NU-FSM.
Population Health Projects
Projects tailored to the skills and interests of trainees. These may be quality improvement, program development, or research-oriented projects. The projects will emphasize some element of prevention or chronic disease management.
The curriculum is tailored to the skills, interests and career goals of individual residents, with a rich variety of clinical and project activities. The overall goal of the practicum is to learn the practice of evidence-based, population-focused medicine, with application of skills to address health disparities.
The NU-FSM Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) is the partner institution of the program for the academic phase of the residency.
The Preventive Medicine Residents are enrolled in the IPHAM’s Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program, and are required to complete 15 quarter units of classroom coursework, a 200-hour field experience and a 200-hour culminating experience for graduation. The MPH program is designed so that students will achieve learning objectives covering 10 different domains: basic health science skills, analytic skills, cultural skills, information and technology, communication skills, policy development, leadership and systems thinking, financial planning and management, community dimensions of practice, and ethics. These objectives are limited in their focus to learning that is expected to occur as a result of completing core courses, the capstone experiences and other activities that are required of all students.
Program curriculum consists of general public health course work and professional experiences with the goal of enabling our graduates to span the boundaries between public health and medicine. Students must have a baccalaureate or graduate professional degree in a health care-related subject area plus professional experience in health care or public health. A holistic review is made of every application taking into account school, major, courses taken and trends in GPA over time, as well as professional work experiences, publications, language skills, honors and other achievements.
The MPH curriculum includes 5 core courses (biostatistics, behavioral science, management, epidemiology, environmental health sciences), an intermediate level course in epidemiology and/or intermediate biostatistics, a research methodology class (options include epidemiologic research and design, survey design, qualitative research, clinical trials, and others), a two-year cycle of public health seminars, 6 electives, and field and culminating experiences. Health professionals are sometimes able to transfer credits from prior graduate coursework.
The Field Experience (FE) provides a chance for students to work in a government or community public health setting. Program partners include the Chicago and Evanston Departments of Public Health, a number of Chicago-based community organizations and many international sites. For students working full-time, the FE can be adapted to fit their schedules.
The Culminating Experience (CE) is an opportunity to bring all of the student’s course work and field experience together. CEs usually consist of a research project, mentored by an MPH faculty member and done in the student’s last year. Recent projects include a study of the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency in a physician’s patient population, a study of the utility of offering free gym membership in getting diabetic patients to exercise and focused home visits for child household safety education.
Required classroom courses, 7-quarter units:
PH 301 Behavior, Society and Health
PH 302 Introduction to Biostatistics
PH 303 Environmental Health Sciences (or equivalent)
PH 304 Introduction to Epidemiology (or equivalent)
PH 310-312 Topics in Public Health
PH 313-315 Topics in Public Health
PH 420 Introduction to Health Management (or equivalent)
Required methodology electives, 2-quarter units from this list – any additional course may be counted as electives:
PH 322 Intermediate Epidemiology – This will be required of all Preventive Medicine residents.
PH 421 Intermediate Biostatistics
PH 425 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis in Public Health
PH 435 Design and Analysis Strategies in Health Services Research
PH 437 Practicum on Epidemiologic Research Design and Data Analysis
PH 438 Survey Design and Methodology
PH 439 Qualitative Research Methods
PH 444 Advanced Decision Analysis
Electives, 7 units
Required Professional Experiences
PH 410 Field Experience
PH 560 Culminating Experience in Public Health
Resources & Partnerships
The Division of General Medicine at Stroger Hospital is the primary site for the administration of the program – through the Section of Preventive Medicine – and for many of the core clinical activities of the program.
The Division of General Medicine is an academic division of general internists affiliated with Rush University. Along with expertise in primary care practice and training, the Division of General Medicine has well-established programs in smoking cessation, breast and cervical cancer screening, colon cancer screening, substance use screening and intervention, stress management, and innovative models of care for diabetes and hypertension.
Furthermore, the Department of Medicine at Stroger Hospital has a dedicated research unit, a HIV primary care center and occupational medicine services, which support the program practicum activities. Residents in the Preventive Medicine Residency have practicum phase training activities outside of Stroger Hospital. The program places residents in the Cook County Department of Public Health (operated by Cook County Health) for their public health rotation. Residents attend and present at conferences run by faculty of the Rush University Department of Preventive Medicine and the UIC Occupational Medicine Residency Program & Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM). Residents have an option to extend the training by one year for additional training in prevention research.
Possession of MD or DO degree from an ACGME accredited or dual accredited institution
Completion of an ACGME accredited residency program in a primary care specialty (internal medicine, family practice, or other specialty) is preferred. Physicians with career interests in public health who will have successfully completed a PGY-1 year and completed Step III of the USMLE by the time of entry into the program can also be considered. Documentation that a clinical PGY-1 year in an ACGME accredited program (internal medicine or family practice preferred) will be completed prior to initiating the Preventive Medicine program is an absolute requirement.