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Public Health Rep. 2005 Sep-Oct;120(5):496-503.

Assuring public health professionals are prepared for the future: the UAB public health integrated core curriculum.

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Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.


In response to calls to improve public health education and our own desire to provide a more relevant educational experience to our Master of Public Health students, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health designed, developed, and instituted a fully integrated public health core curriculum in the fall of 2001. This curriculum combines content from discipline-specific courses in biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health administration, and the social and behavioral sciences, and delivers it in a 15 credit hour, team-taught course designed in modules covering such topics as tobacco, infectious diseases, and emergency preparedness. Weekly skills-building sessions increase student competence in data analysis and interpretation, communication, ethical decision-making, community-based interventions, and policy and program planning. Evaluations affirm that the integrated core is functioning as intended: as a means to provide critical content in the core disciplines in their applied context. As public health education continues to be debated, the UAB public health integrated core curriculum can serve as one model for providing quality instruction that is highly relevant to professional practice.

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