First Year Curriculum - R1: Community Medicine Rotation

(1 Rotation)



Community medicine lies at the heart of what we do as family physicians.  Most of the illness we see in our patients directly or indirectly results from forces in our society:  inequality, racism, violence, exploitation.  In a sense, our clinical work is only a band-aid for the ills of the individuals and families who enter our clinics seeking health care.  Our specialty occupies a unique position at the nexus of individual, family and community.  In our everyday clinic work we identify and treat the common medical conditions that affect our patients.  We start to see patterns and trends:  epidemics of heart disease, obesity, depression, substance abuse. Using the tools of epidemiology and basic principals of public health, we can take the next step of learning about the macro forces that lie behind these illnesses.  This is the exciting and dynamic challenge of family and community medicine.  The community medicine curriculum is designed to immerse residents in this world and confirm what they already know:  that, through community involvement, family physicians have the power to change our society for the better.

General Goals of the Community Medicine:

  • To develop the skills necessary to conduct occupational, environmental and population-based health assessments
  • To foster an awareness of and appreciation for the many local public and private organizations working toward a common goal of improving the health of the community
  • To broaden residents’ perspectives regarding the impact of public health, preventive health, and legislative measures on their patients’ health and well being.
  • To develop the leadership skills, organizational abilities and communication skills essential to serving as an effective voice for our communities outside the doctor-patient relationship

Community Medicine Curriculum

  • Longitudinal
  • Experiential- learn by doing
  • Three basic components
  • Site visits:  learning first hand about local public and private organizations that are involved in providing health care to our patients
  • Knowledge base:  what are the epidemiological phenomena driving disease?
  • Personal involvement:    broaden residents’ perspectives regarding the impact of public health, preventive health, and legislative measures on their patients’ health and well being.


The Community Medicine Project:
Soul of the Community Med Curriculum

  • Longitudinal
    • Starting in the first year residents, with guidance from the rotation director, identify a significant issue and develop a project.  They continue working on this project during their residency.
  • The project can be anything from scholarly work leading to published research to community based involvement
  • Individual or collaborative
  • Stages
    • Identify an issue/ question of interest
    • Read the literature- Epidemiological background
    • Learn about existing resources
    • Distill this to a focused project/ proposal
    • Present findings; relate your progress to your peers
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