Authors: Assefaw Tekeste Ghebrekidan, Gayle
Abstract: In September 2002 the Touro University, California – College of Education and Health Sciences (TU-C COHS) established a Joint MSPAS/MPH Program which sought to develop an integrated Medical and Public Health (PH) curriculum. Since its inception, the Joint Program has graduated seven cohorts of MSPAS/MPH graduates and is one of the first to have a mandated and integrated clinical and public health curriculum. The success of the program can be measured by the increasing number of applicants it attracts each year and survey data from the applicants which indicate that an overwhelming percentage apply because of the joint nature of the degree program. The uniqueness of the Joint Program is that it makes clear that together both disciplines yield better overall health outcomes for prevention and population health, as one discipline does not exist without the other. We have successfully accomplished Phase 1 of “integrating public health and physician assistant disciplines” from a structural perspective and have instituted the expectation among students, faculty and staff, that medicine and public heath work together on this continuum. Phase 2 is a necessary next step which we anticipate will further deepen this understanding and commitment to this educational and professional framework.
Keywords: Dual, joint, dual degree, joint degree, physician assistant, MPH, training physicians, Touro university California