What if you could strengthen the health of patients before they step foot in your examination room?
As 2020 has shown, clinical care is inextricably tied to public health. UIC’s College of Medicine and School of Public Health are offering a new MD/MPH joint degree that can be completed during the normal four year duration of medical school. For students matriculating in Fall 2021 and 2022, the estimated additional tuition cost to pursue the joint degree is only $8,000 more than the cost of the MD degree on its own.
As an MD/MPH student, you will pursue an MPH concentration in Population Health for Medical Students. The impacts of public health on your clinical work extend well beyond an infectious disease outbreak like the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will help you view your patients through a health equity and justice lens and prepare you for for careers in academia, international and governmental agencies, clinics, health departments and research centers. The joint degree can also help to prepare students for academic residency programs. As an MPH student, you will focus on:
About the public health concentration
Determinants of health
How social and environmental determinants of health contribute to acute and chronic diseases and injuries.
How chronic diseases impact populations and how to minimize these effects.
How to apply epidemiological methods to assess the effectiveness of medical treatments.
How to think about population health in neighborhood contexts and from a global health view.
4 years Unlike many MD/MPH programs, this joint degree is completed in the normal four years of medical school.
$8000 Estimated additional tuition cost above pursuing only the MD degree.
Meet SPH alumni practicing as clinicians
SPH faculty are advancing public health with their MD degrees
“The MPH behind my name tells my community they can rely on me to consider what’s best for the entire population, not just individuals in my exam room. My courses in public health helped me see the big picture more clearly and understand the effects of social determinants of health on individual outcomes. I also gained specific skills on how to communicate health risks at the community level, how to use the public health infrastructure to help my patients, and I am much better at analyzing the medical literature.”Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Director, Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health|
“The MPH puts medical care within a larger perspective. My MPH gave me an initial appreciation for the field of epidemiology and epidemiologic research. This was especially important early in my career at the CDC when I worked on a number of clinical epidemiology studies that really merged the worlds of public health and clinical medicine. Some of that work even informed clinical guidelines for medical practice.”Professor of Epidemiology|
“Public health training broadens your perspective with respect to individual patients and their health problems. It allows a view of the whole person in relationship with their community. It informs the clinician about the risk of disease, probable diagnosis, probably etiology, as well as curative and preventive interventions for the specific patient and their communities. Finally, it allows the clinician to be armed with facts to participate fully in their community bringing the scientific expertise necessary to understand how to promote the public’s health.”Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, UI Health|
Transferring into the joint degree program
About the transfer process
Students who enter either of the individual degree programs and later decide to transfer into the joint program may do so before entering their second year of study if they meet the admissions requirements of the other degree program. Students must apply and be accepted into both individual degree programs. Medical students should contact Dr. Jorge Girotti, Associate Dean and Director, Admissions, Special Curricular Programs, College of Medicine, for assistance with putting together an application package for the MPH program. Email: email@example.com
Joint Degree Requirements
About the Curriculum
All students must satisfy the requirements for both the MD and MPH program; including a minimum of 43 semester hours of MPH course work. More courses may be required depending on individual MPH programs.
Concurrent public health course work during the M1 through M3 years is discouraged. However, MPH night or online courses might be allowed at the discretion of the advisors (subject to approval of the College of Medicine program governing body or Senior Associate Dean and the School of Public Health Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) for select students who have established excellent academic standing in both the College of Medicine and School of Public Health.
Sample Course Table
Year Fall and Spring Semesters Summer Semester M1 Students complete M1 Year requirements. Students may take 1 or 2 MPH courses in the Summer following M1 Year. M2 Students complete M2 Year requirements. M3 Students complete M3 Year requirements. Year 4 Students pursue one year of full-time study at the School of Public Health. Students typically take 15 SH of course work in both the Fall and Spring semesters. Year 5 MPH courses: IPHS 650, IPHS 698, IPHS 650
Rotations in Year 4
Specialty Duration Medicine and Pediatrics 1-4 week specialties Anesthesia/ Radiology 4 weeks Ophthalmology 1 week Otolaryngology 2 weeks Orthopaedics 2 weeks Dermatology 2 weeks Neurology 2 weeks
About shared courses
With proper advisement, MD/MPH students may complete between 3 and 5 semester hours of the MPH Applied Practice Experienc (IPHS 650) during the M4 year and receive (6 to 8) weeks of credit toward MD electives.
With proper planning and prior approval of the MPH advisor, joint degree students may take a non- clinical medical elective during their M4 year and receive independent study credit toward the MPH degree. [For example two semester hours of independent study may be awarded for completing the 30 contact hour multi-disciplinary course: “Patient Safety and Quality Outcomes”.
With proper planning and prior approval by the Medical School, joint degree students may receive credit toward the M4 electives by taking an advanced-level public health course.
No more than 25% of the total hours for both degrees will consist of shared course work.