September 6, 2012
SIU Med School Offers Concurrent Degree in Medicine, Public Health
Two freshman students are participating in a new concurrent degree program in medicine and public health at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. This program is a joint program of SIU School of Medicine and the SIUC College of Education and Human Services. At the end of the five-year MD/MPH program, students will receive a doctor of medicine degree and a master’s degree in public health.
The MD/MPH program is a combined effort of the SIU Departments of Internal Medicine, Family & Community Medicine and Medical Humanities, said Wiley Jenkins, Ph.D., co-director of the MD/MPH Program in Springfield and research associate professor in family medicine. “Public Health is a growing priority for the School of Medicine,” said Jenkins. “This program will allow us to educate students about caring for not only individual patients but also about caring for and understanding the health of the community as a whole.”
Stephen Brown, Ph.D., is the co-director of the program at SIU Carbondale and associate professor of public health education. “The Affordable Care Act is pushing for more cross-section between public health and medicine, so this program fits nicely at the federal level as well as for Illinois.”
The program takes place on both the SIU Carbondale and Springfield campuses. Students will first study a public health curriculum for three semesters in the Department of Health Education and Recreation at SIU Carbondale. Preventive medicine, public health and health policy are among the areas of study. “Future physicians need to have an understanding of how these factors relate to affect the health of the population,” Brown said. “The goal is for the students to be advocates for public health in whatever medical setting they pursue in their careers.”
Following the year of public health training, students will remain in Carbondale during the second year of the program, when they will begin their medical school training. The remaining three years will continue the medical curriculum in Springfield and will include specially-designed electives. A 6-8 week practicum with state and local health departments will be required during the final year of training. The practicum will focus on leadership skills and program planning.
The first students admitted to the program are Stephen Brandt, son of James and Maureen Brandt of Bloomington and Evyn Neumeister, daughter of Dr. Michael and Nadine Neumeister of Springfield.
The program is modeled after SIU School of Medicine’s dual-degree program, the MD/JD program. Upon completing this six-year curriculum, students receive degrees in medicine and law.
SIU School of Medicine is a public medical school established in 1970 and focused on the health care needs of downstate Illinois. An international leader in medical education, the school is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities. Since opening, more than 2,472 physicians have graduated from its program. Its Web site is www.siumed.edu.