Posted: April 2, 2020

Planning and Incorporating Public Health Preparedness Into the Medical Curriculum



This article describes how public health preparedness has been integrated into the curriculum of four U.S. medical schools: Case Western Reserve University, Harvard Medical School, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. The experiences of the four schools are compared, lessons learned are shared, and a curricular framework is suggested for other schools that are considering the inclusion of preparedness exercises into their population health curriculum. Different strategies to create scenarios and engage students, including partnerships with community professionals and stakeholders, are described. This article is part of the October, 2011 Supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, "Patients and Populations: Public Health in Medical Education." The supplement is based on the September 2010 conference of the same name that drew more than 190 medical and public health educators and public health practitioners from the U.S. and Canada. Publication of the Supplement was supported by the cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).


Jan K. Carney, MD, MPH, University of Vermont College of Medicine
Lisa Schilling, MD, MSPH, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Christopher Grace, MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine
Tania Bertsch, MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine
Paul Biddinger, MD, Harvard Medical School
Jonathan A. Finkelstein, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School
Scott Frank, MD, MS, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Learner Audience

Undergraduate Medical Education (UME)


Systems Based Practice

Resource Type(s)

Distance Learning - Asynchronous

Instructional Method(s)



Public Health, Population Health, Preventive Medicine, Journal Supplement, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Preparedness, Disaster response, Medical education