Public Health/General Preventive Medicine Residency Program

The WVU School of Public Health offers an academically and clinically rigorous program that trains physicians for leadership in community health assessment, program implementation and improvement in population health outcomes.

Beyond completing a Master in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology, residents will receive practical and didactic training in a region experiencing some of the greatest public health challenges in the United States. 

Residents will work to understand and apply population-based methods to promote, protect, preserve and rehabilitate the health of our communities. Training will emphasize the health and well-being of rural and underserved communities in Appalachia, including public health responses to the injection drug crisis.

Program Overview

The residency program accepts one resident each year and is funded through a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant. Applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS) only. Our program, the first in Appalachia, is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Residents will leave the program well-prepared for leadership in the multifaceted field of public health having obtained a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree and a certificate of residency in Public Health/General Preventive Medicine.

The planned curriculum in Lifestyle Medicine will enable graduates to sit the board exam for certification in Lifestyle Medicine with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), in addition to obtaining board certification with the ABPM.

Learning Goals

  • Medical Knowledge and Didactics: Each resident must either complete or have already completed an appropriate graduate degree. Required coursework includes courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, health services administration and policy, social and behavioral science, and environmental health.
    • GOAL: Completion of an appropriate master’s degree which includes the required courses for board certification.
  • Patient Care and Clinical Skills: Residents will gain clinical experience in various settings, learning to provide quality preventive clinical care, translating and connecting care at the individual level to population and public health needs and programs with the goal of improvement in population health outcomes. Residents will become familiar with local, state and federal public health structures, guidelines and regulations.
    • GOAL: Development of clinical preventive medicine skills to provide evidence-based population health and public health screening and interventions aimed at primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
  • Research/Scholarly Activity: Residents have dedicated time to participate in ongoing research in the area of health disparities in the care of vascular and other chronic diseases and health issues in Appalachia.
    • GOAL: Substantive participation in public health or population health research and presentation of the results of that research.
  • Government and Public Health/Systems of Care: Residents will meet with various health-related agencies at the local through federal levels and interact with various systems of care. The resident will gain an understanding of each system and how they interact as part of a greater system of disease management and healthcare.
    • GOAL: Familiarity with the roles, structures and interactions of different systems of care. Familiarity with the application of governmental rules, regulations and mandates, and understanding of policy development. Preparation to lead in advocacy for Public Health-General Preventive Medicine needs in rural and underserved areas in particular, as well as nationally.
View the Competencies

Required Courses

Year 1: The Academic Phase

The first year of the program is largely devoted to academic coursework for the Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology. Residents will also pursue clinical experiences in Occupational Health, Preventive Medicine (Veterans’ Administration), Adolescent Health, Behavioral Health and Addiction Medicine, and clinical work at the Health Department. The program places an emphasis on Lifestyle Medicine as an evidence-based approach to prevention and mitigation of chronic disease, through didactics sessions and clinical experiences

Year 2: The Practicum Phase

The second year builds on the first year’s coursework and experiences. Residents continue coursework in global health, behavioral health and epidemiology while applying their skills in a longitudinal field practicum at a local health department and completing an epidemiology capstone project. They continue their clinical experience in Behavioral Health and Addiction Medicine, and have longitudinal and block rotations in chronic disease management and Lifestyle Medicine. Elective opportunities include a rotation at Cabin Creek Health Systems, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Kanawha County, a rotation at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Clinic in Washington, D.C., and rotations in health administration or at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center.

View the Manual for Requirements

Admissions Guidelines

Applicants are expected to meet the uniform requirements for graduate medical education in the United States including satisfactory completion of an ACGME-approved first postgraduate year or internship (PGY-1) involving direct patient care.

We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and populations underrepresented in medicine. We especially encourage those with backgrounds and/or career goals in service to rural and underserved populations and the regions of Appalachia and West Virginia to apply.

International medical graduates are expected to meet standard English fluency tests as well as uniform requirements for IMGs. The requirement of the certifying board for an ACGME-approved clinical year should be borne in mind by applicants from international medical schools.

It is the policy of the West Virginia University Health System (WVUHS) to require all health care workers (HCWs) to receive a United States approved COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement of working at WVUHS. Exemptions for HCWs who have medical contraindications or religious reasons that prevent them from obtaining the COVID-19 vaccination must be approved by WVU Medicine Employee Health and the Medical and Religious Exemption Review Committees. Health care workers are defined as all employees (including those without direct patient care responsibilities and those working remotely) and all physicians, licensed independent practitioners, residents, fellows, volunteers, students and contracted workers/vendors caring for patients or providing related services on any of WVUHS’s premises. Review WVUHS Policy V.116S, First Effective 08/23/21; revised 01/21/2022, 01/19/22, 11/09/21.

Candidates already possessing an MPH or equivalent degree are encouraged to apply. If all American Board of Preventive Medicine course requirements have been met, applicants will be given credit and may have the opportunity to complete a shorter program. Supplementary coursework to meet ABPM requirements may be offered. All such applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Applications and supporting documentation (for July admission) should be submitted via ERAS to GPM Program #3805588095 as early as possible. Applications will be considered in the order in which they are received.

All interviews for the Occupational Medicine and Public Health/General Preventive Medicine residency programs are currently being conducted via Zoom.

View the Manual for Guidelines Apply Now