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Population Health Certificate Course

“Population Health is the distribution of health outcomes within a population, the determinants that influence this distribution and the policies and interventions that impact these determinants.” American Journal of Public Health

Over the past several decades, there has been a demand to improve the integration of public and population health in medical education, to address the population health needs in a rapidly changing U.S. health and healthcare landscape. This requires physicians to be equipped to address persistent health and health care disparities. (Johnson, et. al., Academic Medicine, Vol. 95, No. 12/December 2020)

As a medical student, one of the first things you will learn in our Population Health Certificate Course is that the care you provide to patients within the walls of the clinic and hospital only contributes about 20 percent to health outcomes. The goal of this course is to help you understand how the conditions where we live, learn, grow, and play become key factors in driving health outcomes. Further, it is designed to help you not only recognize these factors and their impact on patient health but also learn how to integrate interventions through community partnerships to improve health and catalyze health equity.

Course Objectives
  • The learner will apply health equity framework to address health disparities through the implementation of language, theories, concepts, and methods of population health.
  • The learner will Identify economic, psychological, occupational, and sociocultural factors that contribute to the development of poor health and explain how it affects individuals and communities
  • The learner will be able to assess the health status of populations using available data and geographic tools (e.g., public health surveillance data, vital statistics, registries, surveys, electronic health records, and health plan claims data).
  • The learner will be able to articulate evidence base interventions for population health disparities
  • The learner will be able to identify opportunities to integrate core concepts of population health in the health care delivery system.

The Population Health Certificate Course runs through the first 1.5 years concurrently with your core medical curriculum.

The course covers a wide range of domains of population health, including health systems; analytics; legal, regulatory, and administrative; process and design; social, behavioral, and environmental; and interpersonal. Course activities include lectures, small group activities, and writing assignments. Lectures cover a wide array of topics including social determinants of health, healthcare systems, health policy, and research. By participating in small group discussions, you will have the opportunity to delve deeper into several topics with the guidance of faculty facilitators. The writing assignments will give you an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve learned and think about how these issues may impact your future practice.

Throughout the course you will also receive an introduction to telemedicine. Several of the lectures throughout the course focus on different aspects of telemedicine and you will participate in hands-on labs during which you will learn how to perform a remote history and physical exam and use the medical devices available for telemedicine.

Inquiries about the course can be sent to Dr. Christine Hartford at