Medical Partners in Public Health

The Medical Partners in Public Health certificate (MD-PH) is a Public Health certificate option for College of Human Medicine students who seek to add a population-based lens to their clinical training, in order to better understand how to improve the health and well-being of their patients and the communities to which they belong.

This certificate was designed to complement the public health content in the CHM curriculum and to allow MD-PH students to augment their training with formal knowledge and skill in the core public health disciplines of epidemiology, biostatistics, health behavior and health education, public policy and administration and environmental health.  Based in the Flint community, the MD-PH certificate program adds medical student education to the public health-focused emphasis of this campus.  This C.S. Mott-Foundation funded expansion also includes the addition of nationally acclaimed public health research faculty, as well as the establishment of the home base of the Masters in Public Health (MPH) program in Flint.

The goal of the MD-PH certificate is that physician graduates of this certificate program will be able to apply public health principles, evidence and theory to:

  • incorporate a population-based approach to care for individual patients around preventive health and the comprehensive management of chronic disease.
  • incorporate an accounting of social determinants of health—factors beyond genetics and behavior—that influence health into clinical care
  • influence good health not only at the individual patient level, but also at the community level and through changes in policy
  • effectively partner with other professionals and agencies that are engaged in improving public health
  • effectively interface with the public health infrastructure in the event of a disease outbreak or an environmental health threat, and understand the principles and mechanisms of ongoing preventive surveillance
  • use an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the health care delivery system to plan system improvements
  • actively work towards social justice and health equity for all

These goals will be accomplished through formal blended online, face-to-face, and community-based coursework, as well as public health-focused community service and research. Courses are jointly taught by experts in both public health and clinical medicine.  Additionally, the certificate maintains an online community and journal club that allow students to remain engaged with a public health perspective throughout their medical school training.

Community-Based Capstone Project

Fourth-year MD-PH students have two dedicated electives in which they research, plan, implement and evaluate a group capstone project in the community. This project allows them to synthesize and use the public health information they have gained to provide information and services that will benefit the people in their chosen group of interest. It is supervised by local experts and the Director of the certificate, and culminates in a presentation to student colleagues and faculty, as well as a manuscript and other scholarly products, as appropriate.

Applying for the MD-PH

Application to the MD-PH program requires completion of seven additional certificate program essays on the secondary application in addition to the required Secondary Application essays. MD-PH applicants must first be admitted to CHM and then MD-PH Admissions Selection Committee reviews MD-PH applicants for acceptance to the program.

Students who currently have an MPH degree or a core public health certificate are not eligible for this program as there would be significant overlap with previous learning.


For more information about the MD-PH Certificate Program, please contact:

Laura Carravallah, MD, FAAP, FACP
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Human Development and Department of Medicine
Director, Medical Partners in Public Health Certificate (MD-PH)
Michigan State University / Historic Flint Journal Building
200 E. First St., Rm. 339
Flint, MI 48502