Public Health, Medical Schools Need Better Coordination To Prepare for Health Emergencies, Study Says
Medical and public health schools need to "increase[e] cooperation" with one another, and there needs to be greater funding for public health research and education, according to a new Institute of Medicine report released yesterday, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports (Schmid, AP/Contra Costa Times, 11/5). USA Today reports that the study, titled "Who Will Keep the Public Healthy: Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century," suggests that without more coordination between the medical and public health fields, the United States "will remain unprepared for terrorist attacks and other health threats." The report recommends that public health schools transfer their emphasis from training researchers to teaching students to "practice public health" around the nation; recruit "more frontline public health experts" into teaching; and give students more chances to "work in communities" (Sternberg, USA Today, 11/5). In addition, graduates of public health degree programs should be certified to practice, the report stated (AP/Contra Costa Times, 11/5). According to the report, medical schools should expand their "basic public health" offerings and provide "advanced public health training" to one-half of their students. "We're calling for a fairly radical change in medical school education," Linda Rosenstock, dean of public health at the University of California-Los Angeles and a co-chair of the committee that wrote the report, said. According to Deborah Danoff of the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks "prompted many medical schools to enhance their public health training," and the AAMC is working with the CDC "to hasten this process," USA Today reports (USA Today, 11/5). The report is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.