Essentials of the Profession II
All pathways students are required to also take the month-long Essentials of the Profession II course in either March or October of their third or fourth year of medical school. Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health (CEPH) is one of five core topic areas within the “Essentials II” course, which also incorporates content on ethics, social medicine, health policy, and healthcare delivery and leadership. This post-clerkship course builds on experiences in Essentials I and the Principle Clinical Experience (i.e., clerkship) to refine students’ critical thinking skills to:
- Interpret and critique data from various sources to explore and improve population health problems and employ clinical epidemiology concepts to critically appraise population health research studies;
- Identify the complex interplay of social and structural forces that affect health and health care to improve clinical care and advance health equity;
- Assess the health policy context in which our health care system operates and how it informs and impacts clinical practice, while discovering opportunities for innovation and reform;
- Discuss and appraise the ethical principles that underlie clinical care, research, and professionalism, and apply these principles to ethical issues in practice;
- Understand, apply and critique the key tenets of value-based health care and their application to health care organization, delivery and assessment.
The CEPH component of the Essentials 2 course focuses on identifying population health problems using real-world data from various sources and developing evidence-based strategies to improve population health. For the CEPH sessions, students attend interactive lectures on timely population health topics, given by local and national experts, and meet in student-led journal clubs to apply clinical epidemiology concepts from Essentials I to critically appraise population health research studies. Students are also exposed to advanced clinical epidemiological concepts, such as machine learning and quasi-experimental designs. The curriculum focuses on using data to describe inequities in health, and finding evidence-based strategies to improve these inequities, in the context of important population health topics such as substance use, police violence, climate change and COVID-19.