Essential Public Health Competencies for Medical Students: Establishing a Consensus in Family Medicine

Family Medicine/Public Health Competencies Work Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Phenomenon: The integration of public health (PH) competency training into medical education, and further integration of PH and primary care, has been urged by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. However, PH competencies are numerous, and no consensus exists over which competencies are most important for adoption by current trainees. Our objective was to conduct a group concept mapping exercise with stakeholders identifying the most important and feasible PH skills to incorporate in medical and residency curricula. Approach: We utilized a group concept mapping technique via the Concept System Global Max (, where family medicine educators and PH professionals completed the phrase, “A key Public Health competency for physicians-in-training to learn is …” with 1–10 statements. The statement list was edited for duplication and other issues; stakeholders then sorted the statements and rated them for importance and feasibility of integration. Multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis were used to create a two-dimensional point map of domains of PH training, allowing visual comparison of groupings of related ideas and relative importance of these ideas. Findings: There were 116 nonduplicative statements (225 total) suggested by 120 participants. Three metacategories of competencies emerged: Clinic, Community & Culture, Health System Understanding, and Population Health Science & Data. Insights: We identified and organized a set of topics that serve as a foundation for the integration of family medicine and PH education. Incorporating these topics into medical education is viewed as important and feasible by family medicine educators and PH professions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC © 2017, © Christopher P. Morley, Scott R. Rosas, Ranit Mishori, William Jordan, Yumi Shitama Jarris, Family Medicine/Public Health Competencies Work Group, and Jacob Prunuske.


  • education
  • medical
  • primary care
  • public health
  • Schools

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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