Preventive practicum training in healthcare organizations: The Meharry model

Robert S. Levine*, Judith St. Onge, Cynthia J. Moriarty, Stephanie Bailey, Thomas Logan, Kangmin Zhu, Bettie K. Nelson, Richard A. Hodder, William Marino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Practicum training for preventive medicine residents often occurs in agencies whose community is geographically defined and whose governance is closely linked to public election. We were unsure about the financial ability of such departments to support training and are concerned that over-reliance on traditional health departments might not be best for either medically indigent populations or preventive medicine. We, therefore, sought to apply a public health model-based on a strategic partnership between nursing and preventive medicine-to a large health care organization. The result was formation of a mini-health department, suitable for fully accredited preventive medicine practicum training, within the Alvin C. York Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Murfreesboro, TN.This Center serves a defined population of 21,594 patients and about 1600 employees. The theoretical framework for the new department was based on demonstration of a close fit between the competencies expected of preventive medicine physicians by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and activities required by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Because of JCAHO requirements, many healthcare organizations already pay for preventive medicine services. Conclusions: By placing preventive medicine training faculty into existing budget slots at our institution, systemwide personnel costs for prevention decreased by about $36,000 per year, even as personnel funding for preventive medicine physicians increased from about $24,000 to $376,000 per year. Moreover, there was dramatic, sustained improvement in 17 indicators of preventive care quality as determined by an external peer review organization. In addition to providing a new venue for training, this model may also improve the quality and reach of preventive services, decreased fixed costs for service delivery, and yield new employment opportunities for preventive medicine physicians. Copyright (C) 1999 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Preventive practicum training in healthcare organizations: The Meharry model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this