Primary Care Population Medicine

ScM Curriculum

Specialty coursework for this degree examines the intersection of population and clinical medicine and imparts an in-depth understanding of the U.S. healthcare system.

Students fulfill requirements for the Master of Science in Population Medicine (ScM) through a nine-course sequence -- taken in addition to medical school coursework -- and a thesis.  


Health Systems Science I and II 

These courses introduce students to health care systems in the United States and beyond.  Both courses, integrated with the Doctoring and Integrated Medical Science courses during Years 1 and 2, focus specifically on topics such as health care financing, health disparities, social determinants of health, patient safety, quality improvement, and medical-legal partnerships.

Research Methods in Population Medicine

This course, offered during Year 1, prepares students to develop and demonstrate the necessary research skills to formulate a population medicine research question and then design and conduct an investigational study culminating in a manuscript to satisfy thesis requirements of the ScM degree.

Quantitative Methods

This course, offered in the summer between Years 1 and 2, focuses on biostatics and epidemiology. Taught online format and complemented by instructor office hours, the course focuses on the principles of epidemiology, study design, hypothesis testing, parametric and non-parametric tests and the integration of these concepts into clinical care.

Leadership in Health Care

This course is designed to "educate a new type of physician.  It emphasizes teamwork and leadership, population science, and behavioral and social medicine with an eye toward developing physician-leaders who improve the quality of health care and wellness of the population.

Population and Clinical Medicine I and II

These courses, woven into the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC), focus on the intersection of population medicine and clinical care of individuals and populations. Topics include dental care in underserved populations, medical care of incarcerated persons, poly- pharmacy in elderly individuals, quality improvement, patient safety and the patient-centered medical home.

Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC)


In addition to this coursework, students are required to perform scholarly work and write a thesis. Students choose a mentor and begin their research project in the summer between Years 1 and 2.  Projects are diverse and students are encouraged to choose topics they are passionate about.