Preventive Medicine Residency

Welcome to the University of Kentucky General Preventive Medicine Residency Program!

With the increasing burden of chronic yet preventable disease in the United States, Preventive Medicine specialists are needed more than ever before.  The UK General Preventive Medicine- Public Health Residency program is a fully accredited (ACGME) residency program which combines practicum rotations and academic coursework over two post- graduate years (PGY 2 and PGY 3).

The vision of this residency is to graduate knowledgeable, effective, and well-rounded public health and preventive medicine specialists. Our mission is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to protect, promote and maintain the health of populations – resulting in the prevention of disease, disability and death.

The UK Preventive Medicine Residency program emphasizes a deliberate selection process, a wide range of quality instructional courses, thoughtful design of educational plans for each resident, and practicum rotations designed to give hands on experience in preventive medicine and public health. As part of our residency curriculum, our graduates will earn a Master of Public Health degree from the UK College of Public Health, and will be eligible and prepared to take the Preventive Medicine board certifying exam.  The UK College of Public Health is a fully-accredited school of public health and an active participant in the Association of Schools of Public Health. 

Funding for the graduate coursework in this program is provided by the University of Kentucky.  In addition, residents receive benefits and salary at the PGY2 and PGY3 level for University of Kentucky Graduate Medical Education.  We are proud that UK Preventive Medicine Residency graduates received the 13th and 14th Luther L. Terry Senior Fellowship in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services!

Program Structure

The academic, clinical, and practicum activities of the residency are combined over the two year (PGY2 & PGY3) program.  Please note, applicants must have completed at least one full year of an (ACGME) accredited direct patient care/ training program (PGY 1 internship) and completed USMLE Step III to be eligible to apply for this program.  

The academic component of the residency includes:

  • Coursework in Health Services Management, Environmental Health, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Behavior, and Clinical Preventive Medicine
  • Capstone research project (required for MPH)
  • Weekly didactic curriculum to expose the resident to real-world applications of the principles of preventive medicine and to think critically about how health and quality of life can be optimized for both individuals and populations
  • Monthly journal clubs to critically analyze current research done in the areas of public health and preventive medicine
  • Public Health Grand Rounds
  • Inter-professional conferences/ didactic opportunities
  • Annual professional conferences

The practicum experience is designed to be flexible in providing core and specialty competencies in a variety of settings that represent a spectrum of health concerns and issues.

Practicum sites include:

  • Kentucky Department for Public Health
  • Lexington Fayette County Health Department
  • Northern Kentucky Independent Health Department
  • Lexington VA Medical Center
  • Kentucky Cancer Registry
  • Rural Cancer Prevention Center
  • University of Kentucky, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health
  • Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky

General requirements of incoming Preventive Medicine residents include:

  • PGY-1 experience including at least 11 months of direct patient care
  • Unrestricted license by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure
  • Attendance of evening classes, day trips to off-site rotations, and provide outpatient clinical care in preventive medicine and public health settings
  • Basic computer skills

The Program Director and each resident collaborate in designing a unique practicum experience. In doing so, they choose among experiences offered at community health centers, worksite wellness programs, state and local health departments, health maintenance organizations, outpatient clinics, and community organizations. These exposures will provide the resident with experience in planning and delivering both individual and population-based preventive services. The objectives for each practicum site may be met over a series of rotations occurring during PGY2 and/or PGY3 and are designed to help each resident achieve the ACGME core competencies in Preventive Medicine.

Master of Public Health

Resident coursework is completed at the University of Kentucky's College of Public Health which is a fully-accredited school of public health and an active participant in the Association of Schools of Public Health. The residents' coursework depends significantly on their own interest beyond the core degree requirements. Residents may concentrate in Health Services Management, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Behavior, or Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health. Residents who have more managerial interests may take courses in management, economics, and organizational behavior. Residents may take advanced courses in biostatistics, such as regression and correlation. Courses in advanced epidemiology are also offered.

All MPH instructors are members of the University of Kentucky graduate faculty. The MPH degree requires a minimum of 42 credit hours. All students must complete 15 semester hours of required core coursework and at least 15 hours of electives in one of the five concentration areas. In addition, a three hour public health overview course (CPH 663), three hours of field practicum experience, and capstone project are required. All students are required to take three semester hours of research. The MPH core course requirements provide a broad overview of the disciplines of public health and the basic principles of public health practice.

Specialty coursework develops the skills and knowledge upon which to build or enhance a career in public health. Selective courses are available in each of the five concentration areas: Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Biostatistics, Health Behavior, and Health Services Management. The culminating experience is a research-based capstone project that requires a formal written product and a final examination presentation.

Required Core Courses:

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics I
  • Occupational/Environmental Health I
  • Management of Public Health Organizations
  • Public Health and Disease Prevention

Required Courses:

  • Public Health Practice and Administration
  • Practicum Field and CPH 608 Public Health Capstone Project MPH course requirements are typically completed with "selectives" in the residents' chosen area of concentration, such as Health Services Management. The choice of concentration is dependent on the professional interests and goals of the resident.

Examples of Selective Courses:

  • Cancer Epidemiology
  • Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • Biochemical and Environmental Toxicology
  • Public Health Law and Policy
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Ecological Influences on Health Behavior
  • Health and Culture
  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology
  • Decision Making in Health and Medicine

Application Process

Applications are accepted from any physician who has completed an ACGME accredited clinical training year (PGY1) that has provided at least eleven months of direct patient contact. We utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for applications. 

The following will be required for a complete application:

  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Medical school transcript
  • Copy of Medical School Diploma
  • Dean's letter from medical school (optional)
  • Certificate of completion of PGY1 clinical year (and subsequent years, if applicable)
  • Copy of board certification (if applicable)
  • Copy of current licensure and DEA certificate (if applicable)
  • Copy of USMLE, FLEX, or other nationally recognized assessment examination results
  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which will be from the Program Director at the end of preliminary (clinical) year, and will include the following:
    • a statement that the applicant completed 12 months of PGY1 training, at least 11 of which were direct patient care
    • completion of the Global Resident Competency Rating Form

Inquiries should be directed to Kelly Werner.  

Authors of letters of recommendation can mail them directly to the Program Coordinator at the following address:

Kelly Werner
Preventive Medicine Residency Program Coordinator
Dept. of Family and Community Medicine
2195 Harrodsburg RD, STE 125
Lexington, KY 40504

Phone: 859-257-1387