About the Program
Loma Linda University (LLU) has taken special interest in prevention, healthy lifestyles, public health, and global health since it began in 1905. The first formal preventive medicine organization was the School of Tropical and Preventive Medicine, established in 1948. It began with a heavy emphasis on research and gradually evolved into graduate education. In 1967, LLU established the School of Public Health.
The General Preventive Medicine Residency Program began in 1979 as a cooperative effort of the School of Public Health (SPH) and the School of Medicine and emphasizes clinical preventive medicine, which combines preventive medicine with primary health care. It focuses on disease as it occurs in communities and defined population groups. LLU takes special interest in the assessment of individual health hazards and the promotion of practices that help to reduce risk and prevent or postpone disease and injury.
Philosophy and Lifestyle
Demonstration is recognized as the best method of teaching, so all residents are expected to demonstrate healthful living in their personal lives. LLU is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its motto, To Make Man Whole typifies not only the educational opportunities the university offers, but also the contributions it and the students can make to the church and to the world. The residency espouses the unique goals and objectives of the worldwide Adventist health care system and provides both training and patient care within an atmosphere of Christian compassion and concern, helping people to become “whole” in the truest sense. The residency program is open to persons of all religious faiths who share this philosophy.
Program Strengths and Uniqueness
The LLU Preventive Medicine Residency seeks to provide high quality, broad training in preventive medicine and public health that will prepare graduates to be successful in a wide variety of preventive medicine careers. From its beginning, however, the residency program at LLU has emphasized clinical prevention.
In some preventive medicine residency programs, little time is spent in patient care. LLU residents gain extensive experience in patient care in a variety of settings throughout their training. While we believe that caring for populations is at the heart of preventive medicine as a discipline, we also believe that many preventive medicine physicians need and want to be good clinicians and practice preventive care at the level of the individual patient as well. Beyond our clinical emphasis, the LLU Preventive Medicine Residency has a unique focus on three areas of emphasis: lifestyle medicine, global health, and whole-person care.
Lifestyle Medicine: This is an emerging area of medical thought and practice in which lifestyle modification is emphasized for the management of diseases and the promotion of health. Our past department chair, Dr. Wayne Dysinger, has helped to forward this approach, helping to establish and lead the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), working towards the integration of a lifestyle medicine emphasis within the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), and helping establish physician competencies in lifestyle medicine practice.
Global Health: Loma Linda University maintains a network of humanitarian mission hospitals in developing countries around the world. Hundreds of LLU graduates have served abroad for substantial periods of time. The LLU Preventive Medicine Residency seeks to foster a global health perspective, offers an MPH concentration in global health, and offers international elective rotations at affiliated sites. Several recent graduates are currently serving in developing countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
Whole-person Care: The Motto of Loma Linda University is To Make Man Whole. Underlying this motto is a recognition that health is a matter of the whole person, including physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects. We seek to promote sensitive, professional, ethical care of whole-person, which addresses all areas of the person’s health.
Academic Training – Master of Public Health Degree
Accepted residency applicants are advised to apply separately for admission to the LLU School of Public Health’s MPH degree program after having been notified of their acceptance into the residency program. Residents choose from a variety of programs including Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, Health Promotion & Education, Global Health, Nutrition, Lifestyle Medicine, and Population Medicine. All MPH majors take core course work in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health administration, and the behavioral sciences.
Preventive Medicine Fellowship Track
After completing an ACGME accredited residency program, and at least half of an MPH, residents are eligible to complete a one year program in preventive medicine.
Addiction Medicine Fellowship
Three one-year fellowship (PGY-4) positions in addiction medicine are also available. Fellows receive addiction medicine experience and training through their involvement in treatment and education groups, lectures, and teaching of residents and medical students. Rotation sites include the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Recovery Unit, and LLU Behavioral Medicine Center.
Occupational Medicine Residency
The department also offers a two-year (PGY-2&3) residency training program in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The Specialty of Preventive Medicine
Preventive medicine has been recognized as a specialty by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for more than 50 years. The American Board of Preventive Medicine currently certifies physicians in three areas: general preventive medicine, occupational medicine, and aerospace medicine. Preventive medicine physicians practice in clinical community medicine, public health departments, healthcare administration, academic departments, and in medical and public health research.
Requirements for Preventive Medicine Training
The ACGME requirements for specialization include three phases, each no less than one year in duration:
- Post Graduate Year One (PGY-1): approved residency training in any clinical specialty.
- Post Graduate Year Two (PGY-2): an academic year leading to a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree or its equivalent.
- Post Graduate Year Three (PGY-3): a year of practical experience in preventive medicine programs and research.
LLU offers training for all three phases by integrating the academic and practicum experiences in the PGY-2 and -3 years.
Opportunities in Preventive Medicine
The Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee (GMENAC) and the Department of Health and Human Services reported in the early 1980s that preventive medicine was one of the few specialties with a projected deficit in manpower, and this has indeed proved to be the case, contrasting sharply with the oversupply in many of the other medical specialties.
Opportunities for work exist in a variety of private health maintenance organizations, solo or group clinical practices, and in public health, medical administration, teaching and research in academic medicine, wellness programs in industry and other corporate entities, and in international health care.
Preventive medicine practitioners quite often keep regular business hours. Many are offered the opportunity to work or consult in various locales where they can experience a rich and satisfying professional life. Recent research has identified preventive medicine physicians as having the lowest rates of burnout and the highest satisfaction with work-life balance among medical specialties. Read full story here.
Graduates of the LLU Preventive Medicine Residency learn the diverse skills necessary to pursue a career in an array of specialized fields, including private practice, county health departments, teaching and epidemiologic research, HMOs, and employee wellness medicine.
For more information on the diverse career opportunities with preventive medicine, we recommend viewing this slideshow developed by the American College of Preventive Medicine.