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Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program

Evidence-Based Public Health

MEDS 4053 | 3 credit hours

Fall Semester | Syllabus (PDF)

M 4:00 – 6:45 PM

Kelley Carameli, DrPH | | 513-247-4684

This course will include an orientation to the US public health system, current concepts and issues, and major contemporary public health problems. A second content theme will include a brief overview of the development of the quality improvement movement in medicine, resulting in the evidence-based public health movement. These two segments will be integrated as students learn to apply the principles of an evidence-based approach to current public health problems in the greater Cincinnati area. 

Pictured (right), Albert Sabin, MD administers his oral polio vaccine to two children in Cincinnati, 1960. Courtesy: Hauck Center for the Sabin Archives, UC Libraries.

Learning Objectives

  • Embrace a definition of public health that captures the unique characteristics of the field (e.g., population-focused, community-oriented, prevention-motivated and rooted in social justice) and how these contribute to professional practice
  • Discuss sentinel events in the history and development of the public health profession and their relevance for practice in the field
  • Understand the historical development, structure, and interaction of public health and health care systems
  • Understand an array of present-day challenges facing the public health practitioner and identify the types of information and other resources available to address the challenges
  • Identify the individual’s and organization’s responsibilities within the context of the Essential Public Health Services and core functions
  • Illustrate how changes in public health systems (including input, processes, and output) can be measured
  • Identify characteristics of a system and analyze inter-relationships among systems that influence the quality of life of people in their communities
  • Identify basic analytical methods used in public health, including appropriate uses and limitations of both quantitative and qualitative data
  • Identify relevant and appropriate data and information sources including identifying and retrieving current relevant scientific evidence
  • Apply evidence-based principles and the scientific knowledge base to critical evaluation and decision-making in public health
  • Identify unintended consequences produces by changes made to a public health system
  • Identify the limitations of analysis and the importance of observations and interrelationships
  • Recognize how the data illuminate ethical, political, scientific, economic, and overall public health issues
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses of applying the systems approach to public health problems




Albert Sabin, MD administers oral polio vaccine.