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Public Health Education for Physicians

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Public Health Education for Physicians (PHEP)

Public Health Education for Physicians (PHEP) in the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Public Health (DPH) provides education about public health to physicians-in-training who are in approved graduate medical education (GME) residency programs. The principal target groups are primary care resident-physicians from the LAC Health Services Department (DHS); however, other levels of physician training from DHS as well as other institutions will be considered. The LAC DPH itself has no physician residency programs.  For information on GME residency programs in LAC DHS, see websites for LAC+USC; Olive View-UCLA; Harbor-UCLA; and Rancho Los Amigos.

Not Eligible for PHEP? Explore non-PHEP opportunities to experience DPH:

Individuals not eligible for PHEP -- like college or medical school students, physicians not in residency programs, and interested others -- still might find experiences in DPH to intern (for academic credit) or to volunteer (not for credit) through other DPH programs. Volunteers can include community members, students, or any qualified individual interested in serving LA County. See DPH Internship & Volunteer page to explore opportunities, and be sure to also review LA County-wide requirements and options for internships on the County's Department of Human Resources (DHR) LAC Internship Overview page. Important: Note that, in order to apply for academic credit internship, students first must confirm their school has a written partnership agreement with LA County, so see DHR Academic Internship Program webpage to check the Partnering Universities List and to find out how DHR can help your school partner with the County.


Public Health vs. Personal Health -- What's the Difference?

Unlike personal health, which serves individual patients one by one, public health seeks to assure health for entire populations. For LAC DPH this means targeting optimal health for all 10 million county residents through collective social actions to prevent disease, prolong life and promote health. While functionally independent, as one of LAC's three separate health departments, DPH works also with Health Services Department (DHS) and Mental Health Department (DMH) to streamline access for those who need services from more than one department or specialty area, and through coordinated efforts to address the County's most pressing health issues.


PHEP Educational Approaches

PHEP uses three approaches to provide public health education: (1) website-based resources; (2) didactic through public health talks, and (3) experiential through public health elective rotations for resident-physicians.
Website-based Learning Resources:
Please explore the easy-to-access learning resources found on this page and links to related websites.
Public Health Talks:
PHEP has a list of public health topics that are available. Please contact PHEP to arrange any of these talks or request others.

Public Health Elective Rotations for Resident-Physicians

Public Health elective rotations for resident-physicians are offered on an individual basis by contacting PHEP. The standard duration for a public health rotation is one month. The experience can be individualized to fit the physician-in-training’s needs. Please contact PHEP at least 2 months prior to the desired start of a rotation so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Important: Please note that significantly more than 2 months might be necessary if your residency program needs to initiate or confirm completion of any required pre-arrangements, like assuring they have identified any written agreement documents required between themselves and County of Los Angeles, and confirmed all have been approved and signed originals received by both entities well in advance of an applicant's hoped-for start date. Just in case such documents might not get timely completed, resident-physicians should have back-up plans for non-DPH alternatives.

For further PHEP information please contact the PHEP/Medical Affairs office at medicalaffairs@ph.lacounty.gov and include PHEP in subject line.

PHEP Resources

Resources by and about other DPH Programs:

Other Resources:


Updated 1-15-2020






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