Skip to main content


Introduction to Public Health

This course will provide an introduction to the primary disciplines of public health including: health policy and management, social and behavioral health, epidemiology, biostatistics and environmental health. Through lecture, case studies and practical projects, students will gain an understanding of the importance and practical application of public health knowledge and how it applies to clinical decision making and strategy. As the basis of population health interventions, public health principles provide a fundamental basis for data informed decision making and the scientific framework for understanding health. Using contemporary examples, students will have the opportunity to better understand and integrate public health principles into their practice regardless of their chosen discipline.

Course Director: Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, MHSA
Phone: 317-274-4242
Primary contact for Adds/Drops: Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, MHSA
Home campus: Indianapolis
Type of course: Online

Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic knowledge of principles of epidemiology (MK5).
  2. describe the epidemiology of common diseases affecting populations, including methods for prevention and early detection of disease and systematic, population-based approaches for reducing the incidence and prevalence of disease (MK6).
  3. explain the impact of the variables of psychosocial, socioeconomic, environmental, lifestyle and lifecycle stage on a patient’s health, disease, care-seeking and care-compliance, barriers to care, and attitudes toward care (MK7).
  4. incorporate health promotion and patient education on the basis of the patient’s or population’s needs (PC4).

Course activities:
This course is taught as an online course with an applied project completed individually or in a small group depending on calendar and logistical constraints.

Estimated time distribution: 100% online. Students should be prepared to spend the following estimated time:

  • 27 hours online modules
  • 8 hours reading
  • 8 hours reflection papers, quizzes, final exam
  • 4-8 hours applied project

Assessments will include participation (20%); case studies (20%); a final exam (20%)and an applied project (40%).

Faculty will use the Professional Development Evaluation Form

Interprofessional collaboration: No

Introduction to Rural and Agricultural Health

This course will introduce students to the top rural health priorities in the United States today, including access to care, nutrition, mental health, and substance abuse. One of the modules will also provide a brief overview of agricultural medicine. Grading is based on a quizzes, participation, and a final paper. Course is approximately 80% lecture, participation, and 20% student research outside of class.

Course Director: Ellen Ireland
Phone: (812) 237-2469
Primary contact for Adds/Drops: Ellen Ireland,
Home campus: Terre Haute
Type of course: Online

Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  1. describe medical problems related to access to care, including barriers to physical, dental, and mental health care (ILOS MK6, MK7, SBP2)
  2. recall the major chronic and infectious diseases related to morbidity in rural areas (ILOS MK6, SBP2)
  3. describe common environmental health hazards for rural populations (ILOS MK6, SBP2)
  4. explain how physicians must be aware of specific kinds of illnesses and injuries associated with agricultural work (ILOS MK6)
  5. assess the major health needs and risks of a small rural community (ILOS MK7, SBP2)

Course activities:
Each of the seven course topics is followed by a quiz. Students are required to participate in class by providing response questions based on the reading and engaging in short group activities. The final paper for the class is a needs assessment of a small rural community in Indiana. Sections include:

  1. Overview of causes of mortality in rural states, demographics, and Rural Healthy
    People 2010
  2. Access to care issues
    a. chronic illness
    b. dental issues
    c. maternal morbidity and mortality
    d. emergency response
  3. Nutrition
  4. Infectious diseases
  5. Mental health and substance abuse
  6. Agricultural medicine
  7. Environmental health

Estimated time distribution: 20% Library/Research; 80% Online Students can expect to spend 30 – 45 hours on this course


Participation: 30%
Quizzes (7 at 5% each): 35%
Final project: 35%

Scholarly Concentration enrollment
Interprofessional collaboration: In the future, we'll look for opportunities to engage
with other health professions.

Rural Health Journal Club

This course is designed give medical students an opportunity to practice critical analysis of contemporary research articles in rural health and medicine. The class meets once every two weeks to discuss a specific assigned article. The course is offered in three-month blocks. Online participation is available. The discussion is facilitated by a faculty mentor.

Course Director:
Robin Danek
Phone: (812) 237-2469
Primary contact for Adds/Drops: Robin Danek
Home campus: Terre Haute
Type of course: Online

Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  1. understand rural communities and how their needs apply to medical practice, including cultural awareness and the unique barriers to care faced by these communities (MK7, SBP2, P2)
  2. demonstrate knowledge of principles of research including identifying gaps in personal and general knowledge and utilizing resources (PBLI1)
  3. present research in written and oral formats in a professional scientific manner (ISC5, PBLI2)

Course activities:
The course meets every other week for a three-month period, June-August or Sept-Nov. Students are expected to participate in discussion at every meeting. Online version will be held with a mixture of Zoom discussions and online discussion forums. Reading and discussion will take approximately 3-4 hours each month total, with two articles being discussed each month. Expectations of journal club include regular attendance, discussion of course materials during class time. Students will demonstrate completion of readings through their participation in class.

Estimated time distribution: 50% Library/Research; 50% Online Meets every other week for a three-month period, June-August or Sept-Nov


  • Written responses: 40%
  • Participation: 60%

Prerequisites: Scholarly Concentration enrollment; Introduction to Public Health
Interprofessional collaboration: No