Welcome to the University of Kentucky (UK) General Preventive Medicine – Public Health Residency Program!

With the increasing burden of chronic and infectious yet preventable disease in the United States, preventive medicine – public health specialists are needed more than ever before. The general preventive medicine - public health residency program at UK is a fully accredited ACGME residency program which combines practicum rotations and academic coursework over two post-graduate years (PGY2 and PGY3).

The vision of this residency is to graduate knowledgeable, effective, and well-rounded public health and preventive medicine specialists. Our mission is to provide residents with the skills and knowledge to be effective public health leaders and to protect, promote, and improve the health of diverse populations in Kentucky and beyond.

The program aims to:

  1. Provide resident physicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop, lead, and apply policies and population-based approaches to disease prevention and health promotion that are optimally woven into the socio-ecologic fabric of the communities in which they live and work;
  2. Enhance resident physicians’ understanding of and capacity to address the health and social needs of diverse populations with a special focus to the needs of Kentucky; and
  3. Provide tailored curriculum to meet resident physicians’ career goals and emerging public health needs.

The UK General Preventive Medicine – Public Health 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 residents earn a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the UK College of Public Health, and will be eligible and prepared to take the Public Health and General Preventive Medicine board certifying exam. The UK College of Public Health is a fully-accredited school of public health and a nationally-ranked MPH program. 

Funding for the graduate coursework in this program is provided by the University of Kentucky. Residents receive benefits and salary at the PGY2 and PGY3 level for University of Kentucky Graduate Medical Education. Our residency program graduates have gone on to advanced training including health policy (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), addiction medicine fellowship, informatics fellowship, pharmacovigilance fellowship, and Epidemic Intelligence Service. Graduates of the program have careers in diverse settings in the federal government, state government, health care delivery systems, and academic centers in leadership positions such as medical directors and chief medical officers.

Program Structure

The academic, clinical, and practicum activities of the residency are combined over the two-year (PGY2/PGY3) program.

UK General Preventive Medicine - Public Health Residency Program

Academic Components

The academic, clinical, and practicum activities of the residency are combined over the two-year (PGY2/PGY3) program.

  • Coursework in health services administration, environmental health sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and risk/hazard control and communication
  • Capstone research project (MPH requirement)
  • 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, including clinical preventive medicine and lifestyle medicine
  • Journal clubs to critically analyze current research in the areas of public health and preventive medicine
  • 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.

Clinical Activities

  • Residents longitudinally complete at least 80 half days of clinical care each PGY in outpatient settings.
  • Additional clinical opportunities may be taken as an elective at the University of Kentucky.

Required Practicum Sites

  • Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH)
  • Lexington-Fayette County Health Department
  • Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • University of Kentucky (UK)

Unique Practicum Experiences

The program director and each resident collaborate in designing a unique practicum experience. 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/PGY3 and are designed to help each resident achieve the ACGME core competencies in Preventive Medicine.

Past rotations sites and focus include the following examples: Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), addiction medicine, Kentucky Health Information Exchange, informatics, UK Center for Health Services Research, UK Center for Innovation in Population Health, research, KDPH Office of Health Equity, integrative medicine, and health policy.

Master of Public Health


Resident coursework is completed at the UK College of Public Health, a nationally ranked MPH program and a fully-accredited school of public health. Residents concentrate in environmental health.

The MPH requires a minimum of 42 credit hours. All students must complete 15 semester hours of required core coursework and at least nine credit hours of electives and area requirements in their concentration of environmental health. In addition, a one credit hour public health overview course, three credit hour field practicum experience, three credit hour of research, and capstone project are required. 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. The culminating experience is a research-based capstone project that requires a formal written product and a final examination presentation.

For additional information go to Master of Public Health | College of Public Health (uky.edu).

Application Process

General Requirements for Applicants

Applications are accepted from any physician who has successfully completed at least 12 months of clinical education in a residency program from an ACGME-accredited residency program, AOA-approved residency program, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency program located in Canada, or in residency programs with ACGME International (ACGME-I) Advanced Specialty Accreditation that includes at least ten months of direct patient care in both inpatient and outpatient settings (PGY1/internship). USMLE Step III/COMLEX-USA Level 3 must be passed prior to starting the program to be considered eligible for this program. 

We utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for applications. 

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, COMLEX, or other nationally recognized assessment examination results
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from the program director at the end of PGY1/residency program, and will include the following:
    • a statement that the applicant successfully completed 12 months of PGY1 training with at least ten months direct patient care

General Requirements of Incoming Residents

  • Successful completion of PGY1 (see above for additional requirements)
  • Unrestricted license by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure
  • Acceptance into the UK College of Public Health MPH
  • Attendance at evening classes, day trips to off-site rotations, and provide outpatient clinical care

Additional and Contact Information

For additional information contact the program coordinator:

    Kelly Werner
    General Preventive Medicine – Public Health Residency Program Coordinator
    Department of Family and Community Medicine
    2195 Harrodsburg Road, STE 125
    Lexington, KY 40504

    Phone: 859-257-1387