The students from the Master in Public Health (MPH) Program at the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine (SJBSM) are required to complete an Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) through a team-based research project that will give them the opportunity to develop competencies and expertise in a special public health issue, and integrate the knowledge and analytical skills acquired through the master’s coursework.

The students will identify a public health issue, develop a research question to produce a manuscript addressing a gap or a hypothesis with potential for publication. The students will review the literature associated with the research question, collect primary or secondary data about the problem using a quantitative or qualitative approach, analyze the data to either answer the research question, support or refute a research hypothesis, present and discuss the results, make conclusions and provide appropriate recommendations. The students also have to select three (3) competencies to attend during their practical experience.

As part of the ILE, students will submit the following products: a research proposal, the IRB Application Form, and a manuscript of publishable quality. Also, students are required to provide an oral presentation of their research project thorough a power point or other medium (software) and a poster session. Additionally, the students will have a course instructor that will assist the groups through the research development.

The SJBSM ILE is divided into three phases that are distributed in the following three courses: MPH 9406 Field Work Phase I, MPH 9506 Field Work Phase II and MPH 9706 Field Work Phase III (Figure 1). The courses were designed as seminars where students receive a series of workshops and, at the same time, develop the required ILE products with the mentoring of the course instructors. The courses are offered during the second year of the program; one per trimester.

Figure 1. Integrated Learning Experience Phases

phases integrated