About Loma Linda University
Loma Linda University (LLU) is a church-affiliated health sciences institution whose motto “To Make Man Whole” summarizes succinctly its mission. When the LLU School of Medicine began in 1906 its foundation was built on the concepts of preventive medicine, healthy lifestyles, and service. In the years since six other health science schools have developed within the University including Public Health, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Today, over 100 years later, LLU continues its emphasis on health, healing, hope, and wholeness.
For the Family and Preventive Medicine Residency, LLU’s foundation is valuable in several ways. It gives us confidence in the institutional support of our program. It allows us to implement both our lifestyle medicine and global health tracks knowing that elective experiences in these areas will receive financial assistance. And most importantly it supports our mission of training the whole physician to care for the whole patient in the context of his or her family and community.
The Department of Family Medicine
The Department of Family Medicine at LLUHS is distinguished in many areas. Its undergraduate curriculum provides the background that leads to LLU consistently being one of the top five family physician producing medical schools in the country. Besides the combined program, its graduate medical education offerings include a traditional family medicine residency, an innovative longitudinal rural family medicine training program, and special emphases on palliative care and geriatric education. The residency is one of 14 P4 (Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice) in the country designated by family medicine leaders to be studied as an educational innovator.
The department runs both the palliative care and the urgent care services for LLUMC and is looked to for innovations in whole person care as well as quality improvement. The Faculty Clinic is a Level 3 recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the NCQA, and has adopted innovative and award winning programs for diabetes care, open access appointment scheduling, and electronic medical record implementation.
Within the department there are specialists in preventive medicine, geriatrics, sports medicine, whole person care, HIV medicine, and behavioral medicine.
The Department of Preventive Medicine
The Department of Preventive Medicine at LLU is the largest clinical preventive medicine department in the country. It offers a four-year curriculum to medical students and provides graduate medical education in the form of a straight Preventive Medicine Residency, an Occupational Medicine Residency, an Addiction Medicine Fellowship, and a combined residency with Family Medicine.
Clinically the department operates a Center for Health Promotion whose focus is lifestyle medicine and an Occupational Medicine Center specializing in employee health and work related injuries. The department is also the primary physician provider for the LLU SACHS community health center and contracts with five separate area colleges for student health physicians. Research involvement includes studies on nutritional epidemiology, smoking cessation, and obesity.
The department consists of 43 members, most of whom have joint appointments in the School of Public Health, and many of whom are primarily based in community preventive medicine positions. There are thirteen preventive medicine physicians in the LLU preventive medicine practice group and six who are core residency faculty.
Lifestyle Medicine Areas of Strength
Medicine as currently practiced has developed out of an acute care model that has been significantly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. The majority of primary care visits are now centered around chronic disease care for illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. A new care paradigm is needed to address this shift away from acute care and towards chronic care. The lifestyle medicine track addresses this in two ways.
First, as discussed in “The Future of Family Medicine”, we are exposing residents to new models of clinical care. We have developed proven excellence in clinical quality improvement. We use an electronic medical record. We emphasize systems-based, team-oriented, and technologically savvy approaches to care. Our patient centered focus on wholeness and healing is enhanced by our application of multidisciplinary clinics and expertise in care coordination and continuity.
Second, we spend extra time emphasizing natural, non-pharmaceutical approaches to health and healing. We take seriously the evidence that demonstrates the first approach to most chronic diseases should be lifestyle related. We use specific tools that support patients and communities in better nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and relational and spiritual wellness. We do use integrative, pharmaceutical, and surgical approaches, but our foundation is improved lifestyles.
Lifestyle medicine is emphasized in several ways: our faculty teach it in their precepting, our clinics model it, a specific didactic series highlights it, and we offer electives that expose residents to office-based, residential, and community-based lifestyle medicine programs. Click here to see the Lifestyle Medicine Brochure.
Global Health Areas of Strength
Medicine as currently practiced side-steps the massive health-care needs of much of the world. Addressing these needs requires physicians who immerse themselves in other cultures, committing years or lifetimes to working in and improving health-care systems. Other physicians dedicate themselves to global health by providing recurrent short-term services, improving the health care systems of multi-cultural underserved communities in the USA. The global health track prepares residents to participate in all of these approaches.
The core residency emphasis on both superior primary care skills as well as systems approaches to health care offers an excellent template for work in global settings. In the MPH focused on global health, cutting edge professors provide classes that infuse specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes useful in international arenas. There is an emphasis on understanding health care systems and implementing sustainable improvements in care.
Electives during the second, third, and fourth years allow residents to participate in international health experiences that will help tailor their ongoing training, maximizing their ability to make a positive impact on the global health challenges. Click here to see the Global Health Brochure.
School of Public Health
The School of Public Health (SPH) at LLU is a fully accredited educational institution offering the complete scope of traditional MPH and DrPH degrees. In addition, the school offers unique programs in global health and nutrition. The SPH is knows for its active office of Public Health Practice and Office of Health Research. it is the home of the Adventist Health Study whose results have been featured in National Geographic Magazine, an innovative Geographic Information Systems Program and an office for distance education (on-line learning). The SPH consists of approximately 60 faculty members in six departments including world class leaders in nutritional epidemiology, community services research and lifestyle medicine. Click here to see how the MPH fits into your training.
The Family and Preventive Medicine Residency Program combines curricular elements of a three-year family medicine residency and a three-year preventive medicine residency into an efficient training program of four years. During the first year, residents complete a Family Medicine Internship but also have set aside time to begin coursework towards their master in public health (MPH). The second year remains family medicine centered, but also includes a preventive medicine rotation and further MPH coursework. During the third and fourth years there is an equal mix of family and preventive medicine rotations and MPH coursework as well as elective time.
MPH coursework during the first and second years is primarily on-line. During the third and fourth years the majority of MPH classes will occur in person, allowing residents the specialized courses required to complete an emphasis in either lifestyle medicine or global health. Because LLUMC offers an annual tuition benefit to all employees, approximately 40 quarter hours of the required 56-60 to complete an MPH will be cost free.
Year by Year Curriculum
Specific rotations experienced by residents each training year are summarized in a block diagram. Elective time during the third and fourth years can be used to pursue one of the specific tracks summarized above or for additional learning in other areas of interest and value to the resident.