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Primary Care

Contact information
Primary Care Overview
Organizational Structure
Academic Programs
Continuing Medical Education
Bridging the Gaps
Evidence-Based Practice Colloquium

Contact information


Location: Evans Hall, Suite 205
Department Phone: (215) 871-6444
Department Fax: (215) 871-6781

Joshua Cullen, M.Ed.
PCOM Primary Care Scholars Program Coordinator
Evans Hall, Dean's Suite

Linda Miller
Coordinator, Continuing Medical Education
Evans Hall, Dean's Suite


The major goal of Primary Care is to provide academic and clinical experiences for students, residents and physicians for mastering competencies required to deliver patient oriented evidence-based care in a community setting. In addition, we strive to provide an environment that creates an interest in primary care and community research by providing technical assistance, consultation, education, training and resources to our community-based physicians through our Center for Evidence-Based Practice. In all education and research activities, a special emphasis is placed on treating the underserved populations of Pennsylvania.

Organizational Structure

In addition to championing both clinical and educational primary care issues, we also manage the Center for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBP) and the Center for Community Outreach (CCO). The CEBP develops and implements educational programs as well as community based research projects on evidence-based health care and information mastery in underserved areas of Philadelphia and surrounding communities.  The CCO develops and implements community outreach programs in local non-profit community organizations located in underserved areas to enhance the awareness of health issues in this population. Major vehicles to implement these programs are through the Bridging the Gaps: Community Health Internship Program and select Pennsylvania Area Health Education Centers. The CCO also assists the CEBP in research projects of particular interest to underserved populations as well as oversees the Bridging the Gaps program.

Academic Programs

DO 282-04: Ethics, Epidemiology, and Evidence Based Medicine (EEE)

During the first year, this multi-unit course is presented to prepare students with an understanding of public health policy and practices, research methodology and biostatistics/epidemiology. The public health unit presents the fundamentals of health policy, violence prevention, disease control, environmental and occupational medicine, and basic concepts of clinical preventive medicine. The biostatistics and epidemiology component focuses on providing the student with an understanding of the statistical methods and concepts necessary for interpretation of clinical research literature and thereby form the skills for the practice of evidence-based medicine.

Section I: Epidemiology/Public Health

This section of the course is taught utilizing a unique approach that involves online interactions and assignments. The overall operational goal is to present important public health information in a user-friendly way, allowing the students to learn at their own pace and convenience.

The purpose is to provide an overview of the fundamental principles of public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, evidence-based medicine (EBM), and information mastery. This section involves presentations by multidisciplinary faculty from the Philadelphia area. Lectures focus on applying key clinical concepts of each discipline to meet the health needs of patients and their communities. This section is divided into three (3) modules:

  • Module 1: Descriptive Epidemiology/Public Health
  • Module 2: Analytical Epidemiology/Biostatistics
  • Module 3: Clinical Epidemiology/Evidence-Based Medicine

Section II: Biomedical Ethics

This section is designed to provide a basic understanding of the ethical responsibilities of physicians both professionally and personally. Emphasis is placed on the ethical perspectives of issues of importance to the physician including medical professionalism, code of ethics, end-of-life care, confidentiality, practice ethics, genetics, research, and foundations of ethical decision-making. This section includes lectures as well as case discussions.

Continuing Medical Education
CME page

PCOM's Continuing Medical Education programs are geared towards presenting quality education focused on integrating evidenced-based medicine into clinical practice. Programs that have been recently conducted have had particular relevance to underserved populations and primary care physicians.

Special Programs  


PCOM Primary Care Scholars Program

The PCOM Primary Care Scholars Program (PCSP) is designed for highly motivated students who are interested in pursuing a career in one of the primary care disciplines (Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine or Pediatrics).  The PCSP seeks to sustain the commitment of PCOM medical students to a career in primary care, with a specific focus on the needs of underserved communities, both urban and rural, in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  This educational track consists of three components.  In Component (1), selected first and second-year medical students who aspire to become primary care physicians are assigned to a family as part of our new "Family Counts" program to discuss current healthcare issues and to monitor health outcomes.  In Component (2), these selected students are introduced to contemporary topics currently being developed in primary care medicine.  A major focus is to introduce medical students to the development and implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).  In Component (3), students participate in collaborative projects focused on the PCMH throughout their four years of medical school.  These students work with healthcare professionals such as physician assistants, psychologists, and others.  This experience will prepare them for their future professional careers.  PCOM students that successfully complete all three components of the program will receive special recognition during their graduation. Bridging the Gaps

Bridging the Gaps: Community Health Internship Program (BTG:CHIP) is a seven-week community-based service learning experience available to D.O. students in the summer between their first and second year. BTG works to train a future health workforce for a challenging environment in which they must function as both providers and patient advocates, work collaboratively with a variety of health disciplines, and understand how to integrate non-biomedical factors into the assessment and management of patients and/or clients.

Evidence-Based Practice Colloquium

The Center for Evidence-Based Practice conducts a monthly colloquium on various topics of interest to primary care. The purpose of the colloquium is to provide a informal forum to teach information mastery skills, the principles of evidence-based medicine, serve as an introduction to the medical field and serve as a "springboard" for primary care research ideas.

Last Updated: 1/20/15