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PHASE : overviewofphase

Overview Of PHASE

What is PHASE?
Why Do We Need PHASE?
Who is PHASE Appropriate For?
What are Prerequisites/Registration Requirements of PHASE?
What are the Requirements of the PHASE Internship Program?
What is the Grading Breakdown?

What is PHASE?

PHASE is a non-paid, for-credit internship program sponsored in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), and the Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center (MAPHTC). It enables public health graduate students to gain insight on how a degree in public health can be applied to practice-based careers, outside academia. Internships are developed so that students synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in course work and other learning experiences and apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice. The primary goal of PHASE is to provide students with 'real-world' exposures and opportunities for hands-on experiences that are otherwise missing from the academic curriculum. A secondary goal of PHASE is to expose students to the environment of a state-level public health department. By working on a project on-site, students will develop a better appreciation of how a health department functions and be presented with the opportunity to participate in vital public health decision-making.

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Why Do We Need PHASE?

In January of 2003, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) published a report, which indicated that “approximately 42% of the current epidemiology workforce in state and territorial health departments lacks formal academic training in epidemiology and few engage in systematic research and publication activities.” CSTE issued the recommendation that states and territories needed increased epidemiology capacity with highly trained epidemiologists in greater numbers.

Additionally, in late 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report titled, “Who Will Keep the Public Healthy: Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century,” which outlined that in order to appropriately train future public health professionals (and in light of the aging workforce), it was necessary on the part of schools of public health for “classroom teaching [to] be substituted to the extent feasible by hands-on ‘rotations’ with agencies and organizations of the type in which trainees are being prepared to function.” In this same report, it was also recommended that the role of a public health agency regarding the training of public health professionals include “improve[d] practice experiences for public health students through support for increased numbers and types of agencies and organizations that would serve as sites for practice rotations.”

Through PHASE, we hope to enhance the education of public health graduate students. Furthermore, by exposing students to public sector public health, we open doors to careers in local and state health departments, and thereby strengthen and add to the existing workforce.

How are Internships Developed?

Internships are developed by staff at DHMH and address a perceived need. Therefore, students are provided with the opportunity to participate in a project that will have an outcome and relatively immediate application to public health practice.

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Who is PHASE Appropriate For?

PHASE is currently limited to graduate students at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. If you are a non-Hopkins public health graduate student interested in an internship at DHMH, please contact the Office of Human Resources at (410) 767-5976 for more information.

PHASE internships are appropriate for Master candidates (MPH, MHS, and ScM) at JHSPH. Master candidates are encouraged to utilize their PHASE internship to fulfill their Capstone Experience or Masters Thesis requirements for their respective programs. First-year doctoral students, if interested, can also participate.

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What are Prerequisites/Registration Requirements of PHASE?

In order to receive credit for PHASE, all students are required to register for PHASE Internship Course 550.851.01 for at least 2 conseccutive terms. The number of credits the student registers for will vary depending on the nature and intensity of the project and will be collectively determined by the Course Director, Program Manager, Preceptor and student. However, a minimum of 2 credits per quarter will be required for registration.

There are two rounds of PHASE internships. PHASE begins in the 2nd academic term for the first round and in the 3rd academic term for the second round. Students must commit to a minimum of 2 terms.

All students must have completed Principles of Epidemiology (340.601) OR Epidemiologic Methods I (340.751) by the start of their internship.

The internship is a course and thus, students are expected to abide by the JHSPH Academic Ethics Code. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Academic Ethics Module and review these guidelines, particularly the definitions of academic dishonesty, and to be sure they understand the actions and potential consequences when in violations of the code. Additionally, the students are expected to abide by DHMH policies. The Preceptor will review these policies with the student.

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What are the Requirements of the PHASE Internship Program?

The internship requires the completion of the following:

  • A public health practice experience or research project involving a minimum of 96 hours of effort (average of 6-8 hours/week spent at the health department) over 2-3 academic quarters.
  • Internship Agreement Form completed by the student and the Health Department Preceptor that outlines the terms of the internship.
  • A final paper of the student’s research or practical experience.
  • A 15-20 minute oral presentation of the student's research or practical experience to the Course Director, Program Manager, Health Department Preceptor, DHMH Staff, and other PHASE students.
  • Attendance at monthly one-on-one PHASE meetings to discuss progress with PHASE support team (mandatory).

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