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The new frontier of public health education

David Birnbaum (Applied Epidemiology, Sidney, Canada and School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Kathryn Gretsinger (Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Ursula Ellis (Woodward Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 6 February 2017




The aim of this paper is to describe the experience and educational benefits of a course that has several unique educational design features.


This includes narrative description of faculty and student experience from participants in a flipped-instructional-design inter-professional education course.


“Improving Public Health – An Interprofessional Approach to Designing and Implementing Effective Interventions” is an undergraduate public health course open to students regardless of background. Its student activities mirror the real-life tasks and challenges of working in a public health agency, including team-building and leadership; problem and project definition and prioritization; evidence-finding and critical appraisal; written and oral presentation; and press interviews. Students successfully developed project proposals to address real problems in a wide range of communities and settings and refined those proposals through interaction with professionals from population and public health, journalism and library sciences.

Practical implications

Undergraduate public health education is a relatively new endeavor, and experience with this new approach may be of value to other educators.


Students in this course, journalism graduate students who conducted mock interviews with them and instructors who oversaw the course all describe unique aspects and related personal benefit from this novel approach.



Birnbaum, D., Gretsinger, K. and Ellis, U. (2017), "The new frontier of public health education", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 2-7.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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