Pictured: (L to R) Melissa Palma, MD, Deborah Manst, MD, MPH, Stan Sonu, MD, MPH, Jaqueline Korpics, MD, and Prathima Nagireddy, MD, MPH


Introduction to Preventive Medicine Residency at Cook County Health


We are excited to welcome you to the official blog of the Public Health and General Preventive Medicine Program at Cook County Health and Hospitals System and Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago! Over the past three months, we have experienced an intensive orientation, familiarity with the various clinic and hospital systems at Cook County Health, and most importantly, learning to care for the most vulnerable populations in Chicago. When speaking about preventive medicine to others outside of the field, we’re often asked, “Oh hey that’s great! But, what exactly is preventive medicine?”

Just like pediatricians take care of children and family physicians take care of families, preventive medicine doctors take care of populations and communities. We hope to share our backgrounds, experiences, knowledge, and thoughts on preventive medicine to help promote a fuller picture of this lesser known medical specialty.

Preventive medicine practices have been present since the turn of the 20th century when people began to realize that prevention of communicable diseases through basic hygiene practices significantly decreased the number of deaths. As a result, in 1915, the American Medical Association (AMA) formed a branch of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, recognizing the connection between the two fields. Today, the mission statement of the AMA is to “promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health”.

The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) became a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties in 1948. Subsequently the specialties of Aerospace Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and General Preventive Medicine/Public Health were also certified, comprising the three main areas of preventive medicine. The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), a professional organization of physicians dedicated to prevention formed in 1954, and now has over 2,700 members working to continue advancing the fields of preventive medicine and public health.

Our program at Cook County was established in 1996 and is one of 73 accredited residency programs in preventive medicine in the United States. Like many programs, ours is quite small, comprising of 4 residents/fellows. There are only about 350 residents training in preventive medicine per year across the nation. These two-year post-graduate training programs require applicants to have completed an intern year, and specialties accepted depend on the program. Every preventive medicine program has a very individualized style of training based on the unique interests of each resident.

For all of us here in Chicago, this program has renewed our excitement and dedication to teaching and learning about prevention and public health. Deborah Manst, MD, MPH is focusing on cancer risk prevention and works in the cancer genetics clinic. Prathima Nagireddy, MD, MPH works in STI prevention and has experience working with the WHO. Jackie Korpics, MD is a board-certified pediatrician with an interest in Adverse Childhood Experiences and violence prevention. Melissa Palma, MD is focusing on combatting the opioid epidemic and health education in immigrant and refugee communities.


Welcome to our blog – we hope you enjoy what we have to say!

Introduction to Preventive Medicine Residency at Cook County Health