General Preventive Medicine


"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest
his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the
cause and prevention of disease." - Thomas Edison
Our Preventative Medicine Program focuses on arenas of Health Maintenance, Disease Prevention and Correctional Health care. This is one of only five such programs in the country.

All combined residents have the opportunity to complete a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree as a component of their four years of training, with MPH classes integrated into their Internal Medicine rotation schedule, providing a unique combination of clinical exposure, didactics, and research during their second, third, and fourth years.

The General Preventive Medicine (GPM) combined residency at UTMB's mission is to provide our physicians with the educational foundation and skills of preventive medicine and public health, to help them acquire leading roles in the field of public health and to work proficiently towards the health of individuals and populations in order to promote and maintain health and well-being and prevent disease and disability.

The impetus for the program originated out of a unique relationship between UTMB and the Texas Department of Corrections (now known as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-TDCJ). Because of this relationship, UTMB has provided healthcare to TDCJ inmates for decades, and the program's success has broadened in line with UTMB's core values: to focus its efforts on ensuring access of quality healthcare to the socioeconomically disadvantaged.

More information can be located at the GPM website: http://pmch.utmb.edu

Resident Testimony During my combined Internal Medicine (IM)/General Preventive Medicine (GPM) training, I had the wonderful opportunity to simultaneously study individual patient health and the principles of public health. My training afforded me a unique perspective that I believe makes me a well-rounded physician. As a patient's health does not exist in a vacuum, it was important for me to learn about all of the aspects of public health that influence individual health, like sociology in medicine, psychology, environmental medicine, political medicine and population health. I received this education and much more while completing my Masters of Public Health and my public health practicum year. During my residency, I witnessed health disparity and the political influence on patient health on the Texas-Mexico border, tested water samples in the Rio Grande, practiced cultural competency in a Houston Federally Qualified Health Center treating refugees, helped write a grant for a local community health center, was the project leader for a quality improvement project and much more. I was also introduced to the world of modern public health, in which big data, social media and technology can be utilized as a practitioner's tool to prevent disease. Finally, I was able to pursue side projects of interest to me. For one such project, I joined together with the UTMB Office of Employee Health Promotion and the IM residency program to bring fruit to IM noon conferences, which usually do not provide food. The idea was that providing an inexpensive but healthy snack could not only improve the health of the residents, but also improve their timeliness to noon conference, improve resident morale and possibly improve patient care. So far, the project has been well received by residents. My experiences in my residency training have given me the confidence to pursue a leadership role in my community once I graduate and to practice with confidence in the ever changing world of medicine.
Dr. Melissa Morales
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