Public Health Preventive Medicine Residency

Public Health/Preventive Medicine Residency Program

For over half a century, the Public Health/Preventive Medicine Residency Program has provided comprehensive training for physicians interested in health promotion and disease prevention at the population level. This unique two-year learning opportunity combines field experience at one of the largest health departments in the United States with studies toward the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Graduates of the residency program are eligible for Board Certification in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Our graduates have gone on to hold prestigious leadership positions in a variety of settings in government, academia and health care, including:

  • Commissioner of Behavioral and Community Health, Dutchess County
  • Deputy Public Health Officer, San Diego County Public Health Services
  • Medical Director, NYC Department of Homeless Services
  • Senior Technical Officer for Research, Vital Strategies
  • Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
  • Physician-In-Charge, NYC Department of Health Sexual Health Clinic
  • Medical Director, Wellness Center, LA County

Residents and students can also apply to our elective in public health to work with NYC Health Department experts. Learn more about this elective program.

Residency Program Curriculum

During the two-year program, residents gain the epidemiologic, administrative and clinical skills needed to understand and prevent disease, disability and death in individuals and groups. Residents participate in applied public health projects while studying for an MPH degree. They develop expertise through practicum activities, weekly seminars and participation in extensive educational activities at the NYC Health Department and City University of New York (CUNY).


Under the guidance of public health physicians and other senior staff members of the NYC Health Department, residents participate in several short-term projects in the first year. They learn how to:

  • Conduct surveillance
  • Analyze data
  • Plan, implement and evaluate disease prevention and control initiatives
  • Communicate with the public, policymakers and health care providers
  • Promote health and prevent disease in health care institutions and the community at large

In the second year, each resident develops and implements a yearlong applied research project in their area of interest. Examples of research projects include:

  • A description of the epidemiology of chronic viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma in New York City
  • GIS mapping of neighborhood colonoscopy disparities
  • Model panel management for hypertension control
  • Influenza surveillance through electronic health record data
  • Evaluation of fresh produce carts in low-income communities
  • Death certificate quality improvement for hospital-based providers

MPH Degree

Our residents earn their MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the CUNY School of Public Health. The rigorous curriculum focuses on the core areas of public health that influence legislative and social policies, including epidemiology and biostatistics, health services management and administration, environmental health and behavioral health. Residents use these skills in their work at the Health Department to improve urban population health.

Before accepted applicants are admitted into the residency program, they must submit a special application to the CUNY School of Public Health. Admission to the residency program is contingent upon admission to CUNY. Residents will receive full tuition and select fee reimbursement from the program.

Clinical Activities

During both years, residents complete ACGME-required clinical rotations in NYC Health Department clinics (tuberculosis, sexual health, tobacco cessation and school health). They also serve as on-call physicians for the Health Department, gaining expertise in handling diverse and emergent public health issues.

Joining the Residency Program

You can learn more below about how to apply to the program and where this residency can help lead your career.

Read our welcome letter for new applicants (PDF).


The clinical post-graduate year (PGY-1 or internship year) is not offered in the residency program.

To be eligible for our program, you must have completed at least one year of clinical training in a residency program accredited by the ACGME, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the College of Family Physicians of Canada. This training must have included at least 11 months of direct patient care in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

You must also be eligible for a full and unrestricted New York State license. You can find out if you are eligible for a license by contacting the NYS Office of the Professions. We recommend you pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 3, or equivalent, prior to applying to the program, in order to demonstrate your eligibility. Graduates of medical schools outside the U.S. and Canada usually must have three years of clinical residency in the U.S. to qualify for a license.

Compensation and Benefits

Residents are appointed to full-time staff positions at the NYC Department of Health. Your annual salary is based on how many years of accredited postgraduate medical education you completed before starting the program, ranging from $70,480 for PGY2 to $101,245 for PGY9.

Residents are eligible for all benefits available to City employees, including health and disability insurance, and annual and sick leave.

Residents are also eligible to receive full tuition and fees for the CUNY MPH degree and a conference travel allowance.

The program will pay graduates’ application and examination fees for the American Board of Preventive Medicine Certification Exam, if they take the exam during the final year of their residency.


General Application Procedures

You can apply to the residency program through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), or by emailing

Your application must include the following:

  • A curriculum vitae.
  • A detailed statement about your interest in public health and preventive medicine, which should include:
    • Descriptions about any training you have already completed at a public health agency, as well as your future goals and how this program would help you achieve them.
    • What you would be interested in working on, both as a resident at the NYC Health Department and in your future career.
    • Whether you want to be considered also (or only) for the Specialized Track in Cancer Prevention and Control.
  • Transcripts from medical school, college and any other post-secondary programs in which you enrolled (unofficial copies are acceptable for the initial application).
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean’s Letter), if available.
  • United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) scores.
  • At least three letters of recommendation, including:
    • One letter from the Residency Program Director for your clinical training.
    • Two letters from clinical or research supervisors.
    • If you are currently employed, you must submit one letter from your supervisor, after you are accepted to the program.
  • A copy of a full and unrestricted New York State medical license, or an indication of your eligibility for that license by the program’s start date. You can contact the NYS Office of the Professions to determine your eligibility for a license.
  • Additional materials to illustrate your interests and activities (e.g., publications, a copy of presentations you have given, residency research papers, or products from other projects).

Our program participates in the ACPM Standardized Acceptance Process. Please see the Standardized Acceptance Process website for details and follow the site’s instructions for registration.

Official transcripts and other application materials may be mailed to:

Public Health/Preventive Medicine Residency Program
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28th Street, 7th floor, CN-65
Long Island City, NY 11101

The NYC Department of Health is an equal opportunity employer.

Our Residents

You can learn more about the physicians in our program and their work by checking out profiles of our current residents and our semi-annual newsletter (PDF). You can also read testimonials from our recent graduates below.

Graduate Testimonials

“The Public Health/Preventive Medicine Residency Program broadened my experience beyond the clinical encounter. As an active participant, I learned how the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene addresses health equity, emerging infectious diseases, and health surveillance, among other topics. This program offers first rate training in the foundations of population health.”
— Byron Alex, MD, MPH, Class of 2016
“My years of residency and fellowship training at the NYC DOHMH have played a significant role in shaping my career. The hands-on experience in public health practice combined with numerous didactic activities created an optimal learning environment. Training at the NYC DOHMH was an invaluable experience, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with and learn from dedicated mentors and leaders in the field of public health and preventive medicine.”
— Leena Patel, MD, MPH, Class of 2015

Contact Us

We welcome all inquiries. You can contact us by emailing

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