Public Health in Slovenia
Association of Public Health Residents of Slovenia (APHRS) is a subgroup of a Slovenian Preventive Medicine Society (SPM). SPM is a professional, voluntary, non-partisan and non-profit association whose members are medical doctors, dentists and other professionals active in the field of public health. Objective of the society is to maintain the role and importance of public health in Slovenia and to ensure good health in the Slovenian population.
APHRS represents public health residents in Slovenia and was formed in 2016. APHRS has a president and a secretary which are elected annually. Members of APHRS representing Slovenia in executive committee of EuroNet MRPH are also elected annually. The association aims to:
- Represent the interests of Slovenian public health residents;
- Promote public health residency among medical students and trainee doctors;
- Advocate for higher quality of residency scheme in Slovenia;
- Encourage scientific research activities among public health residents;
- Organise or participate in organisation of symposiums, workshops, seminars and round tables on public health topics;
- Facilitate national and international collaborations.
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Information about residency program
During the enrollment, a resident acquires a broad theoretical and practical knowledge in different areas of public health. This enables the development of the competences of being able to assess the state of the health of the population and to prepare expert opinions and foundations for planning and action at the scopes of public health.
There are currently 16 public health residents in training in the whole country.
All residents must be graduates of general or dental medicine – the studies of both last 6 years. After the graduation there is a 6-month (for general medicine) or 12-month (for dental medicine) obligatory internship which consists of rotating through different specialties and is followed by a professional exam. Future residents must apply for the specialization through a public tender, which is published twice a year by the Medical Chamber of Slovenia. The selection of the resident to the specialization is determined by an interview, based on a number of criteria (interview score, grade average, letters of recommendation, participation in additional training or publications during and post-graduation, etc.)
Duration of training
The duration of the public health residency is 4 years and consists of training at authorized medical services providers, such as the National Institute of Public Health, The National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food, Institute of Oncology and others.
The curriculum consists of 2 phases:
- 1st: introduction to basic core public health skills (2 years)
- 2nd: in-depth assessment of specific public health areas and a specialty thesis (2 years).
Mandatory educational requirements
Theoretical education is acquired mostly in the 1st phase, during the 2-semester post-graduate public health course, provided by the department of public health, Faculty of medicine. The course includes classes about epidemiology, health policy, economics, management, evidence-based public health, methods in public health, biostatistics, modern public health concepts, etc. During the course, the residents must produce several written tasks and write one review article. The course is completed by a thesis and a written exam.
Mandatory training requirements
Rotations include 2 semesters of post-graduate public health course, 12 months of basic skills training (needs assessment, risk assessment, econometric methods, project management, IT handling, basic epidemiological concepts,…), 18 months of in-depth training (health care organisation and economics, public health assessment and surveillance of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, health promotion, public health emergency preparedness) and 6 months of specialty thesis writing. The placements’ lengths at authorized providers vary within the rotations.
End of training assessment method
The whole training is completed by an oral exam and the defense and discussion of a specialty thesis, after which you become a specialist of public health.
Public health specialists can work at public institutions that cover health issues of the population, such as the National Institute of Public Health (the central unit or one of its nine regional offices), The National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food, Ministry of Health, university (Public health department of the Faculty of medicine) and Institute of Oncology and other health service providers.
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