Community-Oriented Primary Care

This Community-Oriented Primary Care introductory course (COPC) provides a model for integrating primary care services into communities, and targets health-related concerns with active community participation. All parts of this training are free, including registration, learning, testing, and a certificate of completion. This course is intended for physicians, nurses and allied health professionals in training and in practice.

This Community-Oriented Primary Care course is co-sponsored by: the  American Association of Public Health Physicians , the American College of Preventive Medicine ,  Global Health through Education, Training and Service (GHETS), and the  University of Gezira . The course uses competencies adapted from the  University of Nebraska and the  George Washington University COPC MPH concentrations. The course uses resources from accredited, world-class organizations such as the  American Journal of Public Health , the  DC Area Health Education Center , the  University of Kansas Community Tool Box , and the  World Health Organization . The course was inspired from the vision of David Egilman, MD, MPH and the course developers are: Tess Bird, MSc; and Nicolas Druar. Our Advisory Group is: Pyser Edelsack, MSW; David Egilman, MD, MPH; Jack Geiger, MD, MSciHyg; Jaime Gofin, MD, MPH; Ravinder Mehta, MD; and Jane Frances Namatovu, BDS, MMED, FAMMED/COMM PRACT. 

For a publication on this course’s efficacy, see “Building Public Health Capacity through Online Global Learning,” (2018), Open Praxis,; to see more research related to’s educational model, check out’s publication page.

There are two components to this course. The first component involves completing the modules and which provide: 

  1. A basic introduction to Community Oriented Primary Care principles and practice; 
  2. Strategies to define and characterize the community; 
  3. A rationale for prioritization and for assessing the community in detail; 
  4. Skills to develop a plan for a COPC intervention and evaluation, and community organizing;
  5. An understanding of COPC in the contemporary, globalized world.

In order to receive a certificate of completion, you will need to also complete the second, skills-based component of the course, which requires you to identify a mentor who works in the field of health services, but she/he does not necessarily have to have prior experience with COPC, who will serve as your main liaison to this community. 

The results of your assessments will be provided to you, and we can report your testing information and share your work with anyone you request (school, employer, etc.). The evaluation you provide at the course’s conclusion will help us improve the training for future students. We hope you find this Lifestyle Medicine course a wonderful learning experience!

Approximate time for the required readings in this course is 19 hours at an average rate of 144 words/minute; in addition, there are required activities as described above. The course requires completion of peer and mentored activities. At the end of each lesson, there is a practice quiz. At the end of the course, after you’ve completed each lesson, quiz, and activity, you’ll have access to a final exam, and a chance to assess the training. Once you’ve passed that last test, you will be able to download a certificate of completion from and our course’s co-sponsoring organizations (listed above). We keep all of your personal information confidential, never sell any of your information, and only use anonymized data for research purposes, and we are also happy to report your testing information and share your work with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) at your request. We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

Engaging with this Course:

You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment; there are no requirements.

To obtain a certificate
  • Show in the registration fields that you have the appropriate prerequisites to be certified. For this course you should have a degree that allows you to practice in primary care.
  • Complete all the reading requirements.
  • Complete all quizzes and pass with a 70% with unlimited attempts..
  • Complete 4 peer activity and associated certification quizzes.
  • Find a mentor and complete the 3 required mentor activities.
  • Successfully complete the final exam with a minimum of 70%  and a maximum of 3 attempts.
  • Complete the self and course evaluation forms.
To obtain credit 
  • Complete all requirements listed above for the certificate. 
  • Your learning institution or workplace should approve the partner-university-sponsored course for educational credit, as they would for their learner taking a course anywhere.  
    • is happy to provide your institution with:
      • a link to and description of the course training, so they can see all its components, including the cosponsoring universities and other professional organization cosponsors; 
      • your grade on the final exam;
      • your work products (e.g. peer and mentored activities), and any other required or optional shared materials that you produce and authorize to share with them;  
      • your evaluations — course, self, peer, and mentor assessments;
      • a copy of your certificate of completion, with the co-sponsoring universities and other organizations listed.

To obtain a degree co-sponsored with, registrants must be enrolled in a degree program as a student of a institutional partner. If you think that your institution might be interested in offering a degree with contact us.

We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

Next Steps

  • Complete the registration form.
  • Begin the course with Module 1: Introduction to COPC Principles and Practice. In each lesson, read the description, complete all required readings and any required activity, and take the corresponding quizzes.