Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Family Therapy

This database is no longer actively maintained and is here for archival purposes only

Organization Type: 
Educational Institution
Program Type: 
Standing Program
Education Level: 
Educational Elements: 
Independent Study
Experiential not including services to patients
Experiential including clinical contact with patients
Other Element(s): 
Independent Research Practice in Integrated Care Models
Program Description: 

The mission of the doctoral program in Medical Family Therapy (MedFT) is to advance student learning in the areas of research, theory, clinical practice, leadership, supervision, and teaching in order to prepare and qualify them to pursue employment as researchers, educators, administrators, and/or clinicians in the field of medical family therapy.  The program’s overall goal is to widen the knowledge base in healthcare to include biomedical, psychosocial, and family data in the collaborative education, treatment, research, and theoretical understanding of medical and mental health issues.

The MedFT program’s mission, goal, and expected educational outcomes reflect the following professional influences: 1) Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Standards and Educational Guidelines, 2) American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Core Competencies, 3) AAMFT Code of Ethics, 4) Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) Guidelines, 5) the North Carolina Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Act and Administrative Rules, and 6) the MedFT Core Competencies.

Students have access to an outpatient clinic which also supports training for psychiatry residents and fellows and community professionals registered as externs.  This clinic also serves as a place to offer collaborative education and research opportunities for diverse clients and professionals, with particular attention to underserved population.  In addition to the clinic, MedFT programs operate the Redditt House, which is a Research Academy that furthers collaborative and integrated healthcare research and training.  Doctoral students average almost three publications while completing their program. 

In January 2009, the Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Family Therapy was accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education , making it the first accredited program of its kind in the United States. Over three quarters of the MedFT program graduates have gone on to work as faculty in Marriage and Family Therapy, Medical Family Therapy, and Medical School programs.  The remaining graduates work in clinical administration.   

Targeted Professions
Nurse Practitioners
Social Work: 
Medical social work
Clinical Health
Marriage and Family Therapists
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Advocacy for patient-centered integrated care
Cultural sensitivity and competence in culturally appropriate practice
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Patient-centered care planning, including collaborative decision-making and patient self-management
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Assessment of biopsychosocial needs across the lifespan
Population-based approaches to health care delivery
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Care coordination for comprehensive care of patient & family in the community
Interprofessionalism & interdisciplinary team collaboration
Team leadership
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Evidence-based practice
Quality improvement methods, including assessment of patient-experience for use in practice-based improvement efforts
Accessible Care Competencies: 
Promotion of appropriate access to care (e.g., group appointments, open scheduling)
Last updated November 15, 2013

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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