Medical students offered one-year MPH

Beginning in July, professionals and doctoral students in public health at Yale will be able to complete their Master of Public Health programs in under a year.

The Yale School of Public Health last week announced the introduction of a new Advanced Professional MPH program, which offers intensive public health education to doctoral or post-doctoral health professionals. Officials said the new program, which will launch in July, comprises an intensive seven-week summer session and concludes with two semesters of full-time study the following school year — meaning the program will take fewer than 11 months to complete.

Both fourth-year medical students enrolled in any medical school in the United States and health professionals with doctorate degrees seeking training in public health can apply for the program, YSPH Dean Paul Cleary said. Physicians in residency programs can complete their MPH degree requirement through the new program, according to a YSPH press release.

The Advanced Professional MPH program will offer three possible areas of concentration: applied biostatistics and epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences and health policy and administration, according to the press release.

Cleary said the new MPH program will replace and improve upon the school’s former one-year M.P.H. program, which requires students to complete 14 course credits during three semesters of study. The school created the new curriculum — based on feedback from one-year program participants — in order to offer greater flexibility to professionals in the health field, he said.

“This accelerates the early stages for professionals, many of whom have previous training, and gives them flexibility in terms of fitting higher-level courses into their schedules,” he said. “Many can do the program and keep seeing patients on the side.”

The program will be the first at YSPH to include a summer session, Cleary said. Over the summer, students will take foundational classes in different areas of public health, such as biostatistics and epidemiology, and prepare to take higher-level courses in their chosen concentration during the school year, Jodie Sindelar, head of the Division of Health Policy and Administration, said.

The program may also offer its participants real-world exposure, she said. Because the program’s structure allows students to take higher-level courses than before, it enables greater interaction between professionals and the MPH students, many of whom have already had experience working in the field, Sindelar said.

The program will accept students from any division within YSPH, based on their interest in public health and their personal qualifications, she said.

Summer courses will be available to students in the M.S. in Chronic Disease Epidemiology program, which was created for students who want to enhance their skills in research and data analysis but who are not seeking broader public health training, officials said. The summer courses will also be open to Yale School of Medicine faculty and residents not taking a YSPH degree program.

Students taking the latter program can use the MPH summer course offerings in biostatistics to complete the M.S. in Chronic Disease Epidemiology program in just a year, faculty members said.

“It’s a very well thought-out, carefully put together program,” Brian Leaderer, deputy dean of the Public Health department at YSPH, said. “I think it’ll be an important program for students in coming years.”

But some faculty members said Yale has fallen behind other schools in only creating the new, more concise MPH program now.

Peer institutions, such as Harvard University, have traditionally offered a health professional program over the course of a year, but Yale’s program has always spanned three semesters, Sindelar said. With the introduction of the Advanced MPH program, Yale will now be offering the same public health options to doctoral students, she said.

“Yale wanted to remain competitive with other high-level institutions, who offer similar programs over a two-semester time frame,” she said.

Enrollment in the program will be limited, and the deadline for application is January 15.

Comments