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MPH/MPP/MD?? Please help!!


New Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2008
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    I just got my bachelor's, and now I really want to study health policy, and also get an MD, but I can't figure out the best way to go about it.
    Basically there's 2 issues:
    1) I don't know if the MPH is right for me, because I'm really interested in state and federal health policy, not just health administration, so maybe a Master's of Public Affairs/Policy might be better?

    2) I need to figure out the time frame. I could do a combined MD/MPH program, focusing in health policy, or maybe even an MD/MPP program (if that exists) but it seems like the masters might be watered down? I could do the masters before the MD (would that increase my chances of getting into med school?) but that would delay my med school entrance by a year, since these are 2 year masters programs. I could get the master's afterward as well.

    I know I stuck a lot of questions in there, I really am at a loss. Any insight you might have would be great. Thanks!!


    In Memory of Riley Jane
    Moderator Emeritus
    10+ Year Member
    5+ Year Member
    Jan 23, 2006
    1. Medical Student
      It's great that you have an interest in health policy. First off, health administration is not really covered in the MPH program. There is a separate MHSA master's program for that, so the MPH is a good option. It sounds like the MPP program would be also be along the lines of your interest, but as you said, I also don't think there are any designated MD/MPP programs if that matters to you.

      I would suggest going to the stickied "Helpful public health websites" thread and finding the link on considering MD/MPH. It basically covers all the pros and cons of the different combinations of timing. Good luck!
      Last edited:


      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      Jul 15, 2008
      New Jersey
      1. Pre-Medical
        If you are really interested in federal health policy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia has a Master's and Ph.D in Health Policy. They also have a joint DO/MHP with PCOM. I just graduated with my MHP from there and have to say it was an incredible experience. One of my favorite classes was Health Law, we had a chance to debate ERISA (in the news lately), the development of Medicare, etc. Its really worthwhile for anyone looking into health policy to contact the department.


        I worked personally with Dr. Field for my Master's Research Project, it was one I will definitely not soon forget.

        Hope this helped... good luck!
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        Pre-Med Student
        10+ Year Member
        Jul 27, 2008
        Central North Carolina
        1. Pre-Medical
          I'm glad to see your interested in health policy programs in conjunction with a medical curriculum. From reading your posting, I'm left wondering about what specifically you want to be prepared for when your done with school as this will affect program selection more than anything else. I'm going to assume you want something in applied policy (such as a medical director for a state or federal health program or a large insurance carrier). A research-oriented path with a focus on health policy or health economics is very different and their are many other posts on here for that.

          1. I think it's safe to assume almost every medical school will allow you to pursue some graduate program in conjunction with the MD (at a reduced time cost) that would give you the health policy experience your looking for. I personally think it's much more important to identify the policy domains, populations, diseases and issues you want to address in your career and select the school based upon whom in their faculty/resources best addresses them. Experience=Job.

          2. An MPH curriculum is not universal and many do cater to physicians focusing on health policy research and application. Many will allow you to supplement traditional public health courses with topic specific policy analysis coursework.

          3. To comment on the previous post, the DO/MS program at PCOM is a good a choice for the objective of health policy oriented physician preparation. Just remember that in thinking of jobs in federal/state level policy, it is an inherently political environment. Your future may exist at the whim of elected officals, whose perceptions of DO v. MD will have a significant effect on your career, regardless of the quality of your medical education. No value judgment there, it truly could go either way depending on where and how you want to work.

          Just gotta put in a local plug; all the med schools in NC have great programs for this! Good luck in your search.
          Last edited:


          10+ Year Member
          5+ Year Member
          Mar 7, 2007
          1. Other Health Professions Student
            Just have a second to write, but at my school (University of Minnesota), there is an MS in health services research, policy, and administration. Might be something to look into.


            Also, all of the MPH majors at my school can have a concentration in policy if they wish.
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