Specialty Tracks

PhD in Health Services Research-Specialty Tracks

In addition to demonstrated ability in the eight core competency areas, students are expected to select a specialty track: Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmaceutical Health Services Research or Healthcare Economics. Students may create their own specialty track in conjunction with their advisor. Permission for the plan of study must be obtained by the Graduate Program Director.

Specialty Track in Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmaceutical Health Services Research

The Department of Health Services Policy & Practice is committed to advancing safe, effective, and cost-effective pharmaceutical use.  While drug products and devices are evaluated for efficacy in clinical trials, their population effectiveness is dependent upon their dissemination to patients who can benefit from them while at the same time limiting the adverse consequences inherent to their use.  Students in our graduate program benefit from interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art training in epidemiology and biostatistics and application of real-world data to contemporary gaps in knowledge. These applications broadly span pharmacoepidemiology and pharmaceutical health services research.

Pharmacoepidemiology is the application of the principles of epidemiology to the study the use and effects of medications and other medical devices, generally in large populations.  Most studies examine the adverse events or therapeutic benefits of drugs or medical devices after products have been launched (post-marketing).  Such work is critical to overcome the inherent limitations of pre-marketing studies and for supporting the most appropriate use of medications/devices with respect to safety and effectiveness.

Pharmaceutical health services research moves beyond the risks and benefits of drugs in selected populations to important questions about access, quality, and costs.  Despite the fact that the United States spends more on pharmaceuticals than any other nation, there remain significant disparities in prescribing and utilization, poor adherence, and failure to achieve therapeutic outcomes. 

Available national datasets allow students to quickly develop important collaborations leading to dissertation funding and publications while they matriculate through the program.  In addition to the general program requirements, students select 3-6 additional courses as a function of interests, previous coursework, and experience. Academic advising assures the correct selection of experiences and/or courses to achieve goals.

 

Required Courses (Students are required to select 3-6 courses)

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (BIOL 2860) 
Note: Meets human biology/pharmacology competency requirements for Health Services Research, specialty track in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research.

Introduction to Pharmacoepidemiology (PHP 2440) 
Note: Epidemiology students may use this course as either a methodological or substantive elective. Required course for Health Services Research, specialty track in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research.

Conflicting priorities?  Prescription Profits & the Public’s Health (PHP 2436) 
Note: Approved course selection for Health Services Research, specialty track in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research.

Clinical Trials Methodology (PHP 2030) 
Note: Epidemiology students may use this course as a methodological elective. Approved course selection for Health Services Research, specialty track in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research. This course is an MPH approved elective.

Analysis of Population Based Datasets (PHP 2430) 
Note: Approved course selection for Health Services Research, specialty track in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research.

Specialty in Health Economics

The goal of the specialty track in health economics is to offer additional training in both the theory and methods of economics in order to prepare students to to better understanding the demand for health services and the industry factors that influence the distribution and shape of health care services in different markets.

In addition to demonstrated ability in the eight core competency areas, students selecting the health economics specialty take 3 additional courses.

Required Courses (Students are required to select 3 courses)

Health Economics (ECON 1360) 
Note: Undergraduate concentrators in Community Health may use this course to the meet the U.S. Health Care Organization Policy elective requirement. This course is an approved MPH elective.

Industrial Organization (ECON 1460) 
Note: Approved course selection for Health Services Research, specialty track in Health Economics.

Race and Inequality in the United States (ECON 1370) 
Note: Approved course selection for Health Services Research, specialty track in Health Ecomnomics.

Economics of Health and Population (ECON 2360) 
Note: Required course for Health Services Research, specialty track in Health Economics.

Economics of Medical Therapies: Health Policy and Practice (PHP 2350) 
Note: 1.000 Credit hours 1.000 Lecture hours