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Here are the 5 highest paying cities to be a nurse

BY Rich graytAugust 25, 2022, 5:46 PM

The immunization section is seen at the Orange County Health Department as seen in May 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy—NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to an explosion of interest in the medical field – a phenomenon dubbed the “Fauci effect” – the percentage of students pursuing dual MD and master’s degrees in public health had exploded in recent years. Between 2010 and 2018, a study published in the peer-reviewed public health journal Public Health Reports indicates that the number of students pursuing the dual degree increased by 434%.

“It gives them a whole different perspective of caring for a population,” says report co-author Dr. Jo Marie Reilly, professor of clinical family medicine at the University of California, Keck School of Medicine. South and director of the USC Primary Care Initiative. “They feel like it complements their training, for lack of a better word, and gives them a skill set that will make them a better doctor.”

Increasingly, the health care system is looking for physicians trained in population health — a term for efforts to improve the health of entire populations — who can apply skills in leadership, epidemiology, and data management. to address the health of communities.

This is where participating in an MD-MPH program can be invaluable. MD-MPH holders are equipped to tackle a wide range of problems, such as increasing the capacity of health systems to deal with pandemics and infectious diseases or to help solve other health problems. public health like the opioid crisis. Students pursuing the dual degree typically begin their MPH courses after their first or second year of medical school in a four- or five-year program.

Read on to see if an MD-MPH is right for you.

What is an MD-MPH degree?

Reilly knows firsthand the growing need for MD-MPH holders. After earning her medical degree from Georgetown Medical School in 1991, she returned to college to earn her master’s degree in public health from USC in 2017.

“The world has changed,” she says of her decision to get her MPH. “When I went to med school, there wasn’t a lot of teaching about the things that MPHs teach now, and more med schools are [now] education to some extent. I wanted this skill set to showcase the work I was doing.

Nowadays, Reilly says pursuing an MPH degree can build physicians’ abilities, such as leadership skills and gain a better understanding of health care delivery, public policy, evidence-based care systems, advocacy, epidemiology and biostatistics, and population health.

Dr. Benjamin Springgate, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Louisiana State University’s School of Medicine, earned an MD-MPH through a joint program two decades ago at Tulane University — and says he was motivated to pursue the dual degree in order to impact the health of large groups of people.

“If we look at the major health challenges facing the United States and the world today, many of them relate to population health issues,” says Springgate, who is also chief of community medicine and of LSU’s population and director of its MD-MPH. program. “A master’s degree in public health can offer the possibility for a doctor to learn how to manage health systems, to increase access and quality of care.

What does earning an MD-MPH degree entail?

Generally, there are two ways to pursue a joint MD-MPH program: a compressed four-year program and a program where students complete a standard four-year medical school program with an additional year devoted to MPH coursework. Typically, students begin their MPH courses after their first or second year of medical school.

Reilly says there are a handful of schools that run MD-MPH programs in four years, but most take five years. USC used to offer the program in four years, but Reilly says it hasn’t been “very successful” for a variety of reasons.

At some schools, including USC, the institution pays for the extra fifth year for students to get the MPH portion of the program. Some schools have agreements to secure state funding for the MPH portion with the idea that these students will continue to take on leadership roles and work with underserved communities.

Reilly says the average school with an MD-MPH program enrolls up to five students per year; larger programs typically have up to 10 per year.

“It gives them a whole different understanding of the health care delivery systems in the world that they practice in the sense that they have no idea,” Reilly says of students in a joint program. “They just don’t get that training in medical school. It gives them a whole new perspective of caring for a population.

In addition to preparing medical students for the field, Reilly says pursuing an MPH gives them a break from some of the requirements of an MD degree. “The four years of medical school is really a treadmill of clinical and diagnostic skills training,” she says. “It’s a very fast pace, and there’s not a lot of space to step back, read, breathe, consider the larger system that they’ll be working in.”

Obtaining the dual degree in four years essentially means that students forgo any downtime they may have had for activities unrelated to clinical training. “It takes weekends, evenings, and all the summer vacations they could have had,” Reilly says. “Students just need to understand that this is a ‘foot on the accelerator’ approach.

With the four- and five-year programs, students typically complete a public health internship with an agency engaged in public health work to apply the health knowledge and skills they have learned.

“It’s certainly rigorous and not something to take as likely,” Springgate says of pursuing an MD-MPH degree. “Anyone who applies to medical school and gets into it has already done well in school, has already demonstrated that they can work hard, has already demonstrated that they can balance a number of competing demands. Honestly, anyone interested should take a look and see if it suits them.

What jobs does an MD-MPH degree prepare you for?

A dual MD-MPH degree prepares graduates for even more career opportunities than having just one of these advanced degrees. Health professionals with this dual degree can pursue employment in academia, government, health departments and agencies, research, policy development, international and nonprofit organizations, and health systems. health care delivery.

Holding an MD-MPH is especially helpful for people who want to work in data, research and statistics, Reilly says. “Students practicing in 2022…need these skills, certainly for leadership positions, but also for practicing good medicine.”

Additionally, the pandemic has prompted the medical field to focus more on population health as it relates to infectious diseases and access to care for underserved patient populations, Reilly adds.

Many MD-MPH graduates go on to work for city and state health departments, federal health agencies, and large health care systems, Springgate says. Some people work in industry to develop new drugs or lead the development of clinical trials of therapeutic agents or diagnostic tools, he adds, while others with dual degrees may specialize in epidemiology or behavioral health, working to address challenges like HIV or hunger and malnutrition. .

“While being a clinician and medical expert is one way to tackle health issues, having the added ability to think about populations and ways to address population health challenges would add value to [combatting] the kinds of challenges we face as a society,” says Springgate. “There really is a wide range of potential endpoints.”

Find out how the schools you’re considering fared in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s programs in data science (in-person and online), nursing, computer science, cybersecurity, psychology, public health, and analytics commercial, as well as the Ph.D. in education programs MBA programs (part-time, executive, full-time, and online).

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