The objective of the Doctoral Program in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration is to train health services researchers to assist clinicians, health insurers, health policymakers, and other key decision-makers in their efforts to improve access, quality and cost in the U.S. healthcare system. In their early years in the program, the AHRQ/NRSA traineeships represent our students'largest and most important source of funding and are crucial in our efforts to attract high quality students. Although some of our faculty direct research centers and hold endowed chairs that provide research assistantships for our doctoral students, those sources of support are not sufficient to accommodate all of our students or all of their research interests. We recently have added faculty in important areas such as patient-centered outcomes research, patient safety and quality, industrial and systems engineering, demography, and analysis of public opinion data, and we rely on AHRQ/NRSA traineeships, in part, to provide stable, multi-year support for talented students whose interests lie in those areas. Although our doctoral program occasionally admits students directly from undergraduate programs, the vast majority of our students have a masters level degree and several years of work experience. Our doctoral curriculum has a strong core curriculum in statistics and econometrics, research design, sociology, economics, epidemiology, and research ethics. Our students then choose one of the following areas of emphasis: Multidisciplinary Social Sciences, Sociology of Health and Illness, Health Decision Science, Health Organization and Management Science, Clinical Outcomes Research, Health Policy, and Health Economics. Alternatively, students can obtain a formal minor in another department in the University. Our students typically complete the program in about five years, although some have finished the program in as little as three years. We are requesting a total of 13 traineeships (slots) per year with the intent of guaranteeing support for five students for thei first year and four students for their second and third years of their doctoral training program.
Reform of the U.S. health insurance and health care delivery systems is one of the nation's top policy priorities. It is imperative to train competent, trustworthy, and objective analysts who can provide information to clinicians, insurers and government policymakers, and devise innovative approaches to ensuring that health care services are delivered in the most efficient and medically effective manner possible. Our doctoral program, with its strong core curriculum and multiple areas of emphasis in the social sciences, policy analysis, and clinical decision-making, is designed to give the next generation of health services researchers the skills they need to help achieve the transformational goals for U.S. health care system - more effective care, delivered more efficiently, to more Americans.
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