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MD/PhD Program

Program Description

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University offers exceptionally talented individuals the opportunity to undertake a physician-scientist training program tailored to their specific research interests. During a period of 6-8 years, students meet the degree requirements of both a graduate school and the medical school, thus acquiring the knowledge, skills, and experience to begin careers in some of the most exciting areas of medical research.

The PhD Program in Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, in the Department of Health Policy and Management, is 1 of 22 graduate programs participating in the MSTP that foster the development of future biomedical researchers by providing the highest quality of graduate medical training. The PhD Program in Health Services Research and Policy was created to meet an ongoing need for public health researchers who focus on cost, access and quality of the health care system.

The graduate program provides students with the knowledge and skills to lead research programs in a range of institutional settings including:

  • Academia
  • Not-for-profit research organizations and think-tanks
  • State and federal government agencies
  • Health systems
  • Health Plans and managed care organizations  

The Institute of Medicine defines Health Services Research as a “Multi-disciplinary field of inquiry, both basic and applied, that examines the use, costs, quality, accessibility, delivery, organization, financing and outcomes of health care services to increase knowledge and understanding of the structures, processes and effects of health services for individuals and populations.” 

The mission of the Doctoral Program in Health Policy and Management is to train students for excellence in conducting health services research and teaching health services research and policy. 

Students undertake a rigorous program of study that encompasses research skills and quantitative analysis and provides a strong theoretical grounding in health policy, economics, statistics, health behavior, law and ethics.    Students will develop an area of expertise, for example:

  • Health Economics
  • Clinical Decision Sciences and Modeling
  • Policy and Public Programs  

MD/PhD Curriculum Overview

MSTP students take a leave of absence from medical school courses to enroll in the graduate arm of the School of Public Health between the second and third years of medical school and to complete the PhD coursework, conduct research, and defend their dissertation.  All MSTP students in HSRP will have conducted 3 summer research rotations as medical students prior to beginning graduate training and therefore will have an identified HSRP faculty mentor at the point of entering graduate training. 

  • For an overview of the MD/PhD curriculum, click here.    

Course and Examination Requirements

Program Faculty

  • For a list of faculty members, click here    
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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