Senate Bill No.: 0405-14
Introduced by: Graduate Academic Council
ESTABLISH AN INTER-INSTITUTIONAL DUAL-DEGREE PROGRAM WITH
IT IS HEREBY PROPOSED THAT THE FOLLOWING BE ADOPTED:
1. That the University Senate approves the attached proposal as approved and recommended by the Graduate Academic Council.
2. That this proposal be forwarded to the President for approval.
MEDICAL DOCTORATE AND MASTERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH DUAL DEGREE (MD/MPH)
Individuals interested in pursuing an MD/MPH will be able to complete the degree in five years (compared to medical school’s four year curriculum). The degree will benefit from summer sessions in the first two years of medical school to offer students courses that are part of the MPH program. The completion of the first two years of medical school, which are primarily didactic and cover basic sciences, transition students into the ‘practicum’ phase that spans the next two years. It is before that period (3rd and 4th year of medical school) that MD/MPH students will spend a year completing their MPH course work and part of their internships. Subsequent to that, they will go back to medical school to complete their third and fourth year of medical education. The latter year will also involve the completion of an MPH internship. A more detailed description of the curriculum is provided in another section of this document.
The aim of such a curriculum design is to couple the students’ exposure to both disciplines simultaneously to enrich the educational experience. Any other design may cause discontinuity in the students’ exposure to either public health or medicine.
Since being founded in 1984, the
The School also supports and partly
sponsors the Northeastern Regional Public Health Leadership Institute (NEPHLI)
and the Center for Continuing Education. NEPHLI is a nationally recognized
Institute that “brings together state and local health departments, academia,
public health associations and organizations committed to improving the skills
of leaders in the field of public health.” The Center for Continuing Education
has been regionally recognized as a source of professional development
activities for “health professionals, community leaders, and the public of
As recognition of that commitment
to professional development, The School was designated by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Center for Public Health Preparedness in
September 2000. The mission of the Center is “to
improve the capacity of the public health workforce in
§ Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Accelerated Pre-Med Program; BS/MD
and Medicine; BS/MD
Program and Seven-Year Medical Education
MD/MPH Dual Degrees Nationwide
Of the thirty-three accredited schools of public health that
exist nationwide, twenty-four currently offer an MD/MPH degree. The list
includes well-recognized schools such as
However, MD/MPH degrees are not offered solely by schools of public health. For the 2003-04 academic year, sixty-seven MD/MPH degrees opportunities existed nationwide. Forty of those offer the MPH degree through accredited programs in public health. Seven accredited schools of public health offer the MPH degree to students enrolled as medical students outside of their immediate educational institution.
The length of study required for the completion of the MD/MPH degree ranges from four to six years. Available data show that six MD/MPH degrees are four years in length; forty are five years in length; five are between four to five years in length; and one program requires five to six years for completion.
Potential Demand for the MD/MPH Degree
The administration and faculty of the College and School believe that offering the MD/MPH degree will be attractive to a considerable number of medical students interested in gaining public health knowledge and skills. What makes the MPH degree of interest to the usually busy medical students is that a significant portion of the curriculum is currently offered through distance education. A feature that will undoubtedly increase its appeal. This is substantiated by feedback from medical students who have recently enrolled in distance education courses offered by the School.
Currently, medical students who are interested in an MPH have to interrupt their medical education to pursue the degree. This has been done in various ways. Some students either completely stop their medical education or wait until they finish their medical degrees (before the residency) to pursue an MPH. In both instances, the major disadvantage is that they get disengaged from medical school while pursuing an MPH and vice versa when going back to medical and clinical education and training. The proposed degree aims to solve this significant problem through simultaneously exposing students to both disciplines during the five years it takes to complete the dual degree (see attached letter of support from Dr. Vincent Verdile, Dean of the College).
II. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
To be considered for admission into the MD/MPH, applicants
must be admitted first to medical school. Subsequently, an application is sent
to the School for formal admission into the State University of New York at
1. Successful completion of a minimum three years of college-level coursework (90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours of credit) in an accredited college or university
2. Successful completion of one year of each of the following with related laboratory experience:
· General biology or zoology
· General chemistry
· Organic chemistry
(A minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours of credit constitute the usual one-year course)
3. Submission of results of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
4. Submission of letters of recommendation
5. Ability to maintain the Minimum Technical Standards for Matriculation
A separate application will be filed with SUNY-Albany for admission into the MPH degree. The admission requirements for the MPH program* are subsumed in the admission requirements for the College, they include:
*All graduate applications at the University are processed through the Graduate Studies Admissions Office. For additional information on specific programs of study, you can contact the SPH directly.
The College’s curriculum is spread over four years. During the first year, which begins in September (37 weeks), medical students are exposed to courses in basic sciences that have been organized into conceptual or organ system modules concentrating on normal structure and function relating to a patient’s clinical presentation. The curriculum allows medical students to take the summer between the first and second year off.
During the second year, which begins in August (37 weeks), modules focus the students’ attention on an understanding of ‘abnormal’. Utilizing clinical case material, students integrate their understanding of normal and abnormal in order to develop a logical approach for clinical care. At the beginning of the summer between the second and third year, medical students take their board examination. The third year of medical school which begins in August (52 weeks), consists primarily of clerkships in ambulatory care settings. The last year, which begins in August (40 weeks), involves a rotation of hospital-based clerkships that prepare them for residency and practice.
The following includes a description of the coursework and internships (clerkships) required for completion of the MD/MPH degree.
MPH coursework and internships would be completed during the summer between years 1 and 2 (core courses), summer between year 2 and 3 (core courses), third year (core, track, and elective courses; internship), and fifth year (internship).
The following courses/internship will be waived for medical students: 1) HPM 500 would be waived since a similar course is taught during the first year of medical school, 2) BMS505 would be waived due to its coverage as part of the medical school curriculum and 3) a six-credit internship would be substituted by one of the clerkships (designed to reflect medical and public health principles).
(51 credits minimum, or 45 credits with a 6 credit internship waiver [applicable to the MD/MPH])
A. Core Curriculum of 24 credits, minimum*
1. EPI 501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I (3);
2. STA 552 Principles of Statistical Inferences I (3);**
3. HPM 500 Health Care Organization, Delivery and Financing (3);
4. EPI 503 Principles of Public Health (3);
5. BMS 505 Biological Basis of Public Health (3);
6. EHT 590 Introduction to Environmental Health (3):
7. HPM 525 Social and Behavioral Aspect of Public Health (3);
8. One course that requires application of computers and/or statistics for analysis of data in area of concentration. Specific course(s) required for concentration are listed in B;
*Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the eight core courses (Epi 501, Sta 552, Hpm 500, Epi 503, Eht 590, Hpm 525, and the course that fulfills the quantitative requirements)
**Students selecting Biostatistics concentration take Sta 558, Introduction to the Theory of Statistics I (3) instead of Sta 552
Note: STA 552 (in-class version) and STA 553 use the computer program SAS for many exercises. Students without programming knowledge will find it advantageous to take EPI 514 before or concurrently with STA 552.
Behavioral Science/Community Health
Quantitative course: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inferences II (3) or
HPM 520 Fundamentals of Research Design (3) or
HPM 647 Program Evaluation (3)
Hpm521 Introduction to Family and Community Health (3);
Hpm 627 Public Health Education: Targeting Social, Organizational and Behavioral
Factors to Promote Health (3); and
Choice of two electives as approved by advisor.
Quantitative course: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inferences II (3)
BMS 601A Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (3);
BMS 601B Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (3), and
One Elective in BMS, and
Choice of one electives in any department as approved by advisor.
Quantitative course: Sta 559 Introduction to Theory of Statistics II (3)
Sta 554 Methods of Data Analysis I (3);
Epi 502 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology II (3), and
Choice of two electives including at least two from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics as approved by advisor.
Quantitative course: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inferences II (3)
EPI 514 Computer Programming for Data Management (3) or
EHT 665 Risk Assessment (3)
EHT 530 Principles of Toxicology (3)
EHT elective chosen from the following list:
EHT 515 Environmental Physiology (3)
EHT 520 Principles of Environmental Chemistry (3)
EHT 605 Water Quality and Public Health (3)
EHT 665 Risk Assessment (3)
EHT 730 Hazardous Materials Management (3)
EPI 613 Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (3), and
Choice of two electives as approved by advisor
Quantitative course: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inferences II (3)
Epi 502 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology II (3)
Epi 514 Computer Programming for Data Management, and
Two 600 level EPI courses, and
Choice of one elective in any department as approved by advisor.
Quantitative course: STA 553 Principles of Statistical Inferences II (3), or
HPM 550 Financial Management (3) or
HPM 647 Program Evaluation (3) or
HPM 669 Economic Evaluation (3)
HPM 501 Health Policy Analysis and Management (3)
HPM 641 Principles of Health Organization Management (3)
HPM 650 Strategy and Leadership Applications in Health Management (3), and
Choice of one electives in any department as approved by advisor
C. Internship and Seminar, 6-12 credits:
Students are expected to have completed a minimum of four core course before doing the internship. Students must complete at least 6 credits of internship in the area of concentration. At least 3 credits of internship must be in a different area. For an internship in a specific area of concentration, student should have taken the core course in that area.
SPH 690-695 Internship in Public Health (3) and
SPH 680 Seminar for Public Health (0)
All MPH students must enroll in the SPH 680 Seminar series once for each semester they are enrolled in an internship. These seminars are for MPH students to report on their internship experiences and learn from others’ experience. Students who enroll in an internship for the summer should enroll in SPH 680 during the spring or fall semester before or after the internship is completed.
Year 1 Summer 1 Year 2
First year – medical school Second year – medical school
First year – medical school
Second year – medical school
Summer 3 Year 3 Summer 2
MPH course work MPH internship- 3 credits
MPH course work
MPH internship- 3 credits
The MD/MPH degree is designed to primarily attract medical students who are interested in acquiring public health- related knowledge and training. The availability and accessibility (geographical and financial) of such a degree will provide them the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skill base. Also, being able to complete a significant portion of the degree via distance learning will be of great value to medical students whose time may not be as flexible as other students.
It is expected that the first few years of offering the degree will witness a moderate level of student enrollment (3-5 students). However, the School foresees an increase in enrollment as more medical students acknowledge the utility of such a degree. It is worth noting that some schools of public health that co-offer an MD/MPH enroll a significant portion of medical students into the program.
The School and College bring together an unusually impressive array of educational, scientific and policy-related resources. Students will find some of the most sophisticated, state-of-the art laboratory equipment available anywhere in the world. In addition, the University and the New York State Department of Health offer advanced mainframe and personal computing facilities. Several excellent libraries are available with extensive information retrieval services. Students also have ready access to a number of unique data bases that open many lines of epidemiological, statistical and policy-oriented research. Below is an overview of the School’s resources.
· Extensive Computing Facilities:
Because of the unique structure of the SPH, students and faculty have access to state-of-the-art computing facilities in two settings: the University and the New York State Department of Health. For further info on computing resources, please visit the School’s website.
· Laboratory Facilities:
The vast New
York State Department of Health laboratories are the setting of two of the
School's departments, Biomedical Sciences and Environmental Health and
Toxicology. Housed in 500,000 square feet of space at the modern
· Library Resources:
extensive library collections of the University at
The University libraries have
holdings of 1.9 million volumes and over 5,000 periodical subscriptions.
As a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the University library
can supply materials in a variety of media from any major scholarly library in
the country. The Governor Thomas E. Dewey Graduate Library of Public Affairs and
Policy, part of the University Libraries which supports
Department's Dickerman Library, housed in the
· Data Bases:
registry, initiated in 1940 and computerized in 1972, which lists every
individual diagnosed with cancer in
A birth defects registry, started in 1983 as an outgrowth of studies into environmental exposures. This registry records all major and some minor malformations discovered in children up to age two. A registry of this type is rare, and highly useful in research on the possible environmental causes of birth defects, as well as treatments and provision of services.
A registry of individuals who have elevated blood levels of four different poisonous heavy metals: lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Most often, these individuals turn out to be children or industrial workers, whose exposures are reported by testing laboratories. Started in 1983, the registry is useful in the study of occupational exposures and workplace hazards.
Other registries include one on Alzheimer's patients, another on individuals exposed to high levels of pesticides and a third on persons with occupational lung disease. Still another registry, known as SPARCS, records information on all hospital admissions and discharges. Developed as a billing and cost payment device, SPARCS data offers an opportunity for cost containment studies. A side benefit, however, is information provided on disease incidence throughout the state. Because it is so unusual to have a statewide, integrated database on hospital discharges, SPARCS is used by researchers nationwide.
Offering the degree will require some additional human resources investment on the behalf of the School. The School has recently hired an administrative assistant who would help with this endeavor.
The courses included in the MD/MPH are existing courses that are required for the completion for the MPH degree. However, coordinating the degree will require some human resources investments. An academic coordinator will be appointed who will advise students at the School. The administrative duties on the School side will be undertaken by the Assistant to Associate Dean, recently hired. On the other side, the Associate Dean’s office at the College will be responsible for coordinating the MD requirements. Communication and recruitment efforts will be conducted by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at the School and the Associate Dean’s Office at the College.
Annual evaluations of the MD/MPH will be conducted in coordination between the School and the College. Revisions will be made as needed to the study plan and other aspects if needed.