Public Health Pathways, Programs, and Careers

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1 Public Health Pathways, Programs, and Careers Robert L. Seidman, PhD Director, CA-NV Public Health Training Center Head, Division of Health Management and Policy Graduate School of Public Health San Diego State University

2 Agenda Factors affecting public health workforce Public health professions and careers Schools and Programs of Public Health Public Health Credentialing

3 Public Health vs. Clinical Health Public Health Clinical Health Target Population Health Focus Activities Entire population or population subgroup of community Health and wellness (physical, emotional, social) Prevention Individual persons Disease Diagnosis & Treatment

4 What is Public Health?

5 What is Public Health?

6 Public Health Workforce Shortage U.S. faces future PH workforce crisis.

7 Public Health Workforce Shortage Estimate: need 250,000 more public health workers by 2020 to meet needs of U.S. and global populations. Large % of PH workforce eligible to retire. Budget problems have led to staff reductions NACCHO survey: 29,000 jobs at local health departments in U.S. eliminated through layoffs or attrition during

8 Factors Influencing Demand and Supply of Public Health Workforce Increasing Workforce DEMAND Population growth Aging population Increasing chronic disease rates Emerging diseases & preparedness for emergencies & natural disasters Increasing diversity of population (language; cultural differences) Medical & technological advances Health reform (greater focus on prevention and population health) Limiting Workforce SUPPLY Aging of current PH workforce; retirements Budget crises; funding constraints Lack of diversity of workforce Competition with private health sector in hiring staff Rural-urban imbalance Increasing college tuition and costs of education/training Shortage of PH professionals in certain disciplines (e.g., labs, nursing)

9 PH Careers Public Health Professionals Clinicians: MDs, public health nurses, lab specialists, etc. Epidemiologists Biostatisticians and data analysts Program managers, planners, and policy analysts Health educators Nutritionists Employment Settings Federal, state, local government health department or agency Non-profit community-based health organizations Academic and research institutions Community providers (hospitals, health plans, medical groups) Private industry (e.g., biotech) Global health organizations Consulting firms

10 Public Health Workforce Pipeline K-12 Education Financial Considerations Undergraduate Education Internships; work experience Hired for job in PH Science, math, communication, problem solving, etc. Financial Considerations Career Advancement; Ongoing Training Awareness of PH careers vs. other health careers Graduate Education Internships; work experience Hired as PH professional Pre-College Education College Education Workforce Adapted from presentation by Jeff Oxendine, MBA, UC Berkeley

11 Schools vs. Programs Schools of Public Health Generally larger (more faculty, students, research, areas of specialization offered) Minimum # faculty & offer MPH and other graduate degrees (e.g., PhD) in each of 5 core areas of PH: Epidemiology Biostatistics Environmental Health Health Promotion Health Management and Policy

12 Schools vs. Programs Public Health Programs Typically smaller Many not have sufficient # faculty in all core PH disciplines Many offer only Master s Degree Often in only 1 or a few concentrations

13 Public Health Accreditation of Schools and Programs Council on Accreditation for Public Health (CEPH): Standards for high-quality education in both Schools and programs of public health In U.S. 49 accredited Schools of Public Health 84 Programs in Public Health In California 4 accredited Schools of Public Health: SDSU, Loma Linda University, UCLA, UC Berkeley 10 accredited Public Health Programs: 6 CSUs and 2 UCs

14 Graduate Public Health Degrees Until recently, Master in Public Health (MPH) was entry point for public health professionals Growth in undergraduate public health programs in U.S. within past 5 years Academic preparation and potential job responsibilities different: BS vs. MPH Institute of Medicine (IOM): Educated Citizenry in public health; access to public health education by all undergraduates

15 Graduate Public Health Degrees Most common public health graduate degrees Master of Public Health (MPH) Typically 2 years full-time study Master of Science (MS) Doctorate degrees Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Research degree Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Practice-oriented degree Doctor of Science (ScD)

16 Public Health Degree Specializations MPH 5 core public health areas Biostatistics/biometry; epidemiology; health promotion/health education; health management and policy; environmental health Other areas vary by school or program Health services research, maternal and child health (MCH), global health, nutrition, health communication, and many others PhD or DrPH: usually same areas as MPH

17 Joint Degrees Combine requirements of 2 degrees; usually requires less time than completing each degree separately Examples: Social Work: MSW/MPH Business Administration: MBA/MPH Law: JD/MPH Medicine: MD/MPH Many others (varies by school or program)

18 Schools and Programs of Public Health in California and Nevada Handout lists all Schools of Public Health and Public Health Programs in CA and NV By accreditation status (i.e., accredited vs. nonaccredited) Lists degrees and areas of specialization for each degree.

19 Other Components of Graduate Education in Public Health Schools, Programs, and degrees also vary: Full-time vs. Part-time programs Daytime vs. evening classes Online course offerings Internship (required vs. optional; duration; timing) Research opportunities Culminating Experience options Thesis, major project, comprehensive exam

20 Applying to Graduate Schools Accredited Schools of Public Health Usually apply through SOPHAS: Schools of Public Health Application Service (www.sophas.org) May apply to many Schools of Public Health by filing one application through SOPHAS Additional cost for each additional School applying to. Many or most Schools also require small supplemental application filed with them (modest additional fee). Public health programs: individual application required

21 Preparing a Successful Application Criteria varies across different schools and programs (even departments within a school) Important components: Undergraduate GPA (and courses completed) [SDSU min = 2.85; GSPH mean = 3.2] GRE [SDSU min = 1000 (old version); GSPH mean = 1100] Health & other experience (employment ; volunteer) Personal statement Letters of recommendation (need > 1 academic)

22 Application Review Process Apply to specific specialization & degree Completed applications forwarded to Admissions Committee of specific department Review all documents Independent recommendations made Chair of committee makes final decision Application deadlines vary across schools Check each school or program for dates SDSU deadline for SOPHAS application: January 15

23 Certification in Public Health National Board of Public Health Examiners Certified in Public Health: CPH Began August 2008 Must have earned a graduate degree from an accredited School of Public Health or Public Health Program Pass an exam covering core public health areas. Offered annually; cost approximately $400 Usefulness for obtaining employment unclear. More information:

24 Additional Resources For more information: canvphtc.sdsu.edu/studentoutreach/sdsu.asp Contains downloadable documents this PowerPoint presentation list of Schools of Public Health and Public Health Programs in CA and NV Links to other documents and useful resources on public health careers

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