Doctor of Public Health
The Doctor of Public Health (abbr. DrPH or DPH; Latin 'Publica Sanitas Doctor') is a professional doctoral degree awarded in the field of Public Health. The DrPH is seen as an advanced and terminal degree that prepares its recipients for a leadership career in advanced public health practice, leadership, and administration. According to the UN, the world face unprecedented challenges such as climate change, NCDs, aging populations, health crises, wealth gap, and the overreliance on the internet. DrPH programs were created with the idea that the public health challenges of the 21st century require a new public health leadership. For instance, DrPH graduates have expertise in evidence-based public health practice and research have the competences to convene diverse stakeholders, communicate across a range of sectors, and settings, synthesize findings, and generate practice-based evidence.
Given the core competencies developed during the program, DrPH graduates often occupy executive leadership roles in private and public sectors along with non-profits, universities and multilateral entities such as WHO and the World Bank. In addition, some DrPH graduates pursue academia including teaching and research.
Core competency modelEdit
The common elements addressed in all DrPH degrees are: 1) a professionally-oriented and competency-based curriculum and 2) core competency domains. The DrPH core competency model highlights the transformative leadership role that DrPH graduates play in advancing the field of research and practice in public health. According to The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), the DrPH competency model has seven domains of skills that every DrPH program should aim to develop:
- Advocacy: Ability to influence decision-making processes related to public health policies and practices.
- Communication: Ability to assess and to use communication strategies across different audiences and stakeholders.
- Community/Cultural orientation: Ability to communicate and interact with people from diverse communities, nationalities, and cultures.
- Critical Analysis: Ability to synthesize and apply evidence-based research and theory from different fields to solve public health challenges.
- Leadership: Ability to create and communicate a shared vision, inspire trust, and motivate others to achieve higher goals or an enlightened purpose.
- Management: Ability to provide responsible strategic and operational guidance within public and private organizations to achieve individual and community health and wellbeing.
- Professionalism and Ethics: Ability to identify, discuss, and analyze an ethical issue, and balance the claims of personal liberty with the responsibility to protect the health of a population.
Combined, these skills allows DrPH graduates to create linkages and synergies between research and practice. Often, rather than serving as technical experts, DrPH graduates are more likely to supervise or collaborate with technical experts to solve multifaceted 21st century problems. For instance, their roles require breadth across many areas of public health rather than depth of technical skills in a single one. By having these competencies the ASPH considers the DrPH a professional degree offered for advanced education and training in public health leadership. An entire list of domains and skills can be found here.
Comparison with a Ph.D.Edit
A DrPH is a leadership-centered, interdisciplinary degree that equips its holders with the skills set necessary for public health practice as opposed to a Ph.D. which is purely a research-based degree often focusing on one topic within a certain public health field.
Furthermore, a DrPH degree is categorized as a terminal professional degree on a par with a Ph.D., doctor of education, doctor of social work, doctor of medicine, doctor of business administration, and doctor of psychology degrees. Erroneously, some employers and faculty consider the DrPH a less prestigious degree than these other doctorates.
Even when the DrPH is a prestigious and well-recognized degree, the number of DrPH holders graduating annually from accredited schools is quite low compared with the number of PhD degrees awarded. For example, in 2010, there were only 126 DrPH graduates, in contrast to 776 Ph.D., degrees awarded from 26 of the 46 schools of public health.
Difference in admission requirementsEdit
Admission into a DrPH program usually required a master of public health degree as a prerequisite; however, this is changing and more schools now are accepting students without any masters or other degrees (i.e., MD, DO). Generally, DrPH programs require several years of public health leadership and practice experience (usually 5 years or more) for an admission. In contrast, one may enter a Ph.D. or ScD program after completing a bachelor (undergrad) degree with no experience or advanced academic training.
Career outcomes training differenceEdit
DrPH: Leadership and public health practice, applied research, implementation research, public health policy, politics, and academia to a lesser extent.
Ph.D: Research and academia.
Typical program structureEdit
Advanced integrative courseworkEdit
A typical accredited DrPH program requires roughly a two-year long intensive multidisciplinary coursework in advanced research methodology - similar to a Ph.D. Additionally, as a distinction and addition to a Ph.D., DrPH students also take advanced courses to gain analytical skills in leadership, management, systems thinking, enabling change, communications, and health policy.
Public health leadership practice experienceEdit
DrPH students are also required to complete a public health practice experience as a critical part of their DrPH program. Students apply the skills learned in public health practice to gain leadership experience and hone their skills through hands-on and a field-based culminating public health experience.
Most universities require a rigorous comprehensive exam at the end of first two-years of coursework and a public health practical experience before a candidate may be advanced to the dissertation phase. For example, the DrPH programs at Tufts and Harvard require a Qualifying Exam taken at the end of the first year.
DrPH students are required to complete and defend an applied public health practice-related dissertation during their candidacy phase, usually after the comprehensive and qualifying exams.
DrPH Completion TimeEdit
The average time to complete a DrPH is roughly 3–7 years. Harvard has one of the shortest programs; it is only three years long.
Universities offering DrPH degreesEdit
Some of the universities offering DrPH in the USA are listed below.
- Jackson State University School of Public Health
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
- Tufts University School of Medicine (Tufts Public Health)
- Boston University School of Public Health
- Drexel University School of Public Health
- Florida A & M University Institute of Public Health
- The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
- University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
- City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center
- Claremont Graduate University School of Community & Global Health
- Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
- Harvard School of Public Health
- University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center School of Public Health
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
- University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Public Health
- New York Medical College School of Public Health
- Colorado School of Public Health
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health
- University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, School of Public Health
- University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health
- University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
- University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
- University of Georgia College of Public Health
- University of South Florida College of Public Health
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
- University at Albany, SUNY School of Public Health
- Loma Linda University School of Public Health
- Oakwood University
- University of Kentucky's College of Public Health
- University of Iowa College of Public Health
- East Tennessee State University College of Public Health
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health
- Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health
- SUNY Downstate Medical Center
- Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy
- Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
- Georgia State University School of Public Health
- Brunel University of West London
- Imperial College London School of Public Health
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Chester University
- Teesside University
- Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia
- Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
- School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center
- College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
- Department of Public Health Nursing, Faculty of Public health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
- Department of Public Health, Faculty of Public health, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand
- James Cook University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
- LaTrobe University School of Public Health.
- University of Wollongong School of Health Science.
- University of New South Wales School of Public Health and Medicine (Future Health Leaders Program).
- Monash University School of Public Health.
- Flinders University School of Public Health.
- Curtin University.
Notable Holders of the DrPH DegreeEdit
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- Sara Josephine Baker - American physician notable for making contributions to public health, especially in the immigrant communities of New York City.
- Sandro Galea - Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health.
- Cheryl Healton - Dean of the College of Global Public Health at New York University.
- Vicenç Navarro - Spanish sociologist and political scientist currently holding a chair in Social Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.
- Mary Pittman - President and chief executive officer of the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California.
- Barbara Rimer - Dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.
- Henry F. Vaughan - Founder and former Dean of the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Past president of the American Public Health Association.
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- "A REVIEW OF THE STATUS OF THE DOCTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH DEGREE AND IDENTIFICATION OF FUTURE ISSUES". Public Health Rep. 2009. PMC 2602921. Missing or empty
- "ASPPH | DrPH Model". www.aspph.org. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
- Curtis, LaShawn M.; Marx, John H. (September 2008). "Untapped Resources: Exploring the Need to Invest in Doctor of Public Health–Degree Training and Leadership Development". American Journal of Public Health. 98 (9): 1547–1549. doi:10.2105/ajph.2007.119313. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 2509606.
- "Final ASPH Report 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on