Program Description

The concentration in Health Services and Policy Research is centered on the philosophy that understanding healthcare systems, along with the social and economic environment in which they function, is essential to formulating effective health policy and improving clinical practice. As such, the concentration draws from several diverse fields, including health services research, biostatistics, decision sciences, economics, demography, epidemiology, sociology and political science.

Students in this Foundation will:

1. learn about the methodological tools of health services and outcomes research, including cost-effectiveness analysis, outcomes research, meta-analysis, and quality of care measurement and evaluation;

2. become familiar with the major U.S. healthcare institutions, such as managed care, integrated delivery systems, and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid;

3. survey the major issues in health policy, including the uninsured, rising medical costs, and the "quality chasm" between identified best practices and the implementation of these practices in clinical settings;

4. learn how to design research projects to address relevant questions in health policy; and participate in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Students may choose a broad curriculum covering several areas of health services and policy, or they may specialize in a particular area.

Integration with Other Graduate Programs

The Scholarly Concentration in Health Services and Policy Research is built upon successful existing programs, such as the masters of science degree program in Health Policy, the PhD Program in Health Policy, and Stanford Health Policy’s (SHP) fellowship programs.

SHP has multiple graduate degree programs, allowing for expanded opportunities for graduate training in health services and policy research. The newly designed graduate curriculum will enhance opportunities for designing educational programs that cross boundaries between health services and policy research, clinical investigation and epidemiology. The scholarly concentration will take advantage of the infrastructure and course offerings that are developed as part of a redesigned graduate curriculum.

While earning their medical degree, students in the concentration may at the same time pursue a master's degree in Health Policy or master's degree in Epidemiology, or a master's degree in Biomedical Informatics or Business (to name a few). For more information regarding these plans for study, contact the concentration co-directors Corinna Haberland, MD, MS or Laurence Baker, PhD.