New Masters Program Fills the Gaps
About 10 years ago, LDI leadership recognized a gap in Penn’s ability to train clinicians to conduct rigorous health services and health policy research. Few clinicians would want or need the deep disciplinary training of a PhD in Health Care Management; existing Masters programs focused on public health, clinical epidemiology, or business administration, rather than on health services research. Thus, in 2007, the Masters of Science in Health Services Research program at Penn was born.
Later renamed the Masters of Science in Health Policy Research (MSHP), the two-year program provides training in health services research methods, health economics, policy, and statistics. Students acquire skills in study design and analysis, grant writing, and leadership, and complete a mentored, publishable research project. Based in the School of Medicine, the program includes leaders from Wharton and Nursing as well.
The program became the curriculum for Penn’s RWJF Clinical Scholars, as well as many subspecialty fellows seeking research training. When the Clinical Scholars program ended and the National Clinician Scholars program began, the program was offered to nurses as well as physicians.
Since the program’s inception, the MSHP has trained more than 140 health services and policy researchers. You can find MSHP alumni in leadership positions in academics, government, non-profit institutions, and industry. What started as a modest proposal by Katrina Armstrong, Josh Metlay, David Asch, and Dan Polsky a decade ago is now a robust, nationally-recognized training program, thanks to the leadership of Judith Long, and more recently, Judy Shea and Rachel Werner. By fulfilling its mission to train outstanding investigators in health services and policy research, MSHP ensures that a new generation of clinician-researchers will be equipped to solve some of health care’s most pressing challenges.