The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers several formal health economics training programs at present. There are currently two health economics doctoral programs: the Department of Health Policy and Management offers a PhD in economic evaluation and policy, and the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health offers a PhD in health economics. The School also offers an MHS in health economics through the Departments of Health Policy and Management and International Health. Finally, the School offers a certificate in public health economics. These options allow students interested in health economics to have multiple entry points for their studies. In the future, other formal options may be made available.
The formal PhD programs in the Departments of Health Policy and Management and Population, Family, and Reproductive health offer students two options. In either case, they receive a basic understanding of epidemiology and biostatistics. Students then choose whether to focus more on economic theory and econometric analysis for policy or whether to focus on economic evaluation. Students in the first group spend a significant amount of time in the Department of Economics. Students in the second group spend a significant time in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. While the other Departments in which health economics faculty are located (International Health and Mental Health) do not have formal programs at the moment, students in those Departments working with the relevant faculty can structure their studies in ways that are similar to the HPM curriculum. Other departments may provide formal programs using a unified curriculum in the future. In addition, students in other Departments (e.g. Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Health, Behavior and Society) have taken substantial portions of the health economics courses that are available and incorporated economics into their research.
Original doctoral research conducted by students focuses on explaining individual health behaviors or organizational behavior using primary or secondary data and applying state of the art econometric techniques. Students can also develop new methods to contribute to economic evaluation sciences (i.e. cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses). Students are required to include an economic theory section in their dissertations. The research opportunities for doctoral student span all departments of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in addition to the Departments in which students are directly trained and the Department of Economics. The faculty of the health economics program are involved in research with colleagues all across the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions campus and can facilitate access to faculty in all parts of the institution who may provide links to data necessary for research on the economics of nearly any aspect of health of interest to potential students.
A nine month shared MHS curriculum is offered by the Departments of Health Policy and Management and International Health. This intense, quantitatively focused program prepares students for working in research environments or further studies in health economics policy and cost-effectiveness research. We anticipate that other Departments may offer entry into a unified MHS program in the future. The coordination across Departments allows us to incorporate the strengths of the faculty in multiple departments in the core curriculum.
The certificate program is available to students in all Departments in the school and can be completed while a student completes the MPH program.