The competencies for the PhD Concentration in Health Services Research and Policy are met through required and elective coursework, independent research and the process of writing a thesis. Upon successful completion of the concentration, students will have mastered concentration and department-wide competencies:
Health Services Research and Policy Concentration Competencies
- Examine classic studies and current developments in the field of health services research, including issues relating to quality of care, patient safety, comparative effectiveness, patient center outcomes and implementation.
- Integrate and critique theoretical and empirical literature in the formulation of an original and significant health services research and policy research question with clear and testable hypotheses.
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of experimental, quasi-experimental and observational study designs and be able to select the most appropriate design for a specified research question.
- Identify, evaluate and determine the most suitable data sources for a specified research question (data sources may include existing data sources or the development of a primary data collection protocol utilizing quantitative or qualitative methods).
- Select and implement appropriate analytic techniques from advanced epidemiological, statistical, economic, qualitative or measurement methods (including structured systematic review, synthesis and meta-analysis, causal modeling, multivariable linear and logistic regression, general linear models, longitudinal and multilevel modeling, and cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses) to address a specified research question.
Department-wide PhD Competencies
- Analyze the nature, scope, and determinants of major health policy problems by applying conceptual frameworks from key academic disciplines, formulating testable hypotheses, and identifying appropriate interventions based on an understanding of the existing evidence base.
- Critique the policymaking process, including the underlying roles of legislation, regulation, litigation, and advocacy; the differences between federal, state and local policies; and the influence of academic research in the policy formulation and evaluation processes.
- Assess the organization and financing of both public health and medical services and critique their impact on access and use, quality of care, costs, and outcomes.
- Apply appropriate rigorous empirical methods to the evaluation of health policy, including a well-rounded foundation of the methods and tools of public health, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and survey design.
- Communicate scientific findings effectively through written and oral methods to technical and lay audiences, demonstrating an ability to interpret study results in light of study limitations and prior research.
- Conduct research in accordance with the highest ethical standards, scientific integrity, and interpersonal collegiality.