PhD Concentration in Bioethics & Health Policy
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The concentration in Bioethics and Health Policy is designed for students who want bioethics to be the distinguishing focus of their career in public health.
This concentration differs from most other bioethics doctoral programs in two important ways: first, it focuses on bioethics as it relates to moral questions in public health and health policy (rather than, for example, in clinical decision-making or bedside dilemmas); and second, it provides rigorous training in quantitative and qualitative empirical research methods.
Students and faculty in this concentration study and conduct independent research on ethical issues in population health practice, research, and policy such as: ethics and emergency preparedness, domestic and international research ethics, genetic screening policy, ethics and obesity prevention, ethics and infectious diseases, HIV screening, social justice and resource allocation.
By the end of their PhD training, students are prepared to provide not only normative recommendations regarding ethics and public health policy but also are equipped to function as independent researchers, conducting empirical research related to bioethics, public health and health policy.
Students enrolled in the Bioethics and Health Policy concentration participate in a variety of educational opportunities in bioethics and health policy, including lectures and seminars sponsored by the Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and collaborations with the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. Students take courses within the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Bloomberg School, as well as the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Georgetown University.
The competencies for the PhD Concentration in Bioethics and Health 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 the following concentration competencies; specifically students by the end of the program will have the ability to:
Bioethics and Health Policy Concentration Competencies:
- Recognize moral problems in public health practice, research, and health policy, and identify which ethical principles or foundational ethical theories are at stake and potentially in tension.
- Analyze moral problems in public health practice, research and health policy and identify and communicate morally compelling lines of argument for alternative ethical principles or foundational ethical theories at stake.
- Use relevant literature from moral and political philosophy and public health ethics in analyzing moral problems in public health practice, research, and health policy.
- Identify when, why, and how empirical scholarship can make a contribution to bioethics and how data can be relevant to normative analysis.
- Conduct independent empirical scholarship that can advance the understanding of a moral problem in public health practice, policy or research.
- Construct public policy arguments informed by the analysis of empirical and normative scholarship in bioethics.
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.
Summer Term Workshops
- 550.860.82 Academic & Research Ethics
- xxx.xxx.xx Introduction to On-line Learning
- xxx.xxx.xx Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Prevention Training
- xxx.xxx.xx Plagiarism Prevention Training
- 140.621.01 Statistical Methods in Public Health I
- 140.622.01 Statistical Methods in Public Health II
- 140.623.01 Statistical Methods in Public Health III
- 140.624.01 Statistical Methods in Public Health IV
- 300.715.01 Advanced Research and Evaluation Methods
- 300.721.01 Foundations in Health Policy I
- 300.722.01 Foundations in Health Policy II
- 300.723.01 Foundations in Health Policy III
- 300.724.01 Foundations in Health Policy IV
- 306.650.01 Public Health and the Law
- 306.655.01 Ethical Issues in Public Health
- 306.861.01 Graduate Doctoral Seminar in Bioethics (Terms 1-4)
- 306.7XX.01 Social Justice
- 340.721.60 Epidemiologic Inference in Public Health I
- 700.603.01 Introduction to Ethical Theory
- 552.601.81 Foundational Principles of Public Health
- 552.607.81 Essentials of Environmental Health
- 552.608.81 Biologic, Genetic, and Infectious Bases of Human Disease
- 552.609.81 Psychological and Behavioral Factors that Affect a Population's Health
- 552.611.81 Globalization and Health: A Framework for Analysis
- 552.612.81 Essentials of One Health
- XXX.XXX.xx Health Policy/Public Health Elective (Terms 1, 2, & 4)
- 300.741.01 PhD Seminar Health Policy: Using Secondary Data to Conduct Policy Research
- 300.840.01 Special Studies and Research in Health Policy and Management (Terms 1-4)
- 300.870.01 Research and Proposal Writing I
- 300.871.01 Research and Proposal Writing II
- 306.665.01 Research Ethics and Integrity: U.S. and International Issues
- 306.861.01 Graduate Doctoral Seminar in Bioethics (Terms 1-4)
- XXX.XXX.xx Moral and/or political philosophy elective (Homewood or Georgetown) (Terms 1-4)
- XXX.XXX.xx Advanced Bioethics course (E. Baltimore, Homewood or Georgetown) (Terms 1-4)
Courses held over multiple terms link to the First Term entry in the Course Catalog.
The Graduate Seminar in Bioethics (306.61) generally alternates each week with the Berman Institute biweekly public seminar. Students are expected to attend both the Graduate Seminar in Bioethics and Berman Institute Seminar to fulfill their graduate seminar requirement. The Graduate Seminar in Bioethics is intended to give PhD students in the bioethics concentration the opportunity to meet and hear about the scholarship of bioethics faculty, to present and discuss student Works-in-Progress and to engage in directed reading of books or articles. Students are expected to participate in the graduate seminar during their first two years of the program and are strongly encouraged to participate as much as their schedule allows in subsequent years of the program.
All students in the bioethics concentration are required to take a total of six JHSPH terms or three Homewood/Georgetown semester-length courses (or some combination of the two) in moral or political philosophy or advanced bioethics (for a total of 15 course credits). Moral and political philosophy course offerings at Homewood and Georgetown are semester long (5 credits; equivalent of two SPH academic terms) and specific course offerings differ each Term/Year. Advanced bioethics course offerings are available through the Masters in Bioethics program (MBe courses offered in E. Baltimore) or through Homewood or Georgetown. Students must complete one moral or political philosophy course at Homewood/Georgetown and one advanced bioethics course at Homewood/Georgetown or two MBe courses and can choose to complete and additional semester/2 JHSPH terms in either moral/political philosophy or advanced bioethics to complete the requirement.
Generally these requirements are completed during the second year of the program. Many additional courses may fulfill the moral philosophy or advanced bioethics course requirement; the student's advisor and concentration director must approve other courses.
Below is a list of recent graduates’ current positions and dissertation titles for the PhD Concentration in Bioethics and Health Policy.
|Graduate Name||Current Position||Dissertation Title|
|Rachel Fabi (2018)||Assistant Professor: SUNY Upstate Medical University||Publicly funded prenatal care for undocumented immigrants: A comparative case study in policy, practice and ethics|
|Leila Jamal (2017)||Genetics Counselor: National Institute for Allergy and Infection Disease, NIH||Exploring prenatal involvement in rare disease research and advocacy|
|Lee-Lee Ellis (2015)||Health Researcher: Mathematica Policy Research||Characterizing patient engagement in research funded by the patient-centered outcomes research institute and exploring the moral importance or patient engagement in research|
|Amy Paul (2015)||Sustainability and Transition Advisor: USAID||Triangulating transition: Conceptual, practical, and ethical considerations for sustaining program impact through transitions to local ownership|
|Danielle Whicher (2014)||Senior Program Officer: National Academy of Medicine||Rethinking informed consent requirements for pragmatic comparative effectiveness trials|
|Krista Harrison (2013)||Assistant Professor of Geriatrics: University of California, San Francisco||Forks in the road: Organizational values and health care resource allocation decisions in the provision of access to care for the uninsured|
|JP Leider||Independent Consultant: JP Leider Research and Consulting, LLC||Setting budgets and priorities in public health practice: A mixed-methods study of resource allocation in state health agencies|
|Jessica Holzer (2012)||Assistant Professor: Hofstra University School of Health Professions||Community engagement research: Lessons from clinical and translational science award program and the development of a framework to determine the ethical duty to engage communities in research|
|Jason Gerson (2009)||Associate Director of CER Methods: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute||Freedoms, functionings, and the ethics of health promotion|
|Ingrid Burger (2007)||Radiologist, Chief of Ultrasound: Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center||Ethics and policy issues in the diffusion and marketing of computed tomography (CT) screening exams|
|Neal Dickert (2006)||Assistant Professor of Medicine: Emory University School of Medicine||Maintaining respect at the margins of agency: Respect for persons and research in emergency settings|
|Summer Johnson McGee (2006)||Dean: University of New Haven School of Health Sciences||The impact of presidential bioethics commissions: An assessment of outcomes in public bioethics|
|Julia Slutsman (2003)||Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs: Children's National Medical Center||Assessing physicians' attitudes toward the federal health information privacy rule (HIPAA Privacy Rule) and associated organizational compliance efforts|
|Sara Chandros Hull (1999)||Faculty: National Institutes of Health's Department of Bioethics Clinical Center||Sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and reproduction: A qualitative study of affected adult and health care provider perspectives|
|Andrea Kalfoglou (1999)||Director of Health Administration and Policy Program: University of Maryland, Baltimroe County||The experiences of ooccyte donors|