The opportunities for doctors wishing to pursue para-clinical courses abound. This is more the case in the Western countries where Asian students may desire to further their career prospects.
The era when doctors used to be considered as Gods and the clinical art was supreme is passe. Doctors are people who provide service to customers. They are assisted by different professionals. This includes geneticists, pharmacologists, biotechnologists, microbiologists, informaticists and other such professional.
The options are varied and are as satisfying as clinical practice.
The options include:
1) Public Health, Health Services Administration and Hospital Administration
3) Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics
4) Medical Informatics
5) Pharmacology-General & Molecular
6) Biomedical Engineering
8) Preventive Medicine
9) Forensic Medicine
In today’s rapidly changing health care environment, population-based initiatives are playing an increasingly important role in improving the nation’s health.
Going beyond the medical traditions of individual diagnosis, treatment and cure, health professionals are now focusing on societal approaches to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease and injury among diverse populations and the communities in which they live. Wide-ranging initiatives are taking place in states and communities across the nation, emphasizing such issues as:
· Control of diseases like cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke
· Improvement and redesign of health services integration and delivery
· Prevention programs in schools and at work sites
· Cessation of risky behaviors such as cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and substance abuse
· Improving the health of mothers, children, and families
· Evaluating and redesigning public and private insurance and funding mechanisms
· Outreach and intervention in populations at risk, such as the aged and the mentally ill
· Reductions in domestic violence
· Improving the quality of the environments, in which people live and work
This approach to health and health care is creating exciting opportunities in every field of public health, including management and administration, community practice, education, research, and policy. With human resources shortages in nearly every public health discipline, most if not all of the School of Public Health’s graduates receive job offers within a few months of graduation. A majority of students, in fact, routinely accept jobs or other post-graduate offers before graduation.
The School’s graduates are employed all over the nation in a wide variety of settings, including:
· Consulting firms
· Consumer advocacy organizations
· Health clinics an voluntary agencies
· Hospitals and integrated health care agencies
· Long term and extended care and health insurance companies
· Medical service organizations
· Physician management organizations
· Private businesses and industry
· Public health agencies and ministries
Departments and Programs
Community Health: The program in Community Health is entering its twentieth year of providing a wide range of programs of study leading to the MPH degree. The School’s MPH graduates are working in a variety of public and private health and health care organizations, providing a growing network of alumni to support students in their professional and career development. Students entering the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program can concentrate in the following areas:
Behavioral Science and Health Education: This concentration educates students for careers in the development, management, and assessment of health promotion and disease prevention programs in a wide variety of community and organizational settings in both the private and public sectors.
Biostatistics: This area of concentration prepares students for analytic careers in all areas of public health, with coursework emphasis in biomedical statistical methodology, data management, and statistical analysis.
Environmental and Occupational Health: Environmental health scientists are prepared for careers as managers, researchers, and consultants in private industry, academia, and government. Areas of study include toxic agent control, industrial hygiene, accident prevention, workplace safety, and general environmental health.
Epidemiology: The Epidemiology concentration prepares students for careers in disease prevention and control in public health research and practice settings. Students acquire the skills needed to collect, manage, analyze, and interpret health data. The program also provides a solid background for professionals in public health administration.
Professional Option Program: Designed for students who possess an advanced degree (i.e., MD, PhD, DDS) or students with a minimum of 3 years of full-time work experience in a health related field, this 36 credit hour program offers two tracks: a Practice Track and an Analytical Track. The Practice Track curriculum is designed for persons whose interests are in public health administration and practice, whereas the Analytical Track is intended for students interested in acquiring additional research an methodology skills.
Joint Concentrations and Joint Degrees: The Department of Community Health offers two joint concentration programs: Biostatistics/Epidemiology and Environmental and Occupational Health/Epidemiology. Community Health students may also pursue various joint degree programs with the School of Law (MPH/JD), the School of Medicine (MPH/MD), the School of Nursing (MPH/MSN), the School of Social Service (MPH/MSW), and the School of Allied Health’s program in Nutrition and Dietetics (MPH/MS).
Health Administration: The School’s MHA graduates are well prepared for management positions in health care systems, hospitals, managed care companies, physician, practice organizations, medical service organizations, consulting firms, and virtually every type of public or private health care organization. As the nation’s third oldest program of its kind, the program’s graduates benefit from an extensive network of alumni in their career and professional development.
Joint Degrees: The Department of Health Administration offers joint degree program opportunities with Saint Louis University’s School of Business and Administration (a joint MHA/MBA degree), and the School of Law (a joint MHA/JD degree).
The MHA/MBA degree provides graduates with more flexibility and career choices as well as additional coursework in business. Saint Louis University’s School of Business and Administration is nationally recognized as one of the best among Jesuit universities and among the top 25 business schools for entrepreneurial studies by Success Magazine.
The MHA/JD Program is one of just six such programs in the United States. The School of Law’s Health Law Program is rated #1 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The School’s MHA/JD graduates are among the nation’s most highly sought health law professionals, finding careers in hospital and health system legal departments, law firms, consulting firms, and government. In addition to supporting an excellent joint degree program, the Department of Health Administration’s close ties to the School of Law give all MHA students the opportunity for superior exposure to health law issues.
Health Services Research: The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Health Services Research prepares graduates for careers conducting health services research in academic settings, public health agencies, and in the private sector as health consultants, health system executives, epidemiologists, behavioral scientists, and outcome researchers. Students may also pursue a joint degree in public health (PhD/MPH).
Graduate Program in Health Management
The goal of the Graduate Program in Health Management is to build the top health management leaders in the country. The Program provides students with the necessary skills and background to take leadership roles in health services and health technology industries. The Program combines rigorous academic training with practical applications in real-world settings. Training is conducted by leading UC Berkeley academic researchers and industry leaders from the San Francisco Bay Area and from around the country.
A 2.5-year joint MBA/MPH degree is offered by the Haas School of Business and the School of Public Health. In this highly rated program students take courses in both schools and receive a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and a Masters of Public Health (MPH).
Case in study-Commitment to medical informatics, a field fusing medicine with computer science, was strengthened by a chilling occurrence at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City in the fall of 1996. Doctors there had surgically implanted a catheter in the chest of an 8-year-old girl so she could receive chemotherapy drugs. Three days later, a clot formed in the tube, and the child's frightened parents whisked her back to the hospital. The emergency-room nurses requested the girl's medical records, which would have included the catheter's exact size, but they were tied up in the processing department. In a blind attempt to clear the tube, nurses used the wrong-size instrument, and broke the catheter, forcing the girl to undergo a second painful surgery to replace the tube.
With the hope of preventing another such incident, Mary Zollo, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, School of Medicine, helped write a computer program last summer that gives health care providers fast, easy access to data on catheter insertions at Primary Children's. She is one of the growing ranks of students learning informatics, the science of optimizing the storage, retrieval, and management of information found in patient records and in medical databases. Today there are more than a dozen informatics degree programs nationwide–double that of a decade ago. Utah, Stanford, and Columbia University are home to some of the most respected programs. And dozens more medical schools offer classes in informatics.
Informatics professionals work in a wide range of capacities. Some write computer programs–like Zollo's–that organize patients' medical history data. Hospitals also hire these specialists to computerize patient charts so that data from equipment such as heart monitors are recorded automatically. Others develop programs that access medical articles and databases to help doctors more quickly diagnose patients with ambiguous symptoms-decision support systems. Others are involved with metafile transfers such as those of CTs and MRIs.
Proponents say informatics improves patient treatment and overall hospital efficiency, thereby lowering medical bills. According to a recent study at one of the nation's most computerized hospitals, LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, a program for monitoring patient antibiotic use reduced adverse drug reactions by over 70 percent. The program alerts caregivers to potentially harmful drug interactions, excessive doses, and allergic reactions. The result was a cost savings of $81 per hospital stay for each patient receiving antibiotics.
However, even advocates worry that digital files can be more vulnerable to privacy violations than traditional paper records. ''Confidentiality is the Achilles heel of informatics,'' says Reed Gardner, the chairman of the medical informatics program at the University of Utah. In many wired medical institutions, there's nothing to stop an employee from snooping through patients' medical records. Indeed, curiosity seems to prompt most privacy breaches, says Gardner. For instance, when a professional athlete was admitted to LDS Hospital after he was injured during a game last season, several curious staffers peeked at his hospital record.
Still, Gardner and others argue that with appropriate safeguards, electronic records can be more secure than paper records–which, they say, are not as well protected as they seem. Almost anyone wearing a white lab coat can walk into a hospital's medical records department and obtain documents, contends Gardner. LDS Hospital has made its patient records more secure by installing an audit trail that records the identity of anyone accessing patient information.
Zollo, whose dissertation project involves determining how often violations occur at LDS, says an audit trail alone isn't good enough. ''No one can possibly monitor the 145,000 transactions that go through the audit system each day,'' she says. She asserts that hospitals need audit systems that alert those who safeguard records to ''probable violations,'' such as when a clerk in OB-GYN pulls up the records of a patient in the emergency room. One of the challenges for those entering this field will be building a health care information system that provides caregivers with instant access to crucial medical data–but only when they really need it.
Although the specialty of physician executive has not yet become part of the residency match, that day cannot be far. Much like traditional medical specialties, the physician executive profession is gaining credibility in the medical community as a career path. Well established organizations, such as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) (Tampa, FL) are now certifying physicians for executive opportunities in the business of health care. In today's evolving economic environment and health care system, the ascendance of physicians to upper levels of health care management is not just desirable but mandatory to ensure appropriate allocation of increasingly scarce health resources. Physicians who entered medical school planning for a lifetime of clinical practice are rethinking their career choices, often pursuing a career in the business world instead.
Primary Care Physicians
Physicians from all specialties become physician executives, and many primary care physicians enter the field of medical management During the past decade, most primary care practices have suffered financially as a result of the growth of managed care. Physicians in primary care with incomes in the $75,000 to $125,000 range were unable to withstand the 20% to 30% cuts in reimbursement that occurred, unlike specialists who earn two or more times the salary of a primary care physician. Physician executive positions that pay $120,000 to $150,000 can be particularly appealing, especially because most of these jobs email a 40-hour work week and a guaranteed vacation The luxury of a full night's sleep without interruption by patients' calls also appeals to many beleaguered primary care physicians.
Although physician executive positions tend to attract primary care physicians, specialists have a wealth of opportunities in this field as well. Specialists are becoming physician executives for companies that produce product or services for that specialty; for example, a cardiothoracic surgeon may work for a company that develops heart devices. Disease management companies often specialize in particular disease entities such as diabetes, and medical specialists are sought to help improve and validate these companies' products. In addition, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and surgical supplies attract specialists who can assist in product development and testing. Home health agencies may concentrate their services on specific clinical conditions, requiring the expertise of clinicians who can establish optimum care plans.
Comparison Between the MHSA and MPH Degrees
All masters degree students in the Department of Health Management and Policy receive training in health management and health policy. There are many similarities in the curricula for the two degrees. In fact, MPH and MHSA students take several core courses together during their graduate studies, including courses on the health care delivery system, economics, political science, organizational theory, biostatistics, and epidemiology. While the two-degree programs are quite similar in terms of their curricula and the knowledge, skills and competencies that students acquire, there are some differences in their emphasis.
The fundamental focus of the MHSA degree program is the organization, financing, marketing, and management of health care institutions and the delivery of personal health services in the United States. Many of the core competencies of the MHSA degree are modeled after a general business administration curriculum. The program prepares students for management careers in the unique environment of health care, including careers in health systems, hospital, clinic, and emergency services management. The MHSA degree is also appropriate for those seeking positions as planners, policy analysts, or consultants focusing on the financing, organization, quality and delivery of personal health services in either the public or the private sector.
In contrast, the MPH degree program promotes a broad focus on the myriad factors that influence population health, of which medical care is one. These factors include socioeconomic conditions, cultural beliefs and practices, behavioral risk factors, and environmental exposures. The MPH degree is appropriate for those who want to manage health programs in a wide range of institutions, both public and private. The degree also prepares students for public and private sector careers in public health policy, planning, and advocacy. Further, the MPH degree in Health Management and Policy is appropriate for those who plan to manage or direct programs in international health agencies. The curriculum provides training and skills in the management of public health programs and initiatives, and the analysis of public health policies.
Given the similarities in the MHSA and the MPH curricula and in the types of careers that graduates pursue, deciding which of the two degrees is most appropriate is difficult for some students. Health Management and Policy faculty can assist prospective and current students in this decision by discussing their career goals and their substantive interests in health.
The purpose of this tract is to train fellows in Infectious Diseases in the field of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. At CWRU, selected infectious disease fellows have the opportunity to acquire specialized skills and expertise in both Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology by completing the traditional clinical training and by completing a Master's degree in Epidemiology. By the end of the three year training program, a trainee will be board eligible in Infectious Diseases and will have obtained a Master's degree in Epidemiology. These credentials will be valuable to individuals interested in academic medicine or public health. The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at CWRU offers a flexible and high-quality curriculum for the Masters and PhD degrees that can be integrated into the clinical commitments of the fellowship. Through a series of required and elective courses that gradually increase in difficulty, the trainee is taught advanced principles of epidemiology and is introduced to a spectrum of biostatistical techniques. These skills are applied and developed by completing a research project of appropriate content, scope, and depth under the direction of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease faculty mentors. Thus, the focus of this training is a Master's thesis, which must be acceptable for peer-reviewed publication.
The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics houses the disciplines that form the scientific foundation for public health and education, including biostatistics, epidemiology, genetic epidemiology and health services research. The Department has biomedical data management center with a wide range of capabilities, from simple spreadsheet and word processing to sophisticated statistical packages, to on-line access to the Internet.
For the Master's degree in Epidemiology, 36 units are required for the degree. For the infectious disease fellow in training, the classroom work must be coordinated with the clinical commitments of the fellowship. The attached schedule allows the fellow to meet the requirements of both the fellowship and degree programs within 3 years.
The optimal candidate for this position is one with a genuine commitment to epidemiology or public health and is committed to devoting their career to one of these areas. The training is most appropriate for individuals interested in academic medicine. This program is not appropriate for someone who eventually sees himself/herself working in the private practice setting. The candidates should have a good background in mathematics, preferably with several semesters of calculus in college. They should have good analytic and quantitative skills and be able to communicate ideas verbally and in writing.
This course reviews common mathematical techniques used in the fields of epidemiology and biostatistics. It reviews the basic concepts of probability theory, calculus, and matrix algebra. Successful completion sections of this course may be required before enrolling in more advanced biostatistics courses. Usually physicians audit this course.
The graduate seminar (EPBI 501) is a noontime conference, similar to a journal club. Faculty and students from the Department are required to attend. In addition to attendance, students are required to present and critique a recent publication in the field of epidemiology, biostatistics, or health services research.
† There are a number of relevant electives that can be taken. The following are suggested: Clinical Trials (EPBI 450), Principles of Genetic Epidemiology (EPBI 451), or Genetic Epidemiology of Common Diseases (EPBI 455).
The Thesis Research (EPBI 651) can be performed throughout the 3 years of training. It would be optimal for the trainee to identify and area of research in the first year and begin to arrange for data collection. Also, it would be best if the projects selected by the students contribute to the ongoing research activities in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases at Metro and UH. Successful completion of the thesis research is a manuscript suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed medical journal.
During years 1 and 3, the trainee would see patients on a weekly basis in either the SIU ID, or Traveler's Clinics. The trainee would be expected to attend the Tuesday ID conference and all relevant conferences in the Department of Medicine (Grand Rounds, M&Ms). On occasion, a course may conflict with the ID conference.
Either a Second-class Honours degree of a recognised university in science, or a related subject or a degree in medicine. Applicants with an appropriate technical qualification and work experience, or equivalent qualifications, are also considered for admission to the course.
By the end of the course the students should be able to:
(i) demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi and basic criteria used in the classification/taxonomy of these micro-organisms.
(ii) explain the modes of transmission and the growth cycles of pathogenic micro- organisms.
(iii) demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and the outcomes of infections, including chronic microbial infections.
(iv) distinguish between and critically assess the classical and modern approaches to the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines for the prevention of human microbial diseases.
(v) demonstrate knowledge of the laboratory diagnosis of microbial diseases and practical skills, including the isolation and characterization of specific microbes in clinical specimens.
(vi) carry out a range of advanced skills and laboratory techniques, including the purification of isolated microbial pathogens, study of microbial growth cycles and analyses of their proteins and nucleic acids for downstream applications such as antibodies production and gene cloning and sequencing studies, and
(vii) demonstrate research skills, including designing experiments, analyzing results and trouble-shooting, critically assessing the scientific literature and/or carrying out a literature search.
After orientation students take the Foundation Unit - Introduction to Infectious Diseases - which focuses on current approaches to the study of infectious diseases. This Foundation Unit includes general immunology and an overview of host-pathogen interactions. All students take the core unit comprising Bacteriology and Virology. In exceptional cases, students with some years' experience in Bacteriology may, upon request, be allowed to take Term 1 compulsory core Virology unit. Sessions of basic computing, molecular biology and basic statistics are run throughout the term for all students.
A typical selection of units is given below, not all units will be available in any one year. Students choose one unit from each timetable slot. Some units can be taken only after consultation with the Course Organizer.
Clinical & Public Health Bacteriology 1 (linked).
Clinical & Public Health Bacteriology 2 (linked); Genetics of Pathogens & Vectors
Applied Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases: Advanced Practical Training in Gene Cloning; Mycology; Molecular Cell Biology & Infection.
Basic Parasitology; Molecular Virology.
Training in Research Methods 1 (linked); AIDS; Further Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases.
Chemotherapy of Microbial Diseases; Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Training in Research Methods 2 (linked).
Students complete a research project, which may be based on the analysis of a collection of results, a laboratory study, or in exceptional circumstances, a critical review of an approved topic. Students may bring with them collections of data obtained elsewhere and undertake further analysis.
Full-time for one calendar year
The course has been accredited by the Royal College of Pathologists as part of the professional experience of both medical and non-medical candidates for Membership. The course places particular emphasis on those practical aspects of the subjects most relevant to clinical laboratory practice.
Very promising new career
opportunities await scientists and engineers with strong backgrounds in both
biological sciences (especially at the molecular level) and computation.
Research and development efforts in fields variously described as
"bioinformatics" and "computational molecular biology” is increasing rapidly
with the advances being made in genomic research and structural biology.
For the past seven years, the Sloan Foundation has been supporting (jointly with the U.S. Department of Energy) a transitional postdoctoral awards program in computational molecular biology for recent PhDs in physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry and related fields. Both sponsors are very pleased with this program.
We believe there also is substantial and growing demand for persons with "professional masters degrees" education in this field. In 1999 the Foundation announced an experimental program to support the creation of such degree programs.
By "professional master's degree" we mean serious, intensive two-year professional degrees that qualify graduates to work as full professionals in groups engaged in high-quality research and development activities. Such professional degrees are now rare in most scientific fields, but might be seen as analogous to professional degrees that have long been highly prized in professions such as engineering, business and law, and we believe that a high-quality professional masters degree in bioinformatics would offer attractive alternative careers in scientific research and development. Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are seeking to rapidly expand their workforces in computationally intensive biological research, offering attractive remuneration packages and career prospects. Many such employers indicate a strong interest in recruiting new personnel at the masters rather than doctoral level, and thereby offer attractive alternative career paths for young people interested in science and technology. University research groups have also shown increasing interest in recruiting personnel with such backgrounds.
In the first round of grants for such new degrees, 8 grants were approved in support of 7 new professional master's degree programs:
The primary pool of students interested in such professional masters degrees seem likely to be those who have recently earned bachelors degrees in either biological fields or computational fields. There are large numbers of undergraduate majors in biology, biochemistry, cellular/molecular biology, evolutionary biology, computer science, engineering, and related fields. However, many of these graduates with either limited mathematics, statistics, and computer skills, or with limited biological knowledge, and hence are not able to qualify for entry-level jobs in biocomputationally-intensive fields.
In addition, there are a number of other potential pools of professional masters degree students. One consists of current employees of biotech and pharmaceutical companies who are seeking to upgrade or expand their skills and qualifications, or move out of the laboratory environment while still remaining in research. Others include recent graduate degree holders from other fields (e.g. mathematics, statistics, medicine, epidemiology, and computer science and engineering) who wish to apply their analytic skills to the fascinating challenges facing molecular biology and genome research.
A variety of curricula and curriculum formats for such professional masters degrees may be pro-posed. However, we expect that most will involve intensive two-year graduate degrees consisting primarily of course work, with some limited research involvement as well, and ideally with an industrial internship program. We also expect that most such proposals will require participation of departments or faculty from both biological and computationally-intensive departments of the university (e.g., computer science/engineering, mathematics), and include intensive work tailored to the background of each student in molecular biology, biochemistry, genomics, applied mathematics, statistics, computation, database management and design, and economics.
Since entering students might have considerable background in either biological or computational fields, different "tracks" or sets of courses would be appropriate for different students. The courses to be taken in computer science/engineering would differ from those in regular masters programs in that there would be a stronger focus on biological substance and systems analysis, and lesser attention to topics such as operating systems. Of particular value would be a curriculum which offered a course in complex problem solving. Proposed degrees might also involve some course work in the institution's business school, or intensive 2-3 week short courses in such topics. Enrollees who already have substantial back-ground /experience in bioinformatics/ computational biology might be made eligible for an appropriately expedited professional degree program on an individualized basis, or could utilize the program to augment their skills in complementary areas of focus, e.g. pharmacoeconomic, medical informatics, systems engineering, etc.
Proposals must demonstrate that the planned professional masters degrees have realistic potential to be economically sustainable without continuous Federal subsidies, as are professional graduate degrees in law, engineering, and business. This means that a realistic financial plan must be developed in which plausible levels of enrollment would produce revenues from tuition and other sources (such as capitation payments to state universities) sufficient to pay the program's costs, after an appropriate start-up period. The development of an Advisory Board for the proposed program, including members from both academic and industrial settings, would be beneficial in assuring that the graduates of these programs were being suitably recruited and trained.
In order to achieve critical mass, we expect that any such professional masters program would be scaled to include perhaps 15-40 students per entering class cohort. Such a minimum program class size would help foster the interactive and cooperative nature of the bioinformatics/ computational biology area, and provide access to a broader range of previous experience and knowledge sets than in typical masters degree programs in scientific fields.
More comprehensive information can be gained over the net. This literature was just intended to inform the student or the intern of the immense possibilities that are open to them.
The Internet is teeming with sites giving information regarding these programs.
Good search engines to use are: 1) Google 2)Ask Jeeves 3) Yahoo
An excellent site to visit is http://www.campustours.com/ .It lists university according to states and names.
Applications are for Fall semester and winter semesters.
12+4 years education completion that all graduates must fulfill.
GRE and TOEFL examinations.
Statement of Purpose-This is to state the persons achievements uptill the present point, future goals, why you wish to apply for the particular course and the particular university.
Recommendation letters if stated.
Application fee as stated.
Early applications and strong backgrounds may even give rise to tuition wavers and teaching assistantships after the first semester.
For specific queries
Dr. Yatin Gadgil- firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Adheet Gogate- email@example.com