School of Medicine and College of Health Professions launch joint M.D./M.P.H. program


The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the College of Health Professions (COHP) are partnering to offer a new dual degree program that will lead to a Doctor of Medicine degree and a master’s degree in public health.

Dr. Bobby Miller, vice dean for medical education at the School of Medicine, says the new collaboration will address the complexity of providing health care in the globalized world.

“This program will provide our student doctors with the opportunity to acquire public health knowledge and skills,” Miller said. “Our goal is to enable them to recognize, diagnose and address health problems and risk factors, not only for their patients, but entire communities locally and internationally.”

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program has been designed to integrate public health study with the M.D. curriculum, permitting students to complete both degrees in four years. Students may pursue either of two concentrations in public health. A track in global and community health emphasizes practice in population health, while a second concentration in research, evaluation and policy prepares students who anticipate working in health system change, including work in clinical research, program development and policymaking. With most courses offered in the evenings on both Huntington and South Charleston campuses, MPH study accommodates the schedules of medical students.

“Today’s physicians must confront shifting disease threats, advances in health technology, and transformations in how we obtain and finance care,” said Dr. William Pewen, director of the graduate program in Public Health. “Public health training not only aids physicians in their practice in such a dynamic environment, but it is critical to help them realize broader impact on the immense health problems facing our region and our nation.”