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Classroom

Courses

Below is a list of our core and elective courses.

Individuals from throughout the Penn community are welcome to take courses with the MSHP. However, permission from the Course Director is required. For permission, email them directly or contact mshp@mail.med.upenn.edu. Course times and locations can be found on the Registrar's website.

CLass

 

Core Course Descriptions

HPR 501: Economics of Health Care Delivery - Summer Year 1

Mark Pauly, PhD, Bendheim Professor of Health Care Systems, Business and Public Policy, Insurance and Risk Management, and Economics, the Wharton School.
Please note: This course is only open to full time Masters of Science in Health Policy Research Fellows.
This course covers how medical care is produced and financed in private and public sectors, economic models of consumer and producer behavior, and applications of economic theory to health care.

HPR 600: Introduction to Health Policy and Health Services Research - Summer Year 1

 

Zachary Meisel, MD, MPH, MS, MSHP, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine; Associate Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Perelman School of Medicine.
This course will provide students with an introduction to health services and health policy research. First, faculty representing various departments and schools at the University of Pennsylvania will introduce students to a number of "hot topics," including health disparities, medical decision making, neighborhoods and health, quality of care, access to care, behavioral
incentives, and cost effectiveness research. Second, the course will offer an introduction to various career paths in the research and policy domains. Third, the course will provide a brief overview of practical issues such as grant opportunities, data options, publishing, and dissemination.

HPR 603: Health Services and Policy Research Methods I - Fall Year 1

Judith Long, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine; Director, Masters of Science in Health Policy Research, Perelman School of Medicine.
Judy Shea, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

This course will introduce students to commonly used primary data collection methods and provide multiple examples of how they have been used in health services research. Through the course students will define a primary data collection research project and develop the methods necessary to conduct the project. To get the full benefit of this course, students should use this course to develop the methods they plan to employ in their primary data collection project.

HPR 604: Introduction to Statistics for Health Policy - Fall Year 1

Wei-Ting Hwang, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine
This is the first semester of a two-semester sequence. It is essentially an introductory statistics course covering descriptive statistics, probability, random variables, estimation, sampling, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals. The second semester stresses regression models.

HPR 606: Fundamentals of Health Policy - Fall Year 2

David Grande, MD, MPA, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Associate Director, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Perelman School of Medicine
While academic researchers often think of health policy in terms of research evidence and outcomes, politics and political processes also play important roles. The purpose of this course is to provide those pursuing careers in health services research and health policy with an understanding of the political context from which U.S. health policy emerges. This understanding
is important for researchers who hope to ask and answer questions relevant to health policy and position their findings for policy translation. This understanding is important as well to policy leaders seeking to use evidence to create change. The class provides an overview of the U.S. health care system and then moves on to more comprehensive understanding of politics and government, including the economics of the public sector, the nature of persuasion, and techniques and formats for communication. The course emphasizes reading, discussion and applied policy analysis skills in both written and oral forms. Concepts will be reinforced with case studies, written assignments and a final policy simulation exercise where students will be placed in the position of political advisors and policy researchers.

HPR 607: Health Services and Policy Research Methods II - Spring Year 1

Andrew J. Epstein, PhD, MPP, Research Associate Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Empirical research for health care policy frequently involves the analysis of observational data-information that is not primarily collected for research purposes. With the rapid increase in U.S. health information technology capacity, future opportunities for research using these "secondary data" appear promising. The objective of this course is to teach the skills necessary to conduct quality health policy research using secondary data. These skills include formulating research aims and applying appropriate study designs for achieving these aims. The course will also include a survey of the content and structure of several commonly used administrative and public databases available to researchers and workshops to develop the skills to access and manipulate these valuable resources.

HPR 608: Applied Regression Analysis for Health Policy Research -Spring Year 1

Nandita Mitra, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania.
The course deals with the work horse of quantitative research in health policy research-the single outcome, multiple predictor regression model. In this course, students will learn how to 1) select an appropriate regression model for a given set of research questions/hypotheses, 2) assess how adequately a given model fits a particular set of observed data, and 3) how to correctly
interpret the results from the model fitting procedure. After a brief review of fundamental concepts, students will spend five weeks covering the major topics in this course using the example of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression. In the second half of this course, students will extend what they have learned to cover more complicated data situations.

HPR 609: Research in Progress/LDI Lab

David Asch, MD, MBA, Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program; Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Innovation.
Judith A. Long, MD, Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program; Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine.

Please note: This course is only open to full time Masters of Science in Health Policy Research Fellows.
This course provides opportunities for students to present on their work to their peers and faculty from the program and receive constructive feedback. The course meets twice a month throughout the academic year and students attend and present during each of the two years that they are in the program.

Elective Courses

Three credit units of electives are available to supplement the core curriculum to provide instruction in quantitative and qualitative methods. Electives can be taken from the program or in schools across the University.

HPR 503: Qualitative Methods in Health Research

Frances K. Barg, PhD, MEd, Associate Professor, Perelman School of Medicine
Judy Shea, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
The purpose of this course is to expose students to a variety of qualitative approaches/methodologies that may be used in health services/policy research. In didactics we will discuss the pros and cons of a range of qualitative method how the method is actually implemented (with multiple experts presenting approaches), and pair the presentation with a broader discussion in which students compare and contrast health oriented articles in which the method was used. Students will compare and contrast health oriented articles in which the method was used. Students will have the opportunity to apply the theoretical approaches to their own research interests with direct input from the faculty and their peers.

HPR 504: Principles and Practice of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Jennifer S. Myers, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Kathleen Burke, PhD, RN, Assistant Dean for Clinical Nurse Learning and Innovation, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Healthcare delivery is complex and constantly changing. A primary mission of leading healthcare organizations is to advance the quality of patient care by striving to deliver care that is safe, effective, efficient, timely, cost effective, and patient-centered. The goal of this inter professional course is to provide students with a broad overview of the principles and tools of quality improvement and patient safety in health care. It will provide a foundation for students or practicing clinicians who are interested in quality improvement and patient safety research, administration, or clinical applications to get the full benefit of this course, students should use this course to identify the tools and design methods that they plan to employ in a real quality improvement or patient safety project in their area of interest.

HPR 550: Clinical Economics and Decision Making

Sankey Williams, MD, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Henry Glick, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
This course focuses on the application of decision analysis and economic analysis of diagnostic tests using two by two tables, likelihood ratios, and ROC curves. The course continues with the introduction of more general tools for decision analysis, including decision trees and other mathematical models. A major focus of the course is the application of economic principles to the evaluation of health outcomes. During seminars, students will carry out practical exercises that include problem solving, critically analyzing published articles, and learning to use computer software that facilitates decision and economic analyses.

HPR 580: Outcomes Research

Jeffrey Silber, MD, PhD, Professor of Health Care Management; Director, Center for Outcomes Research, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
This course is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses issues related to the measurement of quality in healthcare. Included is a review of the classical-structure-process-outcome quality paradigm. The paradigm's strengths and limitations are addressed. This part especially focuses on outcome measures of quality and examines the validity of alternative measures. The second part deals with observational, or quasi-experimental, research studies. It addresses the advantages and limitations of alternative designs, and covers the role of clinical risk adjustment in observational studies of medical interventions. It focuses on the problem of selection bias, and reviews recent methods for dealing with this bias, such as instrumental variables.

HPR 601 & HPR 621: Contextual Foundations of Community Health 1 & 2

Lucy Tuton, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Medicine; Director, Program Development in Community Health, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Please note: This course is only open to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars.
In this course, students will be introduced to the social and cultural context of community health, an understanding of which is critical to the successful conduct of community-oriented research. The primary course objective is for students to learn about the dynamic between societal and cultural factors and health outcomes such as quality of life, morbidity and survival, and health disparities. Relying on an asset model approach to learning about communities, the course will (1) incorporate a series of didactic sessions that describe the diversity of the Philadelphia region with respect to cultural, environmental, economic, faith-based, ethical, and political influences on community health in order to (2) prepare the students to conduct a case study focusing on a population and/or issue addressing a diversity of health and social service needs. These course components are intended to assist students in developing the lens through which they will consider research questions leading to successful community oriented research.

HPR 602 & HPR 622: Topics in Leadership for Health Policy 1 & 2

Anthony Rostain, MD, MS, Professor of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine
Lucy Tuton, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Medicine; Director, Program Development in Community Health, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Please note: This course is only open to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars.

In this seminar series, students combine didactic sessions reviewing core leadership concepts and skills with reflective discussions on experiences in leadership through their training and community relationships.

HPR 605: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Health

David Rubin, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Please note: This course is only open to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars.
In this seminar series, students select topics for in-depth discussion with visiting speakers from a wide range of disciplines. The discussions are led by core Clinical Scholar Program faculty. Each topic involves 5 to 6 sessions with the initial session focusing on critical appraisal of relevant literature.

HPR 610: Achieving Evidence-Based Health Policy

Sarah Zlotnik, MSW, MSPH, Senior Strategist, PolicyLab, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Marsha Gerdes, PhD, Co-director, Neonatal Follow-up Program, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Examines how research can influence health policy. Individual sessions will be devoted to topics such as the Nurse-Family Partnership program, health insurance, tobacco use, and early childhood mental health. Sessions will examine: how selection of research methods may influence results; the dialectical relationship between research and policy; and the role of various stakeholders (the media, foundations, government, advocates) in both research and policy debates. Didactic topical research presentations will be followed by interactive discussions examining how research findings translate (or, as the case may be, do not translate) into policy. Guest speakers will include research and policy experts from the public and private sectors. Enrollment is limited to 12.

HPR 611: Implementation Science in Health and Health Care

Frances K. Barg, PhD, MEd, Associate Professor, Perelman School of Medicine
Judy Shea, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
In this course, we will highlight a suite of qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods that address the features of implementation science. The course will include an introduction to the foundational aspects of implementation science, followed by guest speakers who describe their implementation science research. The structure of the course will focus on 3 successive stages-(1) introduction to the foundation/theory of implementation science, (2) exposure to researchers conducting implementation research, and (3) and learning how to critically evaluate and design implementation science studies. An emphasis on specific tools in qualitative and mixed methods approaches is included.



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