- Research Areas
- Program Areas
The interdisciplinary nature of the Department of Health Care Policy means that HCP faculty are active in teaching and training students throughout the University in a wide variety of areasâ€”in doctoral programs, in joint degree programs, and in multiple schools, in addition to our primary focus at Harvard Medical School.
The Departmentâ€™s educational activities are carried out both in classroom settings and in intensive advising of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as they conduct their research under the tutelage of the faculty. Faculty and trainees disseminate their research findings by publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals, attending conferences and presenting papers, holding brown-bag seminars in the department that are open to the community, and teaching.
Harvard Medical School Courses
Since every physician needs to know about the health care delivery system, the integrated curriculum at Harvard Medical School requires that students learn about the ins and outs of health care policy as part of their medical training. HCP's Introduction to Health Policy course, which was previously an elective, is now mandatory. HCP faculty teach numerous other courses at the Medical School, as well as at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School. Click here for a list of HCP courses.
Courses for Graduate Students
Graduate students in the department come from the university-wide program in health policy, as well as from several other doctoral programs, including epidemiology, statistics, and biostatistics. Within the Health Policy PhD Program there are several â€śtracksâ€ť: economics, decision sciences, medical sociology, organizational behavior, statistics and evaluative sciences, and political analysis.
Two major multiyear training grants are housed in the department, supporting 15 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows each year. One is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the other is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Graduate students are typically funded by a combination of training grants in their early years and research funding in later years. The department also hosts postdoctoral fellows, in fields such as statistics, economics, and medicine. Click here for a list of HCP courses.
Additional Courses, Web-Based Instruction
As part of our teaching mission, several HCP faculty members offer courses in health care policy to undergraduates at Harvard. These classes expose students to the basics of health care policy, setting the stage for further study in a broad range of areas in the field, including economics, statistics, and premed studies. Click here for a list of HCP courses.
In addition, HCP supports the website ImproveHealthCare.org, which offers a comprehensive web-based approach to educating physicians, medical students, and premed students about health policy through clinical cases and briefings on selected current topics. HCP Head Barbara J. McNeil, MD, PhD, is the project adviser.