The Health Care and Prevention MD-MPH program (www.hcandp.unc.edu) is one of the largest and best developed programs in the country, and many students apply to UNC School of Medicine to participate in this program. The foundational coursework focuses on health policy, particularly from the perspective of clinicians, and prevention from the perspective of the population. Additionally, students develop skills in epidemiology, biostatistics and critical appraisal of the medical literature. Abundant elective opportunities allow students to focus on particular areas of interest or develop more depth in a specific topic. The UNC MD-MPH program is attractive because 1) the program is designed and taught by clinicians and public health faculty with national leadership in this area, 2) the Gillings School of Public Health is ranked #2 in the country and 3) it is convenient and inexpensive to do.
Between 15 and 25 percent of each medical student class graduate from the MD-MPH program. It is best to enter after the third year, since the program builds on clinical experience. In practical terms, most students apply in February of their third year of medical school, and most pursue the Health Care and Prevention concentration. Total time in the program is 12 months, and students may shorten their fourth year SOM requirements by one month. Other Public Health programs such as Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health, and Health Policy and Management are open to medical students but require a separate application and may take longer to complete. Students interested in the Health Care and Prevention program can learn more by visiting www.hcandp.unc.edu.