MD-MPH Dual Degree Programs List and Information 2023

Oct 25, 2021

An MD-MPH degree is a dual degree program that offers both a medical degree and a master’s of public health degree. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about MD-MPH degrees and programs.

Table of Contents

What is an MD-MPH degree?

An MD-MPH degree is a dual medical degree and a Master’s of Public Health degree. This degree prepares students to be physicians with an expertise in population health. MD-MPH physicians approach health as a population or community-based issue instead of an individual one. This perspective equips physicians to see the whole picture of a patient’s symptoms and treat health problems related to economic, cultural, religious, or social issues. Therefore, this dual degree helps you integrate the medical topics you learn in your MD program with the information you are learning about public health.

How long do MD-MPH degrees take to complete?

The duration of the MD-MPH depends on each programs’ requirements. Usually, students apply to the MPH degree during their second year of medical school. Then they begin MPH coursework during their third year. The coursework for the MPH degree takes a full year. Unless students decide to perform research in public health, their total time completing the MD-MPH dual degree is an average of 5 years. Check your program of interest for detailed timelines and criteria.

What job opportunities are available with this degree?

Graduates of MD-MPH programs are well-prepared for careers as physicians. They will efficiently be able to diagnose health problems and risk factors of individual patients and entire communities. In addition to being a physician, people with MD-MPH degrees can work in research, consulting, and policy. 

The five most popular career paths for an MD-MPH degree are epidemiologist, public health educator, clinical researcher, biostatistician, and health service administrator.

Epidemiologists

Epidemiologists study outbreaks of disease, where they originate from, and how they affect communities in the short and long term. In turn, they also study how they can help prevent diseases and how those diseases are affected by specific bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and how they work. Epidemiologists are usually employed by government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Public Health Educators

Public Health Educators focus on delivering up-to-date and correct health information to communities. In other words, they focus on health communication in order to engage different populations and communities. This might include developing outreach programs, conducting workshops, and creating media content in health journals, magazines, and in digital resources.

Clinical Researchers

Clinical researchers are  physician-scientists with a focus on clinical or translational medicine. Depending on their role in the clinic or laboratory, clinical researchers may be in charge of maintaining research regulations in the laboratory, running clinical trials, interacting with patients, and maintaining organized records of their trials. 

Biostatisticians

Biostatisticians are trained to determine factors that impact health and diseases. They do so by applying statistics and mathematics to real biological data collected in research or clinical trials. In addition, biostatisticians study the effects and risk factors of medical treatments in clinical studies taking place in pharmaceutical companies, university research, hospital laboratories, agricultural firms, and other medical corporations. 

Healthcare Administrators

Healthcare administrators are directors or managers of hospitals or similar organizations. In this role, they are responsible for running the hospital, keeping up with evolving health policies, managing budgets, running research trials, and managing employees as well. Although the setting is typically in hospitals, health care administrators do not interact with patients at all.

What are the salary ranges for MD-MPH career paths?

The national range of salaries for the careers described in the previous section are:

  • Epidemiologist: $71k-140k
  • Public Health Educator: $50-81k
  • Clinical Researcher: $76-130k
  • Biostatistician: $60-100k
  • Health Service Administrator: $50-110k

Does the MPH degree require a specialization?

The MPH degree does not usually have a concentration requirement, but most programs do offer students the opportunity to complete a focus area of study. Depending on student interests and the program itself, specializations may include epidemiology, health policy, family or women’s health, preventive medicine, sociomedical sciences, and environmental health.

Is the MD-MPH degree right for you?

The Master of Public Health degree gives MDs the opportunity to learn about research study design, community health, epidemiology, biostatistics, and related topics. These graduate-level courses will give you a well-rounded view of community health and how it relates to your patients’ health. This joint degree will prepare you to research the causes, prevention, and control of diseases. If you are considering whether the MD/MPH path is right for you, try answering the following questions:

Do you want to do clinical research?

Many MDs pursue MPH degrees so that they can focus their practice in clinical trials or preventative medicine. Another focus area is infectious diseases and how they are affected by different environments.

Are you interested in healthcare policy or health management?

One of the easiest ways to decide if the MD/MPH is right for you is to consider your career options. Aside from epidemiology, one of the most popular career tracks is health care policy and management. This entails analysis of health care issues and delivery so that you can contribute to the legislation of health care delivery and outcomes.

Would you like to work in international healthcare?

Are you concerned about global health, third-world, or low-income countries? An MD/MPH degree will give you the framework you need to work abroad in marginalized communities to help with disease prevention, programs to boost community health services, and education.

Do you have a desire to work exclusively with underserved populations?

If you have an interest in protecting and improving the public health of rural and underserved communities, then this joint track may be right for you. Many MD/MPH physicians work in population and family health of low-income communities. This focus is different than international health care because it is focused on rural areas in America, as opposed to working countries worldwide. 

The MD/MPH degree is a great option for students who want a robust understanding of factors that affect local and global health and who want to develop skills in policy advocacy, research, community practice, and leadership. However, it is possible to dedicate part of your career to low-income community health without this joint degree. The key is to consider what you want your career to consist of in the long term, and whether you would like to focus on being a practicing physician or if you would like to also be an advocate for community, family, or global health and policy.

Which medical schools offer MD-MPH degrees?

Here is a list of all the medical schools that offer MD/MPH degrees: 

Further reading

M.D. vs D.O. School: Medical Degree Comparisons 

BS/MD Dual Degree 

Med School Secondary Fees List

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