Brown Launches Accelerated MPH for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals with Advanced Degrees

Brown Launches Accelerated MPH for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals with Advanced Degrees

PROVIDENCE, RI [Brown University] — To provide a tailored academic program for clinicians and health professionals looking to broaden their scope of expertise from patients to population health, Brown University is launching a new accelerated master’s degree in public health.

The School of Public Health’s one-year program, which is now accepting applicants, is intended for health professionals who already hold a doctorate in health fields as well as those who have completed at least two years of medical studies.

Annie Gjelsvik, director of the school’s traditional master’s in public health program, said MPH’s accelerated program for clinicians is designed to meet the growing need for clinicians with knowledge and experience in public health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the incredible importance of public health,” Gjelsvik said. “There has also been an increased interest in public health education and finding ways to integrate public health into the medical practice of health care. As the field continues to gain attention, the methods and programs by which Brown teaches public health must also evolve. The accelerated version of our MPH program is designed to complement clinicians’ existing expertise while developing them into public health experts and leaders.

Dr. Scott Rivkees, Professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice at Brown, will serve as associate director of MPH’s accelerated program.

“The program will enrich the public health field by attracting more professionals with diverse health care backgrounds,” Rivkees said. “At the same time, the program enables health professionals to broaden their scope of practice by integrating public health into their field. Additionally, the program is designed to build the research skills and leadership experience of healthcare professionals.

Unlike the traditional two-year MPH program, the accelerated program is designed to be completed in a single year, beginning with an online session in July. The remainder of the program consists of eight courses delivered in person during the fall and spring semesters, with students completing graduation requirements in time to graduate in May.

In addition to four core MPH courses, the program will include five new offerings, including an online leadership and communication course run by Rivkees. In helping to develop the course, Rivkees said he drew on his experience as a former Florida state surgeon general during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the things that became evident working in this role and interacting with other public health workers was how essential advanced leadership and communication training is in times of crisis,” Rivkees said. “People in leadership positions in hospital systems or health services may interact with countless employees as well as the public. They must be able to communicate and lead in a way that is not only engaging, but also builds trust. In this course, students will hone the leadership and communication skills essential for success in public health.

The accelerated program will consider students’ past and current clinical experiences and allow them to complete an internship in a clinical health care setting that matches their interests.

Additionally, accelerated MPH students will complete an integrated learning experience course that provides the opportunity to synthesize their public health skills and experiences into a capstone project.

By the end of the program, Rivkees said, students will have developed skills in core areas of public health action and research.

“This program will provide clinicians with training in basic public health knowledge, skills and applications, and set them on a path where they can contribute to public health in a meaningful way, by connecting public health to their disciplines” , Rivkees said.

The first cohort will begin in the summer of 2023. Additional information about MPH’s accelerated program is available at

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