PhD - Population Health Science

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Program Director's Welcome

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."  - President John F. Kennedy, Moon Speech, Sept. 12, 1962.

Chima, Charles.jpgIf JFK were to be president today, he probably would be giving a similar speech about bold and ambitious initiatives to solve the health and health care challenges of the 21st century.

Welcome to the John D. Bower School of Population Health’s PhD in Population Health Science Program website. We are delighted about your interest in our program, and will be glad to receive inquiries from prospective students and collaborators.

What an exciting time to work and train in population health! With the US healthcare system now consuming over three trillion dollars annually and continuing to deliver suboptimal outcomes, little wonder the growing calls for “uberization” and “amazonization” to achieve the triple aim of improved population health, reduced per capita expenditure on health care, and improved patient experience of health care. It is logical to assume that we first need to understand population health in order to improve it. What then what is population health? Is it just a rebranding of public health? How come the Unites States far outspends every other country on earth on health care, yet has subpar outcomes on many measures compared to its peers? What will it take to improve health outcomes and reduce the widening socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequities? How can we improve population health when majority of dollars for health are spent on health care? How do we improve outcomes when the top causes of death and disability today do not have easily understood fixes like vaccines and antibiotics? These are the type of questions that population health scientists seek to answer, and why we have built a timely yet forward thinking PhD program in the evolving field.

UMMC’s PhD program in population health science trains scientists to become leaders in this new era of emphasis on health and not healthcare. The program will educate students to examine health outcomes and patterns of health determinants, to develop policies, programs and interventions to reduce health inequities and improve population health outcomes, and to effectively communicate scientific findings to a range of stakeholders. Graduates of the program will be prepared to assume high-level research, teaching, leadership, and consulting roles in academia, value-based healthcare delivery, public and community health, and industry. Students will have the opportunity to work with our high-quality internal and affiliated external faculty to who lead innovative research, education, and practice projects focused on improving population health in Mississippi, the US, and across the globe.

Thank you for visiting our site. Please reach out to us with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Charles C. Chima, MBBS, DrPH, MSc
Program Director, PhD in Population Health Science