Curriculum and research environment
Our program provides a structured learning and research environment to ensure that fellows develop competency in core areas of health services research, including:
- biostatistics, epidemiology, and study design
- primary data collection methods
- analysis of large observational databases
- comparative effectiveness research methods
- fundamentals of quality and safety
- the design and conducting of quality improvement and implementation
- quality and safety measurement, and benchmarking
- behavioral and social sciences methods to influence actions of providers, patients, and families
- examination of IT applications that improve the coordination of care, decision support, and patient safety
- health policy, economics, and decision science
- use of geographic information system in HSR
- scientific communication and summarizing findings for policy makers, the public, and media
- responsible conduct, ethics, the role of review boards, and HIPAA requirements
Training and oversight is conducted at three noted research sites:
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Massachusetts General Hospital Department of General Academic Pediatrics
- The Department of Population Medicine (DPM) of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Each fellow is assigned to the site that best fits his/her research and mentoring needs, but all trainees meet together weekly. Our leadership team has achieved seamless integration across these sites and built an exceptionally collegial learning environment — a true "fellowship." First-year fellows learn directly by watching second-year fellows go through the process of narrowing their focus, beginning job searches, negotiating positions, and embarking on the next steps of their careers. We believe that the mutual support that trainees enjoy in our fellowship is critical to their longer term success.
Coursework at the Harvard School of Public Health, leading to an MPH or equivalent degree.
Weekly program seminars: We host weekly seminars ranging on a variety topics including works-in-progress seminars, faculty seminars in HSR focused on methodological issues, and skills seminars.
Mentorship is a key component of our program. Senior, interdisciplinary mentor teams help ensure that fellows meet key milestones, including:
- the design and execution of at least two studies, one involving analysis of a large existing database and the other involving a personally designed study with primary data collection
- presentation of results at local and national meetings and completion of manuscripts
- a specific plan for developing a career development award or other independent funding
We also understand that mentoring does not end with graduation from our program. Our faculty members routinely maintain mentoring relationships with fellows who stay at Harvard, as well as those who relocate to other institutions. The positive experience we've had with mentorships has resulted in a growing alumni network. Read more about our alumni.
Access to vast resources
Our extensive, committed core and affiliated faculty provide fellows access to an extraordinary array of well-supported mentors across multiple disciplines.
In addition, the Harvard-wide structure of the program is able to provide:
- A real-world context for research, as a result of direct engagement with healthcare delivery in our hospitals, community practice sites, extended delivery systems, and health plans.
- Partnerships with organizations that have direct impact on the quality, safety, and equity of care, including the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality, the Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, and the Disparities Solutions Center at MassGeneral.
- Access to large defined populations, their providers, and related clinical, administrative, and claims-based databases, and to senior researchers experienced in their use.