David Lee - 3rd year medical student
David Lee is pursuing his MPH degree between his third and fourth years at University of Michigan Medical School. Between core rotations and sub-internships is the perfect time to get an MPH degree, explains David, as the MPH experience can then shape one’s specialty and residency decisions. David is in the Health Policy and Administration track and plans to specialize in Internal Medicine.
“Traditionally, doctors learn what they need to know about health policy and administration as they go along,” explains David, “and are ill-equipped to deal with new and upcoming developments, like health care reform or the trend for physicians to work for large health systems rather than entering private practice. The landscape of healthcare is changing so rapidly that it is becoming increasingly important for my generation of physicians to understand how policy and medical practice intersect, and how to shape the systems better.”
David’s practicum has been an edifying case study. Working with Cynthia Sparer, Executive Director of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, he has been involved in several important projects, including reconfiguring the inpatient units by condition rather than by age. With the continuing trend of increasing specialization in medical care, condition-based units facilitate better skill development of the medical staff. This practicum has given David the opportunity to view healthcare from every aspect of hospital operations, from clinical staff to finance, decision support, quality management, executive management, etc. “Had I simply continued with medical school,” says David, “I never would have gained the perspective on the American healthcare system that I have now gotten from the HPA track.”