5 Popular Electives in a Master’s in Health Policy Program

Master's in Health Policy Electives

  • The Quality of Healthcare: An Evaluation
  • Public Management and the Healthcare System
  • Monitoring the Health of a Population
  • Communicating Public Health Information
  • Communicating Public Health Information

If you're earning a Master's in Health Policy, there are five popular electives you may want to consider as you progress through the program. These electives serve to enhance the information you learn in core courses. In addition, an elective class may help you decide what area of healthcare you want to work in after graduation.

Resource: Top 20 Online Health Policy Master's Degree Programs 2017-2018

1. The Quality of Healthcare: An Evaluation

In this elective course, students learn about the various approaches to healthcare as well as how health services are managed and implemented. Students learn about past methods of providing healthcare as well as current ones. They examine improvements that have been made in the system along with the reasons for any setbacks. Also, this course looks at issues happening within the system of healthcare that affect the overall quality of the services patients receive. Students find out about services patients will receive in the future that will boost the quality of their care.

2. Public Management and the Healthcare System

Students taking this type of course learn both the benefits and the drawbacks of having the government involved in healthcare. They study how policies affect people with and without the resources to pay for healthcare. Students become familiar with who controls decisions made in public healthcare along with the various steps in the process. The high cost of healthcare is discussed and how improvements can be made so that adequate healthcare can become readily available for people in all circumstances. Students look at the most important issues in the future of healthcare.

3. Monitoring the Health of a Population

This is an elective course concerned with teaching students about the process of assessing or evaluating the overall health of certain segments of the population. Students find out how to collect and interpret health data such as behavior risk factors, mortality, natality and more. They learn how this data is used to improve various parts of the healthcare system. Students are shown how this data can directly affect the efficiency of health services provided to urban, rural or other populations. A lot of the coursework deals with written research, studies and data collection.

4. Communicating Public Health Information

Students learn how to speak to different people or groups on the subjects of policy and public health issues. They are shown the proper way to speak to media outlets including television and radio so the audience can understand the health information being conveyed. In addition, students learn how to communicate in writing to legislators, colleagues and to the public. A student's writing must be clear and state the information in a succinct way so it achieves its purpose. Students practice their writing and speaking skills under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

5. Communicating Public Health Information

In this course, students look at healthcare from the perspective of prevention instead of treatment. They study practices that can add to the public's overall quality of health. They look at various programs focusing on prevention of illness and examine the parts of them that have been successful. Students study research and statistics pointing to the biggest health problems people will face in the future. More importantly, students examine what can be done to prevent those illnesses. Lastly, students look at how illness and disease education and prevention will change the look of healthcare in the future.

These are just a few of the electives open to students in this study program. It's a good idea for students to look at several electives to see which are most appealing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether a student wants to become an epidemiologist, a health policy analyst or another professional, these five popular electives can help them earn a Master's in Health Policy.

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