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Education for health: case studies of two multidisciplinary MPH/MSc public health programmes in the UK

Education for health: case studies of two multidisciplinary MPH/MSc public health programmes in the UK

Public Health 117(5): 366-376

ISSN/ISBN: 0033-3506

PMID: 12909428

DOI: 10.1016/s0033-3506(03)00128-8

Amidst the winds of change that are blowing across the UK public health (PH) landscape in relation to the essential abilities and national standards that are required for the 'art and science' of PH, the preparation for a new cadre of 'PH professionals' is already underway. Several postgraduate masters programmes in public health (MPH) have taken on board the challenge of addressing the requisite sets of skills and expertise as a guide to their content and delivery. Although there are recommendations regarding teaching PH to undergraduate medical students, little consensus seems to exist on teaching postgraduate PH to non-medically qualified professionals, health managers and administrators. Employing a case study approach, this article analyses the methods used, philosophies and processes, structure and organization, outcomes to date, and lessons learnt from MPH programmes implemented at two institutions in the UK. The programmes have been initiated recently, and have had the opportunity to take on board the recent national guidelines about training standards. The findings indicate that preparatory work of the programmes, and the challenges and strengths in meeting the recent policy developments in PH training are pertinent points. The MPH programmes highlight key issues in interprofessional education and its purpose, its process and its outcomes in relation to multidisciplinary specialist practice. These programmes provide a variety of models for others wishing to develop or restructure their postgraduate PH teaching programmes. The finalization of the national standards for specialist practice in PH in the UK is encouraged, along with clearer working definitions of the domains of expertise required. Collectively, attention to these measures can ensure that the processes which teaching programmes embrace to refine their content and delivery will equip tomorrow's professionals with PH knowledge and skills.

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Accession: 003723119

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