Evidence for the value of the DrPH in public health
Little, Ruth Gaskins
Both the number of schools of public health and number of DrPH programs have grown by more than 40% since 2000. It has only been since the 1980s that the DrPH degree has been articulated as the highest professional doctorate or clinical practice equivalent degree for the profession of public health. The purpose of this study was to investigate the terminal and graduate degrees of public health leaders as delineated by three distinct categories of deans of schools of public health, state health directors and leaders of national professional public health agencies as well as determine leaders' leaders' perceptions and future demand for the DrPH in public health. The conceptual framework of this study was based on Clayton Christensen's disruptive innovation theory which posits disruption occurs when new products emergence in the marketplace that displaces the position of established products by capturing a place in the competing marketplace. The participants for study constituted public health leaders in three categories; deans of schools of public health, state health directors and leaders of national public health agencies. Results reveal the PhD degree was held by more deans of schools of public health (50%) than state health directors (4%) and leaders of national public health organizations (26%). The MD degree, a professional doctorate degree, was held by 47% deans, 64% of state health directors, and 52% leaders of national public health agencies. Leaders in all three categories were 61% male and 34% female; conversely the gender of students enrolled in public health programs is more than 60% female. Findings of this study suggest the need to address future changes in the gender distribution of future leaders reflective of the diversity of the population obtaining public health degrees. Sixty-four percent of current state health directors had a MD degree; however the number of MD's obtaining public health degrees dropped in half in 2009-2010. This has important consequences for future state health directors trained in the principles of public health. Study findings clearly indicate the DrPH is valued by public health leaders and represents the highest practice degree for the profession of public health practice.
Little, Ruth Gaskins. (January 2014). Evidence for the value of the DrPH in public health (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4498.)
Little, Ruth Gaskins. Evidence for the value of the DrPH in public health. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, January 2014. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4498. July 29, 2021.
Little, Ruth Gaskins, “Evidence for the value of the DrPH in public health” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, January 2014).
Little, Ruth Gaskins. Evidence for the value of the DrPH in public health [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2014.
East Carolina University