. "2. History and Current Status of Public Health Education in the United States." Who Will Keep the Public Healthy? Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
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Who Will Keep the Public Healthy?: Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century
and describe progress made since the landmark report The Future of Public Health (IOM, 1988).
Many college graduates who work in public health are educated in other disciplines. For example, of the total public health workforce, nurses make up about 10.9 percent and physicians comprise about 1.3 percent (Center for Health Policy, 2000). The HRSA list of categories of public health occupations includes administrators, professionals, technicians, protective services, paraprofessionals, administrative support, skilled craft workers, and service/maintenance workers. Within these categories fall a number of different kinds of positions (see Appendix E for complete list) including administrative/business professional, public health dental worker, public health veterinarian/animal control specialist, environmental engineering technician, and community outreach/field worker.
Within public health education, the basic public health degree is the M.P.H., while the doctor of public health (Dr.P.H.) is offered for advanced training in public health leadership. There are also individuals working in public health who receive academic degrees (e.g., M.S. and Ph.D.) in public health disciplines such as epidemiology, the biological sciences, biostatistics, environmental health, health services and administration, nutrition, and the social and behavioral sciences. The public health workforce also includes many professionals trained in disciplines such as social work, pharmacy, dentistry, and health and public administration.
Most persons who receive formal education in public health are graduates of one of the 32 accredited schools of public health or of one of the 45 accredited M.P.H. programs. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is responsible for adopting and applying the criteria that constitute the basis for an accreditation evaluation. In 1998–1999 there were 5,568 graduates from the then 29 accredited schools of public health (ASPH, 2000). The majority of these graduates (61.5 percent) earned an M.P.H. degree, an additional 28.4 percent received a masters degree in some other discipline, and 10.1 percent earned doctoral degrees (ASPH, 2000). According to a survey conducted by Davis and Dandoy (2001), the 45 accredited programs in Community Health and Preventive Medicine (CHPM) and in Community Health Education (CHE) graduate between 700 and 800 master’s degree students each year.
There are other programs in which students receive master’s level training in public health. These include programs in public administration and affairs, health administration, and M.P.H. programs in schools of medicine. In 1997–1998 an unknown number of the 9,947 graduates of masters degree programs in public administration and affairs (M.P.A.) emphasized public health in their training (NASPAA, 2002). The Association of University