Telephone interview with Doctoral Alumna Patricia Butler Thursday, August 24, 1995, 11:00 a.m.

1a. Based on your experience and familiarity with the Pew program, what did the fellowship really accomplish? What are the most important contributions?

I had three objectives when I went into the program: (1) to learn a number of specific technical areas that I had not previously had formal training in; (2) to have a chance to think about the great health policy issues of the day in a more academic setting; and (3) to read the classic literature in the field, because my background is in law and although I've been in health policy for almost all of my career (about 25 years), I had no formal training in it, so I always felt that I might be missing some of the literature that everybody who has formal training had. Of the three objectives, two were very well met and another not so much met given the nonresidential nature of the Michigan program. The courses that I particularly wanted to have training in were epidemiology, research methods, biostatistics, health economics, and, to my surprise, health behavior, which turned out to be one of the most useful and interesting subjects that we studied. I really got my money's worth there. In terms of reading the classics in the field, I now feel that I have that under my belt. In some cases I was pleasantly surprised that I had read a lot of the material but I need a confirmation of that.

Because the program was nonresidential, we went to classes for a long weekend every month. That meant 30 hours of classes virtually nonstop. Unlike a residential program, where you might have a couple of hours of classes a day and then you could perhaps go off to have a beer or coffee with your classmates and maybe even your faculty members in the great old tradition of graduate school, that opportunity for us was rare. People were so busy, and by the time we were done with class at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday night, the last thing we wanted to do was spend any more time with one another. Although we always did go out together at least once. I had hoped, perhaps unrealistically, that we would have had a chance to process what we had learned together, but we were always too shot.

The fact that we were connected by a computer system did allow us to communicate actively, even though we came from all over the country. We were able to talk about current issues through this medium, and that was helpful. Some people participated more actively than others, and the faculty

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