1. Based on your experience and familiarity with the fellows and the programs, what did the Pew program really accomplish? What are the most important contributions?
We've produced a large number of successful PhD grads and a smaller of number of midcareer folks who made substantial shifts in their professional interest and orientation to health policy. In addition, we built a strong curriculum structure which is continued.
2. How and why did your specific program develop? To what extent will your program continue now that Pew funding has ceased?
The program was born out of a long term relationship between UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and RAND. When Pew sent the letters way back, they sent a letter to both UCLA and RAND and basically said that we should get together and write a proposal. So that's what we did, and that proposal was obviously successful. And, yes, it continues in the sense that we have joint courses taught by faculty at both the RAND Graduate School and the UCLA School of Public Health. What doesn't continue in any consistent way is a rich fellowship. We do have fellowships, but they are not as reliable and not as rich as they were in the Pew days. I think we tend to get more MDs who have the means to support themselves taking the programs. Thus, in recent years we've produced more MDs/PhDs, some of whom have had the RWJ Clinical Scholars support.
3. What was the need in the health policy community when your program started, and how have those needs changed? To what extent has the Pew program met the changing needs?
The need was clearly expressed in terms of inadequate numbers of broadly trained health policy people. Most of that need and demand was in the public sector, and over time the public sector, if it has not shrunk, has certainly not expanded, at least on the federal side. More people are going into private activities in some degree in the state government. Our folks tend to be quite strongly trained health policy researchers, and there are as many positions as there were before. We clearly have done well in meeting those needs in the sense that our fellows have gotten good positions. But there just aren't as many positions except in the private sector now. There is clearly a movement toward private-sector jobs.