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The Lessons and The Legacy of the Pew Health Policy Program
package that Pew students use in their statistics and methodology courses.
Similarly, the introductory course taught at the beginning of the program aims to give students a clearer understanding of the goals and structure of the program so that as they proceed in their course work they have a solid sense of how the various components fit together. This includes an understanding of how the course work relates to the qualifying examination, which they need to take to achieve candidacy, as well as to the dissertation, and how all of these elements are intended to serve the basic goals of the program.
Another part of this introductory course consists of presentations and seminars by guest lecturers, which are intended to expose students to a broad range of approaches to the analysis of health policy issues. An important goal of this series of seminars is to illustrate how several of the individual elements covered in Pew program courses are brought together by experienced analysts and researchers in addressing specific policy questions and issues.
Statistics and Methodology
Graduates of the Pew program at the University of Michigan are expected to have the kind of grounding in statistics and research methods that will enable them to make discerning use of the literature and to know what is required to turn out high-quality health policy research and evaluations. Since they are not being trained to be full-time researchers, the emphasis is on gaining a firm grasp of the fundamentals and of the methods and approaches most likely to be of use for health policy. This is seen as providing the necessary base for any subsequent learning of more intricate or specialized approaches that individuals may wish to pursue or for collaborating with those who have specialized knowledge about such approaches.
A series of four courses is offered in this area. Each course is meant to reinforce and build upon previously acquired knowledge. In addition, the topics covered in these four courses come up again and are expanded upon in other courses, such as epidemiology, economics, and the seminar on disease prevention and the environment.
Statistics is one of the areas in which the Pew students must pass a so-called prerequisite examination at the start of the program. To pass it students must demonstrate knowledge at the level of an introductory graduate course in sta-