Educational Outcomes of a 4-Year MD-MPH Dual-Degree Program: High Completion Rates and Higher Likelihood of Primary Care Residency

Barbara S. Taylor, Paulina H. Mazurek, Stephanie Gutierrez, Joshua Tyson, Selina Futrell, Jeff Jackson, Joshua Hanson, Melissa A. Valerio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose In 2007, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston School of Public Health at San Antonio (UTHealth SPH) and UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine (LSOM) designed and implemented a 4-year dual MD and Master of Public Health (MPH) program. Dual MD-MPH programs wherein students can receive both degrees within 4 years are unique, and programmatic evaluation may have generalizable implications for accredited MD-MPH programs. Method Demographic information was collected from UTHealth SPH and LSOM student data. The primary outcome variable was MD-MPH program completion in 4 years. Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE) scores, United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and Step 2 scores, and successful primary care residency match data were compared between MD-MPH and MD-only students. Family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, and pediatrics were considered primary care residencies, and an analysis excluding obstetrics-gynecology was also conducted. Results Of 241 MD-MPH students enrolled 2007-2017, 66% were women, 22% Hispanic, and 10% African American. Four-year MD-MPH program completion occurred for 202 (93% of eligible) students; 9 (4.1%) received MD only, 3 (1.4%) received MPH only; and 4 (1.8%) received neither. MD-MPH students' median CBSE score was 2 points lower than for MD-only students (P =.035), but Step 1 and 2 scores did not differ. Primary care residency match was more likely compared with MD-only students, both including and excluding obstetrics-gynecology (odds ratio [OR]: 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31, 2.33; and OR: 1.36; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.82, respectively). Conclusions The 4-year MD-MPH program retains and graduates a socioeconomically and racial/ethnically diverse group of students with a 93% success rate. MD-MPH graduates were more likely to pursue primary care residency than non-dual-degree students, which may have implications for addressing population health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-898
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume97
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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