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Posted at: Jun 12, 2019, 7:45 AM; last updated: Jun 12, 2019, 7:45 AM (IST)

Explore many dimensions of MPH

Explore many dimensions of MPH

Pankaj Gupta

Remember the simpler days when our dreams were restricted amongst core jobs such as doctor and engineer? When one’s medical journey led to either being a doctor or a medical practitioner. When opportunities post MBBS remained in restrictive categories? Apparently, the diaspora education has evolved to such an extent that life after MBBS is enriching, as various verticals of health and welfare expand to create newer positions and avenues to contribute towards the benefit of a robust future.This is a world envisioned based on demands and hence, the educational world evolving to meet these circumstances.

Amongst the most plum of health-related avenues is that of Public Health, which entails all aspects of promoting and maintaining the standards of  people’s health. There are specialised courses that empower and guide students for this role, the most important being MPH or Master of Public health.

What it is

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree entails on nuances of public health practices, on both grass root and government levels. Here, students are encouraged to develop strong competencies over a set of integrated interdisciplinary domains such as Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Policy and Systems, Public Health Leadership and Management, Evidence Based Policy and Health Care, Health Communication, Diversity and Culture, Program Management and Planning, Public Health Biology, Systems Thinking and  Environmental Health Sciences. This degree often supplements the skill sets achieved by an MBBS course, making it the perfect post-MBBS programme.who can get into this field 

1 Physicians: MPH covers preventive care and patient education — two of the most crucial aspects that every physician needs to master. This degree provides expertise to conduct awareness programmes among patients, lowering the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases.

2Nurses: MPH programme has newly inculcated the branch of Occupational Health Nursing. Now, degree holders can oversee various community outreach programmes at their facilities, while gaining a chance to work with educational institutions and nonprofit organisations in the field of public health.

3Occupational and environmental health specialists: MPH changes the focus from individual-specific issues to population-based problems. This makes it easier for individuals to understand the impact of the environment on the health of the community, grooming enthusiasts into being catalysts of change.

4Epidemiologists and biostatisticians: Epidemiologists and biostatisticians gain great knowledge from undertaking an MPH course. It helps them to get an understanding of diverse social, economic, cultural and religious factors that impact community health, bringing in a broader perspective into the table.

5Policy analysts: Public health forms an integral aspect of public policy and programmes, based on which the betterment of the world is considered. Analysts with a master’s in public health tend to have an in-depth understanding of health issues affecting the community, noting their impact on the political mark up.

The demand of individuals holding this degree has risen, owing to the upward state of health and sanitation that contributes greatly to the well-being of the nation. 

— The writer is President, IIHMR University, Jaipur 

Why is Public Health important?

While the health status of people has improved to a great extent globally, a lot more needs to be done. With the evolution of the public health comes the enormity of diseases that manage to withstand the test of advancement. Public health professionals address broad issues that can affect the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, societies, and countries — taking proactive measures to proceed towards a better future. Here are a few achievements that public health officers have made a reality:  

  • Increase in life expectancies.
  • Reduction in infant and child mortality, at a global scale.
  • Eradication/reduction of deadly communicable diseases.


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