One of the goals of the SUMR program is to get underrepresented minority students interested in the field of health services research and the educational opportunities available in this field. Specifically, the SUMR program seeks to inform students about the Wharton School's Doctoral Program in Health Care Management and Economics. This unique program combines intensive graduate level training in health care systems and health services research with advanced training in a traditional academic discipline. The rationale is that such a combination will be most conducive to participation in the kind of interdisciplinary research needed for adequate analysis of the health care sector's problems and behavior.

Flexibly structured to respond to each student's goals and research interests, the program prepares students for careers in teaching, government or research in private industry. Persons with undergraduate training in mathematics or social sciences or an MBA or other master's level degree in health care systems or in health administration who wish to receive further disciplinary training as well as further education in health services research will find the program particularly appropriate and attractive. In addition, the program curriculum provides ideal training for physicians, future physicians (through the University's joint-degree program) and other clinically trained professionals who are interested in research careers in health services analysis.

Wharton's doctoral program in health care systems is designed to produce Ph.D. researchers who are trained in rigorous theory and empirical methods, who are able to work and contribute to multi-disciplinary research while interacting in a research team setting and who are familiar with the on-going changes in health care structures. The Wharton school setting provides students with a health services research focus that is applicable across private and public sectors.

Recent Health Care Dissertation Topics

  • How Parental Schooling Affects Child Health in Bangladesh
  • Determinants of Variations in Nursing Home Staffing and Practice
  • Public Insurance Programs: The Impact of Uncompensated Care Reimbursement Funds and Medicaid
  • Productive Efficiency and Effectiveness of Public-Funded Drug Treatment Programs in New Jersey
  • The Impact of Internal Structural Changes on Hospital Costs
  • Environmental Turbulence, Organizational Capabilities and Strategic Response: Hospital Strategy in an Era of Managed Care
  • Do Relative Fees Affect Utilization of Surgical Procedures Under Medicare? Study of Geographic Variation

Research That Matters

Recent studies by faculty have looked at issues such as:
  • Do inner-city African Americans receive adequate medical or rehabilitative care after falls?
  • How can health care in the United States be distributed fairly, and is equity desirable?
  • What are the cost implications of testing for HIV?
  • How are decisions over whether to withdraw life support made, and what role do patients and families play in doctors' final decisions?
  • What is the impact of health care costs on competitiveness?
  • What is the clinical value of intelligent decision systems?
  • What is the role of discharge planning in improving the health care of the elderly and reducing the costs of care?

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