Students at an interprofessional health meeting

Health Policy & Economics

Better Delivery

  • If you want to tap into the expertise of more than 400 faculty connected with the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation,
  • If you want to understand how health care policy impacts health care delivery,
  • If you want to reduce risk factors that impact individual patients and larger populations,
  • If you want to know why affordable health care continues to be a challenge,

... then this path is for you.

Health Policy & Economics — Path of Excellence prepares our students to work within the framework of health care to apply knowledge and experience in directing and implementing policy changes. This Path integrates foundational, investigative and experiential learning and goes beyond the required curriculum.

This Path delves into the multiple functions physicians fill in any health care system, from medical practice and research to population health, policy and organizational leadership. It is offered in collaboration with the U-M’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI), giving med students access to more than 400 faculty from the schools of medicine, public health, public policy, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, law and social work.

Medical students apply in the winter of their M1 year, and continue their studies through the M4 year. Through this Path, students learn to:

  • Understand the framework of health care programs and systems, and the interconnected stakeholders who function within them.
  • Apply core concepts and tools of health policy analysis to understand the origins, process and outcomes of policy decision-making that affects health at individual and population levels.
  • Apply core concepts and tools of health economic analysis to understand past, present and future of health economic challenges and opportunities, and how such issues relate to policy decision-making.
  • Adapt skills and knowledge in health policy to analyze policy decision-making in a clinical area of interest.
  • Establish the foundation for continuing professional education and leadership development in the domains of health policy.


  • Small group sessions focused on health policy topics, featuring the work of scholars and policy officials at U-M, in Michigan, around the US, and from other countries as well.
  • Faculty mentor assigned to each Path student.
  • Policy-focused research project or development of a case study on a health policy decision-making process.
  • Capstone for Impact project to be presented at an IHPI event in M4 year.

Health policy dramatically affects our patients and the practice of medicine. The Path of Excellence in Health Policy & Economics is designed to give Michigan medical students an opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge and grow their skills in the field of health policy, at many levels, so they can knowledgeably and effectively shape and inform health policy in local, national and international settings.

Susan Dorr Goold, MD, MHSA, MA, Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy, and Director of the Health Policy & Economics Path of Excellence