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Public Health Reports: Interdisciplinary Dissertation Research Among Public Health Doctoral Trainees, 2003-2015

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Ms. Elizabeth H. Golembiewski, Dr. Ann M. Holmes, Ms. Joanna R. Jackson, Ms. Brittany L. Brown-Podgorski, and Dr. Nir Menachemi of Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health – Indianapolis examined the correlates of interdisciplinary dissertation completion and identified secondary fields most common among interdisciplinary public health graduates. They analyzed pooled cross-sectional data from 11,120 doctoral graduates in the Survey of Earned Doctorates which is administered annually to people receiving research doctorates from accredited academic institutions in the United States. Authors found that a small but growing proportion of public health doctoral recipients reported completion of interdisciplinary dissertation research. Graduates from health services administration and environmental health — the two smallest public health core disciplines in terms of overall doctoral trainees during this period — were most likely to report interdisciplinary dissertation research. Authors also identified several individual and organizational correlates of interdisciplinary dissertation research: male doctoral graduates were more likely than female doctoral graduates to report completing interdisciplinary dissertation research. Authors conclude that although interdisciplinary dissertation research among doctoral graduates in public health has increased in recent years, such work remains bounded in certain fields of public health and certain types of graduates and institutions.

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Public Health Reports is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research and commentaries in the areas of public health practice and methodology, original research, public health law, and public health schools and teaching. Issues contain regular commentaries by the U.S. Surgeon General and executives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.

The journal focuses upon such topics as tobacco control, teenage violence, occupational disease and injury, immunization, drug policy, lead screening, health disparities, and many other key and emerging public health issues. In addition to the six regular issues, PHR produces supplemental issues approximately 2-5 times per year which focus on specific topics that are of particular interest to our readership. The journal’s contributors are on the front line of public health and they present their work in a readable and accessible format.

Visit the Public Health Reports homepage for more information about the journal.