Harvard Medical School | HealthXcelerate
Copyright: Harvard Medical School/Harvard, Credit: Gretchen Ertl for HMS
  • Foundations of the U.S. Health Care System

    Gain an overview of the defining features of the U.S. healthcare system, including structure, financing, and stakeholders. By exploring the origins and implications of employer-sponsored health care, you will see the challenges and trade-offs of access, cost, and quality. During the course, you will also discover how the US system compares to international systems in terms of health outcomes, costs, payment models, and price regulations.

    Learning objectives

    During the Foundations of the U.S. Health Care System course, you will:

    • Define the characteristics of the U.S. health care system
    • Understand how the system is financed
    • Understand the challenges to access, cost, and quality
    • Identify aspects that are unique in comparison to other systems around the world
    • Examine unique aspects of the U.S. health care system and the opportunities it presents
  • Principles and Practice of Health Care Delivery

    Dive into the structure of the U.S. health care delivery system and uncover the diverse types of care facilities, their primary functions, respective patient goals, and clinical providers through a framework of inpatient, outpatient, and home-based care. You will discover the strengths and priorities of different care settings by following patients as they navigate the various systems. This course also looks at how health care delivery is regulated in the U.S. and explores reforms that are underway both in the U.S. and around the world.

    Learning objectives

    During the Principles and Practice of Health Care Delivery course, you will:

    • Describe different care settings and their functions, including benefits and limitations
    • Examine the roles of government and industry in the delivery of health care
    • Identify the pathways that patients take in their journeys to access care
    • Predict how innovation may affect each model of care
  • Social Determinants of Health

    Examine how social determinants shape health outcomes for individuals and communities. This course will delve into various social, economic, and environmental factors that impact health disparities and inequalities. You will review evidence-based interventions and strategies to address social determinants and health disparities, foster health equity, and enhance population health.

    Learning objectives

    During the Social Determinants of Health course, you will:

    • Identify the impact of social determinants of health on health outcomes
    • Analyze how disparities in socioeconomic status and education influence health outcomes
    • Analyze variations in social determinants of health between the U.S. and other countries
    • Evaluate interventions aimed at addressing social determinants of health and reducing health inequalities
  • Health Care Policy and Economics

    Examine how health policy is determined and implemented in the U.S. and understand its effects at the national and state levels. You will discover how governments implement these policies, how stakeholders in the health care system interact with them, and how they impact cost-effectiveness, equity, and access. This course also investigates the funding mechanisms for health policies, the trade-offs necessary for different policies, and reform efforts.

    Learning objectives

    During the Health Care Policy and Economics course, you will:

    • Assess how government policies influence health care delivery, access, and affordability
    • Evaluate the funding mechanisms utilized in health care and their implications for care delivery and patient outcomes
    • Assess how health policies are implemented and enforced by government agencies
    • Interpret the impact of health care policies on different population segments
    • Discern the rationale behind ongoing reform efforts in the U.S. health care system
    • Compare approaches to health policies around the globe and evaluate their trade-offs
  • Disease and Population Health Dynamics

    Explore the interplay between disease and human populations. In this course, you will gain practical insights into mechanisms for disease control and population health management, as well as the impact of diseases within communities with worldwide examples. This course also discusses prevalent chronic diseases impacting individuals in the U.S. and investigates public health interventions being implemented to prevent and manage them.

    Learning objectives

    During the Disease and Population Health Dynamics course, you will:

    • Explore the interrelationship between diseases and the human population
    • Analyze prevalent chronic diseases and public health interventions in the U.S.
    • Review the factors contributing to variation in health on an international scale
    • Apply practical approaches for disease control and improving population health
  • Drug Development from Discovery Through Approval

    Gain an overview of the drug discovery and development process. This course offers a high-level understanding of the scientific and regulatory processes that shape the pharmaceutical landscape. You will explore initial discovery through clinical trials and regulatory approval and gain insights into the complexities and decision points that define the drug development lifecycle in the U.S. 

    Learning objectives

    During the Drug Development from Discovery Through Approval course, you will:

    • Discern how market data is used to identify unmet needs and potential uses for new drugs
    • Explore preclinical methodologies for assessing potential drug candidates' safety and efficacy
    • Recognize how scientists conduct research and design clinical trials to develop new drugs
    • Identify the key factors that support or undermine a drug's advancement to clinical trials
    • Navigate organizational frameworks and regulatory environments for drug development
    • Identify key differences in drug regulation and approval between the U.S. and international contexts