Strong Partners in Health


Graduates of the MD/MPH program gathered for their first alumni reunion at Rollins last fall. Established in 1996, the program graduated its 100th student in 2011.

Rollins and the School of Medicine observe a milestone in training physicians grounded in public health

map of ARC

William Foege

Rollins and the Emory School of Medicine have been strong partners in health education from the start. The master’s program that evolved to become the RSPH is rooted in the medical school, where faculty members pushed to start a training program in community health. Years later, Bill Eley 83M 90MPH, executive associate dean for medical education and student affairs, advocated creation of a joint MD/MPH degree to broaden medical students’ perspective of public health.

But he admits he made a mistake. “I vastly underestimated how popular it would become,” said Eley during a reunion of MD/MPH graduates last fall. More than 100 students have completed the five-year program since it was formed in 1996.

John McGowan, an epidemiologist and physician, keeps close tabs on MD/MPH students as their program coordinator at Rollins, where 24 currently are enrolled and supported with funding from both schools.

“We bring in good people and let them pursue their interests, and then they go out and do wonderful things,” McGowan said.

William Foege is also a believer in the combined strengths of medicine and public health. A pioneer in both fields, Foege improved health worldwide as director of cdc, executive director of the Carter Center, and founder of the Task Force for Global Health.

“I want to remind you to live life large,” Foege told the MD/MPH students and graduates who gathered for the reunion. “There are 10 million children in this world who will die of preventable things this year. We have to feel an obligation to change that.”—Pam Auchmutey

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