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Doktoratsprogramm Public Health

General description and objective

"Public Health" is a multidisciplinary field of research that integrates medical, natural, social, and cultural sciences. Complementing biomedical knowledge, a variety of different research methods are used to collect and evaluate data relevant to health and disease; to identify historical and current effects of social, environmental, and occupational factors on health and disease; to analyze the significance of these relationships at the population level; and to design and evaluate public and occupational preventive interventions, health promotion programs, improved health systems, and behavioral risk reduction programs.

The goal of the Doctor of Applied Medical Sciences program in Public Health is to train young scientists and public health professionals in the broadest sense for independent and collaborative scientific work in medical and allied professions. The symbiosis of science and practice is to be achieved by combining scientific experience and guidance with practical seminars. Graduates will thus be prepared to apply scientific and practical methods in their profession in order to continuously develop professional practice and effectiveness, to assume responsibility for improving public health, and to promote it through application-oriented research projects. In addition, graduates are trained to present their research findings to other professionals in the field and to educate laypersons in the same manner.

Public health is a broad field of research and practice. Therefore, the topics covered in the PhD program relate to various areas of clinical and theoretical medicine, as well as other sciences such as history, sociology, psychology, economics, physics, chemistry, and biology. In particular, the analysis of the effects of chemical, physical, and biological agents in the environment and the workplace on health and disease; the importance of lifestyle in relation to pathogenesis and the effects of behavior change for prevention purposes; the study of historical, social, and ethnological conditions of health and disease; the evaluation of public health institutions and the study of health care systems; the health economics of institutions and programs within the health care system and of therapeutic and preventive interventions; the promotion of patient compliance and competence; the development and application of statistical and epidemiological methods for the analysis of exogenous and endogenous factors and their association with health-related outcomes; the study of psychosocial factors in general and in the workplace with regard to dysfunction and the pathogenesis of circulatory, endocrinological, psychiatric diseases and neoplasms; Causes and prevention of suicide; study of age- and gender-specific differences in disease prevalence, prevention, and other health-related issues; health care issues for special populations (e.g. E.g., immigrants). e.g., immigrants).

Faculty and researchers in this doctoral program work in a variety of areas from basic sciences to applied and clinical disciplines, providing opportunities for scholarly research in a variety of public health settings. Thematically, the program primarily includes applied dissertations ranging from translational research to basic science approaches to health risk assessment.

Methodologically, the spectrum includes a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods integrating physiological, psychological, toxicological, biochemical, and physical methods for experimental, epidemiological, and field studies.

In this PhD program, the student will conduct scientific work in a well-defined thematic segment under the guidance of an experienced Principal Investigator. The goal of the scientific work is the completion of a doctoral thesis. In addition, the student has the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge in the field of Public Health in a broad sense and to become acquainted with various research methods, e.g. in basic seminars. Own scientific work is accompanied by critical discussion of scientific results of other groups in journal clubs. Current research projects of the participating groups are discussed in dissertation seminars.

The practical seminars are specific to the Applied Doctoral program. The practical seminars provide guidance in the professional application of modern achievements and prepare the communication of current knowledge to laypersons. With these tools, the student's own scientific work is placed in the context of other scientific and practical achievements in order to promote qualified independent work and the application of scientific methods. In addition, students' presentation skills are fostered in practical and thesis seminars.

It is emphasized that the current version of the program, with its principal investigators and faculty involved, is considered a preliminary core. The program is designed to integrate more faculty and institutions to cover the field of public health in all theoretical and practical aspects.