Paths of Excellence: Health Policy & Economics
Providers having a conversation around table at hospital

Beyond-the-Curriculum Learning

This path prepares students to work within the framework of health care to advocate for, evaluate and/or implement policy change. 

Better Delivery

Consider this path if:

  • You want to tap into the expertise of more than 700 faculty connected with the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation
  • You want to understand how health policy impacts health and health care
  • You want to advance equity in health through policy change

The Health Policy & Economics Path of Excellence prepares our students to evaluate how health and economic policies affect doctors, patients and populations. This Path integrates foundational, investigative and experiential learning and goes beyond the required curriculum.

This Path delves into the multiple functions physicians fill in the health care system, from clinical practice, advocacy, research and organizational leadership. It is offered in collaboration with the U-M’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI), giving medical students access to more than 700 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 and health care at the 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 policymaking
  • 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 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