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Dr. Ehab Molokhia, associate professor of family medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently earned his Master of Public Health degree in Health Care Organization. The program offered from the University of Alabama at Birmingham included a distance learning aspect, which enabled him to earn his degree while practicing medicine at USA.
Dr. Molokhia’s class was the first to earn this degree entirely online from UAB, and he completed the program in four years.
In the program, all the lectures were posted online for Dr. Molokhia to watch at his convenience. PowerPoint presentations were uploaded to the website for him to print into a file, and he was also able to participate in online discussion chat rooms with classmates. The majority of the testing was in person at the USA College of Nursing and was coordinated with Dr. Rosemary Rhodes.
“It was really nice that the USA College of Nursing and Dr. Rhodes were able to accommodate and help administer tests, he said. “They were very cooperative with understanding that I am a full time physician, and I never once had to travel to Birmingham.”
Dr. Molokhia said that earning his master’s in public health has taken his professional development to a new level. “Much of the curriculum covered clinical research, leadership training, strategic management and health policy analysis,” said Dr. Molokhia. “I now have a much broader understanding of health economics, how insurance is run, and the impact of the affordable care act on the health system as a whole.”
The last portion of the program was a summer internship, which Dr. Molokhia was able to complete at USA with Dr. Allen Perkins as his site supervisor. During this internship, he had the opportunity to work with Dr. Deborah Lafky at the USA Center for Strategic Health. He also worked with Dr. Dan Roach in his examination of the effects of major disasters on the Gulf Coast regarding primary care and care of chronic illnesses.
Dr. Molokhia said the most rewarding part of the experience is that he now has a better understanding of the health care system. “I have a different view of how health care and different contributors come together in order for the health care system to function properly,” he said.
Dr. Molokhia said he is grateful that the administration provided him this opportunity. “I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to pursue a master’s in public health,” he said. “The distance learning opportunity allows you to study while still advancing in your full-time career.”
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