Job Title: Health Policy Analyst
Type of Company: I work for a small research university in the Boston area. I am in a group that does research and analyzes US health policy.
Education: BA, Northwestern University MBS, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Previous Experience: I wanted to work at a university, so I took a job in human resources at a university, even though HR is not my field.
Job Tasks: Our organization is trying to influence US health policy reform. We think that the current healthcare in the US is too expensive, doesn't provide access for all Americans, and is not the best quality. So we highlight the work that some hospitals and some researchers are doing to improve the state of healthcare in this country.
We are a membership organization, and we provide conferences for our members. These conferences - about 6-8 each year - focus on topics that are of interest to our members. Some of our recent conferences include Medicare reform, specialty pharmaceuticals, and payment reform.
In addition to conferences, we write papers about these topics and similar ones. Again, our goal is to provide a balanced view of how to improve the healthcare system.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The job requires a lot of travel. All our conferences are in Washington, DC and since we are based at the university, this means that I fly to Washington and stay overnight 6-8 times a year. Although not the 'worst' part of the job, it can be rather tedious to spend so much time in airports.
The best part of the job is meeting and talking with people that are doing innovative things to improve the healthcare industry. Most of the people I interact with have been in the healthcare field for many years (at least 10). I am relatively new to healthcare, so it is exciting to learn from these more seasoned people.
Job Tips: If you are interested in health policy, it helps to have some government experience. You might want to work for a senator or a congressman on either the state or federal level. It is a very intense way to learn about the issues. Another interesting way to learn about the US healthcare system is to work in a hospital or for a large physician organization.
Additional Thoughts: It's also really fun to work at a university. While attending college, I didn't realize the types of jobs there are at a university. Of course there are professors, but there are many jobs and staff that students do not routinely interact with. As a mid-career adult, it is fun to work at a vibrant, dynamic university.
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