I have recently started to be asked myriads of questions in regard to the difference between HEPM and Epi tracks that constitute Master’s Programme in Public Health Sciences at KI. So, now I would like to convey my understanding of the difference in the context of my own experience.
From where I stand, the skills and knowledge you will gain at the end are very different. Thus, when making a choice, ask yourself: “What is it that I really want to deal with in my professional career?”, “What do I want to excel at?”. Both tracks will enlighten you as to your personal development, subjective and objective values, ethics, communication skills, etc. However, you ought to know your way around fact and numbers, concepts and ideas, arguments and proofs in your personal field of “excitement” (let’s put it that way).
To this point, if you want to advance your disease-related knowledge, you might consider Epi track or more medicine-related programmes at KI for that matter. But, if you want to grasp how the health care system and policy work, how to plan, manage, regulate, change systems in health care as a whole, then HEPM is the right module.
Most of the topics covered in both tracks can be researched on your own and at times your own research can get you much further than lecture slides, so you do not really need to spend weeks studying what makes an effective health system plan, for instance. However (!), if you do the research all by yourself, you will not be able to engage in tempestuous conversations, gain this global perception, advance critical perspective and question the current state of affairs, meet and seek advice from leading professionals in the field. And THAT is what, in my opinion, you must take into account when choosing the right track for you – think about your future career, think about the exact precept you want to question, or change, or understand better, mull over a particular area and the novelties you want to contribute to or pioneer in.
Then meditate or don’t meditate, but trust your guts and make the most of your time doing the right programme for YOU, because some questions cannot be answered by Google! 😉