DHSc vs PhD/MPH or EdD/MPH

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by Cody Thompson, May 8, 2019.

  1. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member

    If one was going to pursue a degree path that would lead to academia and/or healthcare/public health practice, would you all suggest the DHSc route (U of Bridgeport) or one of the other paths listed in the title?

    I have a DPT (physical therapy) at the moment, and prefer either working in community college (possibly leadership one day) or in govt level public health.


  2. copper

    copper Active Member

    Hi Cody,

    You hold a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I believe pursuing a DHSc. wouldn't be of benefit. I have friends that are DPT's with PhD's and are in academics still having difficulty obtaining tenure. If your passion is in academics, go for the PhD or Ed.D.

    Also, I think you would get much more utility pursuing an MBA with a healthcare management emphasis than an MPH. The MPH adds a nice ring to DPT but the MBA will have far greater utility.

    Having been in health care for over twenty years, I suggest thinking of educational goals that have utility and yield greatest returns on investment in tracks like administration/management, academics, research or clinical practice. Degrees like DHSc or MPH are simply adding titles and initials with no additional "bang for the buck" to your DPT.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    Maxwell_Smart likes this.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Hi Cody,

    Community college leadership and government-level public health seem like really distant destinations from each other. I'm not sure there's a single road that leads to both.

    If you're leaning more towards the former, you may want to consider this: https://online.odu.edu/programs/community-college-leadership
  4. copper

    copper Active Member

  5. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member

    Thanks y'all. Maybe I should have clarified on why the different career options. I've been in academia for several years after my clinical career, and don't plan on going back to the clinic. Education has gotten increasingly frustrating, though I do see it as a ministry. The other option for a career would be something in public health. Thus the different degree pursuits.

    Copper, what field were you in in healthcare? Thanks for the CDE suggestion!
  6. copper

    copper Active Member

    Family medicine...still practicing as a mid level.
  7. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Just trying to get a clear understanding: You're no longer practicing as a DPT, correct? You are already teaching in a college setting? Are you teaching PT? If so, the question I would have is, what would this extra degree do for you that you can't do already?
  8. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member

    Per accreditor requirements, a terminal degree must be had for PT faculty; for PTA faculty must have 9 grad level hours of coursework in education.

    Also, I believe that to be considered for leadership position at the community college, a terminal degree is “preferred”. Not required, but it sets you above competition.

    Funny thing is, for the accreditor’s requirements, they don’t care if it’s a RA or NA degree.
  9. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member

    I should also add, that my goals are to write/publish books (more so than research articles). Not sure if that matters.....
  10. copper

    copper Active Member

    Howdy again! I'm just not convinced the DHSc would be much of an improvement over the professional doctor of PT. I looked into the Doctor of Medical Sciences for PA's and it is not a research degree but a professional doctorate much like the Doctor of Nursing Practice for NPs. It may even offend the Physicians I work with being an "assistant" and not an independent provider as well as confuse the patient.

    I am still toying with the idea but I don't believe I'll get much bang for the buck. I've look at other online doctorates and came across an Ed.D in leadership at ACE. I also like the concentration in instructional technology. https://www.ace.edu/programs

    It's a difficult decision! Investments of time and money weigh heavily in these decisions but utility and return on investment are certainly a concern. Tuition has risen so much over the years, I'm not convinced adding another doctorate other than PhD and perhaps Ed.D would have much utility in your situation.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  11. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member

    And that, copper, is the dilemma in which I find myself: Value/ROI for the degree obtained. I honestly just don't care much for a PhD, for reasons I won't mention here (long story). Nothing at all against those who have one. The EdD just fits me better. I started the EdD at ACE, but really struggled with the formatting. I felt like for a college that was solely built on education, its delivery of online education was both cheesy (video vignettes) and wordy (syllabi and other documents). The EdD I'm looking at is at Liberty. I've heard good things about them, so I may go with them.
  12. copper

    copper Active Member

    Liberty University offers a big tuition break for Veterans. In addition, they offer a 25% discount for First Responders. Checkout joining your local Civil Air Patrol to serve your community. Although they are primarily aviation oriented, they do have a Health Officer specialty track as well. Apparently, Liberty U considers CAP volunteers as First Responders!

  13. Jamie B

    Jamie B New Member

    I am an OT going into the third year of my DHSc... wanted to reply briefly in hopes of answering your questions. I first want to say that my DHSc is through Uindy and is honestly quite rigorous and much more than the requirement for an entry-level clinical doctorate and is considered a terminal degree by regional universities. Perhaps accelerated from the 5-7 year timeline of a PhD, my program is likely going to take 4 years with research.

    Good luck with your decision!
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  14. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member


    Thanks for this. Do you have any more thoughts on the UIndy program you could share? What career path are you planning on taking with this?

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