Professional Doctorate - No Dissertation or Research Project

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by sanantone, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    If you're interested in health science and just need a doctorate to teach clinical courses, then Eastern Virginia Medical School has a Doctor of Health Science that does not require a dissertation or research project. Even though the program is only 42 credits, they only allow students to take two courses each fall and spring and one course in the summer making the program three years long.

    Tuition is $919 per credit hour. All coursework is online. You need a master's degree related to health science, education, or management for admission.

    If you're looking to join USPHS as a scientist, this degree will not qualify because they require original research in a doctoral program.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    A nice option for some but the 40K pricetag puts it out of reach for me (if I was interested . . . which I'm not . . . just sayin)
  3. copper

    copper Active Member

    I agree, the price tag is big money! It seems to be a healthcare leadership program oriented towards physician assistants as well as other allied healthcare masters prepared applicants. It seems everyone in healthcare wants to be called "Doctor" nowadays. Doctor of Nursing, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Athletic Training, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Occupational therapy, etc. It wasn't long ago these tracks were bachelor degree programs. Why the big push for Doctoral degrees in healthcare? Is it good business? Do patients and consumers respect the title? Is it ego driven? Are insurance companies requiring it for reimbursement? Do colleges and universities want more degree programs? Was the master and bachelor preparation inadequate? ????
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Big city hospitals are like huge corporations, often part of a larger network of hospitals with outpatient clinics for things like Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc. It's easy for me to believe that a doctoral degree would be required to run such a department within such a system. Also, hospitals typically are pretty good at helping to pay for the continuing education of it's employees and so the price tag might not be too bad for someone who's already in such a healthcare system
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Professional associations have been pushing for doctorates. They feel they will be taken more seriously. For nurse practitioners, they want to be seen as being nearly on par with MDs and DOs when it comes to primary care. They don't want to be seen as mid-level practitioners on the level of physician assistants.

    If you're an occupational therapist, there are faster programs that will give you a doctorate in OT. Athletic trainers are very limited in what they can do, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are pushing for masters and doctoral degrees to get states to expand their scope of practice.
  6. copper

    copper Active Member

    Here is another one. Online Doctor of Medical Science for PA's with three tracks: 1. Clinical Practice 2. Healthcare Leadership and 3. Education. $27000 tuition, online, no dissertation but a project. 36 credits. I have a PA license and will look into the healthcare leadership track although an MBA would probably have more utility. I have to admit, the Doctor of Medical Science sounds awesome!
    Phdtobe likes this.
  7. copper

    copper Active Member

    I asked around about the Doctor of Medical Science (DMS). Some of the Physicians I've spoken with think it is a precursor for PA's getting autonomy and are not happy about it. Academic types have told me the DMS will have "zero utility" and is in response to the nurse practitioners offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. As a side note, they said they would prefer a nurse practitioner over a PA for healthcare anyway. Interesting!

    I personally believe the degree will have some utility in academics, research, clinical practice and healthcare management. It remains to be seen.
  8. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Their current PR situation notwithstanding, Eastern Virginia Medical School is a well-respected Medical school. What concerns me about EVMS' Doctor of Health Science program is:

    1. The price. I don't care for it. I can see many angles of justification, but still, there is plenty of competition out there and some with better pricing.

    2. The format. What this program presents in 3 years, other programs give more in just 2 years.

    3. The lack of a specialty. Health Science is a discipline of the science of health. One who has risen up through the academic ranks of Health Science has taken many if not all of the standard basic sciences, learned about disease control and prevention, and pretty much everything else required for pre-med and some of what's in year 1 and 2 of Medical school including residency as a number of Bachelor's level Health Science programs require residency. However, EVMS' program is mostly focused on administration to such a degree that it's hard to even consider it a degree in health science unless you only look at it as the science of running a healthcare facility. To me, this degree seems like it would be more appropriately titled as a Doctor of Healthcare Administration or something to that effect since it bears little to no connection to the standard Health Science degree curricula at the Masters and undergrad levels.

    I just think EVMS can do better. This degree would be fine, re-titled. But they should be offering a more comprehensive version of the Doctor of Health Science degree, one with specialties, one that focuses on actual care similar to the University of Bridgeport's program. This in my view would begin producing more qualified directors and managers of clinics than what you see often (MBA's and other various business professionals with no medical training).

    Now I know the counterargument would be "well, what about people with a Master's or undergrad in Health Science who already have that prior medical training in basic sciences, have done residency, and are already working hands-on in clinics/hospitals?" To that I say, fine, the people in that specific situation are probably pursuing the Doctorate for a bump in leadership roles and pay. But what about people who will come in with no such background in Health Science? The EVMS program will accept those people and it doesn't sit well with me, because you'd have situations where a Doctor of Health Science with no prior HS background could wind up in charge when the person on staff with an Associate degree in Health Science knows more about Health Science than the person holding the Doctorate.
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    When I was looking for health-related graduate programs, I noticed that most master's programs in health science weren't very science-oriented. They resembled healthcare administration programs. So, I turned my focus to public health and medical science programs. For those with a bachelor's degree looking to get into medical school or some other graduate healthcare program, a master's degree in medical science will be more appropriate than health science as most medical science programs cover the basic biological sciences and are specifically designed to get one into medical or dental school.

    Some undergraduate programs in health science include medical school prerequisites, but many are just watered-down public health programs blended with healthcare administration. Health science undergraduate programs are actually terrible preparation for medical school, dental school, and physician assistant studies, and their target market is students who need something easier than biology, biochemistry, microbiology, or chemistry. Biology majors, in general, don't have the best MCAT scores, and they aren't one of the majors with the highest acceptance rates into medical school, but health science would be even worse.

    EVMS' program, though, is a little different from most of the health science programs I looked at because many of EVMS' courses look like general strategic leadership courses that aren't specific to healthcare settings. My main issue with the program is how inflexible it is. It should not take three years to finish 42 credits. It makes no sense that they limit students to two courses in the fall and spring and one course in the summer. This is, realistically, a two-year program.

    Judging by the testimonials, students seem to be pursuing this degree so that they can become full-time professors, and their professions don't require a research doctorate.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  10. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    You may very well be right about the Master's level HS programs, I haven't reviewed as many of those as I have the undergrads and a number of those were outside of the United States so that plays a role in the differences in curriculum often times. In the United States at the Bachelor's level it seems to be hit or miss. I've seen some that are almost entirely focused on science and some that are a mix. A lot of the places online that recommend health science as a prerequisite major for med school or dental school, etc. point to programs that are almost entirely science-based. The programs that are heavy on administration just seem inappropriately titled in my view.

    Back in the summer time, I asked an administrator at EVMS if it was possible for students to add more courses in a semester and finish in two years instead of three, and she said no. She also told me that even with transfer credit the answer is still no. So at the time it appeared like one of those programs that would accept your transfer credits but make you sit out the period leading up to the next scheduled course. That can add up to a lot of wasted time.
  11. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Someone mentioned to me that most of the schools that offer health science bachelor's degrees are bottom tier. When I thought about it, they were kind of right. There aren't too many top tier schools offering the degree.

    EVMS lets students take three credits per semester, so I thought there might be an option to take nine credits, but I was told no. Students follow a cohort, and the school probably only offers a max of two courses in the fall and spring. There are programs that require a culminating project that only take three years.
  12. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Sadly, that may be accurate because the top named school I can think of that offers it is Drexel. Even then, Drexel being a respected school ranked 102 on the US News list, is still not high in the national conversation, at least not in the sense that when the average American thinks of a university the name Drexel pops into their mind.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I found health science programs at ASU and University of South Dakota, but they're ranked even lower than Drexel. I think the top 100 schools, for the most part, have pre-med tracks that any major can choose. A lot of students will choose to major in biology, anyway, due to the misconception that it will help them get into medical school.
  14. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    Too bad about the cost being roughly $40K because this would satisfy my goal for a health administration degree without the need for doing either a doctoral capstone or dissertation.

    Are there any other reasonably priced programs without a dissertation?
  15. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The closest thing I can think of is ASU's DBH - Management Track with an applied project. Even with transferring in 30 credits from your master's degree, I think the cost will still be over $50k.

    I think the only other doctoral programs I've seen that don't require a dissertation, applied research project, capstone, or the publishing of several papers are University of Western States' Ed.D in Sport and Performance Psychology and Ed.D in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. You can opt for a year-long internship instead of a dissertation, but unless you're interested in becoming a licensed counselor, this will be overkill. I think only master's degrees in psychology and counseling will qualify for transfer credits. The school is on the quarter hour system.

    The other doctoral programs without dissertations are usually for physical therapists, pharmacists, and physical therapists who were licensed at the baccalaureate or master's level. Now, there are a few programs for physician assistants.
  16. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    Did anyone apply for this program or completed the program already?
  17. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    Sorry for a post months later but has anyone enrolled or graduated from this program? I wanted to get some info in this program.
  18. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    I got some information on this program about course work load if anyone is interested. I found a former graduate on linkedin who provided me with some insight. Seems like a really decent program to apply to if you want a regionally accredited doctorate and you have 45k.
  19. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    There are alot of factors that lead to running such departments, the good ole boy (or girl) click is one of them. I've seen nurse managers selected who only have an ASN because their personality was a good fit for the organization and the folks they lead. Most are told they need at least a bachelors by year 5, and my old healthcare system, had an agreement with a local college that offered a ASN to BSN program and the hospital would "help" with tuition. How much help equates too, I'm not sure, I never asked.

    Most in the C-suite have MBA's or MPA's, that was my experience at least. Even our Director of Facilities was only a High School graduate where most who reported to him had bachelors or masters in engineering. The point I'm trying to make is a degree is nice, but not always required. Just depends on the organization, the culture, and what you bring to the table. Even the guy who took my old position had no degree and zero experience. But he was part of the good ole boy click and got the position over more qualified applicants.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  20. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    I am tempted to apply to this program soon. I got some good information from graduates only thing is the price tag.

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