PA Doctorate

The First DMSc for Non-PAs Launches at Northeastern

The Doctor of Medical Science isn’t just for PAs anymore. Northeastern University is launching a DMSc specializing in Healthcare Leadership open to anyone working in healthcare. The 2-year program was created for “all medical professionals seeking to expand their career potential in healthcare leadership, administration, education, and advocacy.” 

Boasting a top-tier research designation, Northeastern hopes to leverage its prestige and attract more than just Physician Associates to its offerings. While some earlier DMSc programs have had a leadership emphasis, Northeastern would be the first to offer a DMSc concentration in Health Informatics with a practice and research track. 

The DMSc Expands into Informatics

Other DMSc concentrations will include Health Law, Business Management for Healthcare, Public Health, Pharmacy and Health Systems Sciences, and Interdisciplinary Healthcare Leadership.

A professional doctorate at a top-50 university like Northeastern won’t come cheap, but a price tag of $33,000 makes it one of the most expensive Doctor of Medical Science programs. 

Hoping to attract healthcare workers from all disciplines, Northeastern’s DMSc program will require a Master’s degree in a healthcare-related field or a Bachelor’s in a healthcare-related field plus a minimum of 3 years of professional experience. 

Northeastern’s DMSc Curriculum Breakdown

Northeastern’s 33-credit DMSc program starts with the following core curriculum:

  • Principles of Healthcare Advocacy
  • Workforce Metrics: Comparing and Privileging the Interprofessional Healthcare Team 
  • Healthcare Leadership Seminar
  • Society, Behavior, and Health 
  • Introduction to Statistics in Health and Behavioral Science
  • Research Methods and Design
  • Thesis

The curriculum for the DMSc concentrations includes:

  • Health Informatics (Practice)
    • Introduction to Health Informatics and Health Information Systems
    • Database Design, Access, Modeling, and Security
    • Introduction to Health Data Analytics
    • Business Application of Decision Support in Healthcare
    • Creation and Application of Medical Knowledge
  • Health Informatics (Research)
    • Introduction to Health Informatics and Health Information Systems
    • Database Design, Access, Modeling, and Security
    • Introduction to Health Data Analytics
    • Personal Health Interface Design and Development
    • Empirical Research Methods
  • Health Law
    • Introduction to Legal Studies 2
    • Law of Information and Records
    • Law and Organizational Management
    • Health Law Survey
    • Healthcare Regulation and Compliance
    • Patient Records, Privacy, and Security
  • Public Health
    • Race, Ethnicity, and Health in the United States
    • Public Health Administration and Policy
    • Principles and History of Urban Health
    • Urban Community Health Assessment
  • Business Management
    • Financial Theory and Policy
    • Healthcare Finance
    • Healthcare Industry
    • Strategic Decision Making for Healthcare Professionals
    • Introduction to Health Informatics and Health Information Systems
  • Interdisciplinary Healthcare Leadership
    • Choose a minimum of 12 semester hours from the previous 3 concentrations
  • Pharmacy and Health Systems Science
    • Evidence-Based Medicine
    • Pharmacy Care Management
    • Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacy Practice
    • Applied Drug Information
    • Pharmaceutical Industry

All DMSc students at Northeastern will have to complete three courses in research methods in preparation for their thesis. This problem-based project should address a healthcare issue and be related to their chosen concentration.

Most of the DMSc at Northeastern will be completed in an asynchronous format. For now, the Health Informatics Research Concentration is only offered on Northeastern’s Boston campus.

DMSc in Name Alone

Northeastern’s Doctor of Medical Science program would have been better branded a doctorate in Health Science. Pacific University limited its DMSc to PAs but offers a virtually identical DHSc for non-PAs; Northeastern would have done well to follow suit. It remains to be seen how attractive a nonmedical Doctor of Medical Science will be outside of the PA profession. And though it seems Northeastern is simply trying to capitalize on the DMS momentum and maximize its profits, it does bring several new and interesting areas of concentration.

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