The pandemic has revealed the weaknesses, as well as strengths, of the American healthcare system. Never has the need for healthcare leaders, administrators, and educators been so strong. In fact, the Department of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in medical management will grow by 32% between now and 2030. In other words, now is the perfect time to earn a Doctorate in Health Science and become an asset to the healthcare community. For many, of course, the time it takes to earn a high-level graduate degree is discouraging. Luckily, it’s now possible to earn a health science degree online. If you’re considering an online Ph.D. in Health Sciences, here are the things you need to know!
D.H.Sc. vs. Ph.D.
Those interested in earning an online Ph.D. in Health Sciences may discover that there are two routes to earning a doctorate: a Ph.D. and a Doctorate of Health Science, or D.H.Sc. It’s important to know the difference.
The D.H.Sc. degree is typically completed in three years and can frequently be earned online. Applicants to D.H.Sc. programs are expected to have some experience working in healthcare and many D.H.Sc. students hold professional credentials or licensure. The D.H.Sc. is a great choice for those who want to become healthcare leaders. Though the degree prepares graduates to work in higher education and research, it is truly ideal for those who want to improve community health outcomes by working in health management, health policy, or global health.
The Ph.D. in Health Science is typically completed in person and can take up to seven years to finish. The focus of this program tends to be on developing the knowledge base through research. Ph.D. students are also trained to become teachers more than health care managers and leaders. Those who graduate from a Ph.D. program are mostly qualified to become educators at the college and university level, as well as researchers in the field. In other words, the focus is more academic in nature and less practical.
Concentrations and Coursework
One of the many benefits of earning a D.H.Sc. degree online is that students can choose to concentrate on an area of expertise that prepares them for a highly specialized career in health science. D.H.Sc. students must take core coursework in health science, including Global Health, Research Methods, and more. They may also take elective credits in a number of areas including Toxicology, Comparative Healthcare Systems, and Infectious Diseases. All D.H.Sc. students must complete a dissertation and dissertation presentation. Additionally, students must take coursework in their area of concentration.
The Health Care Clinician concentration prepares graduates to be leaders in a clinical healthcare environment. The program focuses on research, evidence-informed care, and public health.
Classes in this area of concentration train students to become public health experts and clinical leaders. These courses include:
- Advanced Disease Processes and Treatment
- Lifestyle and Health Issues
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Integrative and Complementary Medicine
Students who want to pursue a career teaching other health care professionals can concentrate in the area of Education. Graduates of this concentration are prepared to be successful educators as well as researchers. This means you do not need to spend years working towards your Ph.D. in Health Sciences, as you can attain a career in education with a doctorate in hand.
Students concentrating on Education train to become teachers. As such, students take classes that support this goal. These include:
- Teaching in the Health Professions
- Educational Assessment
- Curriculum and Syllabus Development
- Pedagogy and Teaching Strategies for College Instructors
Students who concentrate on Clinical Nutrition review functional nutritional assessment and learn how to use nutrition as a means of intervention and treatment of chronic diseases. Graduates of this program may work in nutrition research or pursue a career in dietetics.
Classes in Clinical Nutrition prepare students to clinically assess patients and formulate nutritional plans. Classes include Advanced Clinical Nutrition I through IV. Advanced Clinical Nutrition I covers integrative nutrition and functional medicine in Metabolic Health Issues and Cardiovascular Health. Advanced Clinical Nutrition II covers integrative nutrition and functional medicine in Digestive Health Issues. Advanced Clinical Nutrition III trains students in Chronic and Degenerative Diseases. Lastly, Advanced Clinical Nutrition IV covers integrative nutrition and functional medicine in Neurological and Behavioral disorders.
Benefits of an Online Health Science Degree
There are a number of benefits to earning an online Health Science degree. At University of Bridgeport, the online Doctor of Health Sciences can be completed in as few as 40 months, allowing graduates to begin their careers with much more expediency than other doctoral programs. Additionally, all classes can be taken online, except for a one-week, on-campus seminar that provides students with workshops and expert training. This learning format allows students to continue working, should they want to, and save money on costs such as parking, on-campus housing, and on-campus fees. The online degree has three start terms, which allows students to begin their studies as soon as they’d like, without having to wait for the traditional September start. All of these benefits translate to a highly flexible, convenient, and cost-efficient doctorate program.
The healthcare industry is in need of well-educated and talented leaders. With the flexibility that an online Health Science doctorate can provide, those already working in the healthcare field can earn their doctorate when, where, and how they want without losing out on a quality education. Upon graduating from an online Health Science doctorate program, students will be prepared to manage health practices, provide education to health workers, and ultimately, make a positive difference in the lives of practitioners and patients alike.
Are you ready to pursue a Doctor of Health Science? Start your application for University of Bridgeport’s online D.H.Sc program today!