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Masters degrees that opens up doors/options post-PA

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Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone here can chime in on thoughts about which Masters degree (MBA in healthcare focus vs MHA vs MPH) is worth going back for post-PA that can open up opportunities mainly in administration role.

I’m on my 7th year as a PA (graduated in 2013 with BS PA degree, currently no Masters) with experience in hospital medicine, cardiology in NYC. I eventually do wanted to move up to administrative role either in hospital, private practice, pharmaceutical sales, insurance company, etc. The only thing is that I do not have any managerial experience at this point since I’m all clinical. I will be starting a new position in ICU and it’s a union position that offers tuition assistance for graduate degree program so I wanted to take advantage of this. 
 

Which one you guys think is better- MBA in healthcare focus vs MHA vs MPH? Do you guys think the school names matter? I thought about masters in PA studies online since it’s quick and cheap, but now that the union has tuition assistance, I’d rather get a useful Masters degree.

 

Any input is appreciated!

 

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I believe there are PA doctorates that do not require a masters', and I would recommend looking into one of those.  One of those that has a leadership track would give you more options than just an MHA or MBA, I believe.

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31 minutes ago, rev ronin said:

I believe there are PA doctorates that do not require a masters', and I would recommend looking into one of those.  One of those that has a leadership track would give you more options than just an MHA or MBA, I believe.

Interesting thought. I recall people on here saying that their doctorate did jack for them in moving up the chain.

Problem is if you show up to the table with a DMSc and everyone has an MBA you're not going to be speaking the same language, same as with an MHA.

Plus nobody knows what a DMSc is.

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4 hours ago, kang1208 said:

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone here can chime in on thoughts about which Masters degree (MBA in healthcare focus vs MHA vs MPH) is worth going back for post-PA that can open up opportunities mainly in administration role.

I’m on my 7th year as a PA (graduated in 2013 with BS PA degree, currently no Masters) with experience in hospital medicine, cardiology in NYC. I eventually do wanted to move up to administrative role either in hospital, private practice, pharmaceutical sales, insurance company, etc. The only thing is that I do not have any managerial experience at this point since I’m all clinical. I will be starting a new position in ICU and it’s a union position that offers tuition assistance for graduate degree program so I wanted to take advantage of this. 
 

Which one you guys think is better- MBA in healthcare focus vs MHA vs MPH? Do you guys think the school names matter? I thought about masters in PA studies online since it’s quick and cheap, but now that the union has tuition assistance, I’d rather get a useful Masters degree.

 

Any input is appreciated!

 

 

1 hour ago, rev ronin said:

I believe there are PA doctorates that do not require a masters', and I would recommend looking into one of those.  One of those that has a leadership track would give you more options than just an MHA or MBA, I believe.

Butler does not require a master's and has a admin track and a education track.

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55 minutes ago, MediMike said:

Interesting thought. I recall people on here saying that their doctorate did jack for them in moving up the chain.

Problem is if you show up to the table with a DMSc and everyone has an MBA you're not going to be speaking the same language, same as with an MHA.

Plus nobody knows what a DMSc is.

I tend to agree. If you're  looking to get more admin type roles versus clinical leadership roles, an MBA or MHA would probably be better. 

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23 minutes ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

I tend to agree. If you're  looking to get more admin type roles versus clinical leadership roles, an MBA or MHA would probably be better. 

Sure, but if OP decides to go back to more clinical practice, an MHA gives nothing, while a clinical doctorate, even in a leadership track, will likely provide some help.

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1 hour ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

I tend to agree. If you're  looking to get more admin type roles versus clinical leadership roles, an MBA or MHA would probably be better. 

 

54 minutes ago, rev ronin said:

Sure, but if OP decides to go back to more clinical practice, an MHA gives nothing, while a clinical doctorate, even in a leadership track, will likely provide some help.

A question I have for some of the programs, and maybe someone can speak to this rather than me Google-Fuing my last hour before shift is...are any of these education or leadership tracks taught by faculty who teach education and leadership as their jobs? 

Does that make sense? It kind of goes back to a discussion @LT_Oneal_PAC and I were having a about learning material I didn't learn in school, if I'm paying for a doctorate I'd like that material to be taught by an expert in that field, rather than (I say this at the risk of getting flamed) "just" a PA who maybe got an MBA/MHA at some point, or a PA who has taught before.

I mean, I could read a book and throw together a course on curriculum development or healthcare accountancy without it being worth a dang.

Have you found a lot of strength in the faculty backgrounds? 

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59 minutes ago, rev ronin said:

Sure, but if OP decides to go back to more clinical practice, an MHA gives nothing, while a clinical doctorate, even in a leadership track, will likely provide some help.

For sure, a DMSc I think has much broader application, but if you are sure you’re out of the clinical side, then a pure business degree will likely be more impressive to other people with an MBA. I would say that if you’re acting more as a clinical leadership, where you stay clinical and do scheduling, hiring, firing, discipline, working on budget requests for equipment needed, etc, a DMSc is likely better.

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9 minutes ago, sas5814 said:

Go to trade school. Plumber...electrician.....carpenter....

 

Sorry...long day

Vascular, EP, Ortho?

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4 hours ago, MediMike said:

 

A question I have for some of the programs, and maybe someone can speak to this rather than me Google-Fuing my last hour before shift is...are any of these education or leadership tracks taught by faculty who teach education and leadership as their jobs? 

Does that make sense? It kind of goes back to a discussion @LT_Oneal_PAC and I were having a about learning material I didn't learn in school, if I'm paying for a doctorate I'd like that material to be taught by an expert in that field, rather than (I say this at the risk of getting flamed) "just" a PA who maybe got an MBA/MHA at some point, or a PA who has taught before.

I mean, I could read a book and throw together a course on curriculum development or healthcare accountancy without it being worth a dang.

Have you found a lot of strength in the faculty backgrounds? 

Ive certainly learned not to put a lot of stock in “board certified” in residency. Certain times I would take a good PA specialist over their attending.

I agree with your position though. It was a question I asked of butler. They don’t have a specialist in each field, though some courses do have PAs working in that field teaching. I think it shows in the quality of the course. Rheum and cards were taught by PA specialists and have been very good with great depth even for the outpatient (not inpatient) specialist. Pulm I believe was taught by FM and would say it was good for the FM clinic PA, but not beyond at all. 
 

As far as admin, wouldn’t have any idea. Honestly if that was something I was primarily interested in, I would go the Lynchburg route. They seem to have the most experience in that area.

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16 hours ago, MediMike said:

Interesting thought. I recall people on here saying that their doctorate did jack for them in moving up the chain.

Problem is if you show up to the table with a DMSc and everyone has an MBA you're not going to be speaking the same language, same as with an MHA.

Plus nobody knows what a DMSc is.

Having completed a DHSc program...I agree that MBA/MHA is the way to go, for now, if wanting to get into hospital administration.  The admin focus of DMSc programs just doesn't compare to what you'll learn doing a pure business/admin specific degree.  This is my recommendation for business/administrative positions.  If you want clinical leadership, then DHSc/DMSc would be good.  

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22 hours ago, kang1208 said:

Which one you guys think is better- MBA in healthcare focus vs MHA vs MPH? Do you guys think the school names matter? 

I believe in diversification.  I've read somewhere that wealthy people have multiple independent income streams, and as I have applied that to my life we have become more wealthy.

Applying that to your situation, maybe consider not a healthcare focused MBA that would probably have little use outside of healthcare, but rather a more broad traditional MBA that would allow you to expand outside of healthcare.  

It is nice to have the income from healthcare while you create/expand businesses totally unrelated to healthcare.  Just something to think about.  Good luck!

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I think MBA would serve you best if you want to get into hospital administration. Hospitals/healthcare are businesses now - no way around it. It's the main reason why PAs are being worked to a nub.

You could also go onto hospital websites and look up their administrators - see what kind of degrees they have.

I think it's a great idea to aim for hospital admin. PAs are underrepresented in this role & it is largely nurses who occupy these positions, and these positions set the culture for an institute. It's about time PAs started looking to get in there!

PS I'd like to know how you got a union job as a PA? I think that is rare, and I've long felt PAs would benefit immensely by unionizing - it would be a great protection against burnout. Unions are part of the reason that nurses have the power they have, and control over their work-lives in ways PAs do not.

Edited by kittryn

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