Jump to content

Masters degrees that opens up doors/options post-PA


Recommended Posts

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!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
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. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrator
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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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? 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
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.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • Administrator
1 hour ago, PaulinaU said:

Im facing a similar situation.  I’m a Pa with a bachelors degree and many jobs now require masters even thought I have 10 years of experience. Should I go forth with the masters? Any recommendations for a good program?

Why do a masters, when in 5-10 years, a doctorate will be expected, if not required (assuming the degree creep trend doesn't slack off)?  There are undoubtedly some still out there, but more and more places have been standing up professional doctorates.  I haven't comparison shopped, but I bet you can get a doctorate for not too much difference in price or workload.

Also, getting a bachelor's 10 years ago? Writing was already on the wall then that a masters' would be the minimum entry level.  Did your program not make that clear to you upon graduation that a bachelor's was likely a time-limited option?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rev ronin said:

Why do a masters, when in 5-10 years, a doctorate will be expected, if not required (assuming the degree creep trend doesn't slack off)?  There are undoubtedly some still out there, but more and more places have been standing up professional doctorates.  I haven't comparison shopped, but I bet you can get a doctorate for not too much difference in price or workload.

Also, getting a bachelor's 10 years ago? Writing was already on the wall then that a masters' would be the minimum entry level.  Did your program not make that clear to you upon graduation that a bachelor's was likely a time-limited option?

I got a Bachelor's degree 5 years ago from a well known legacy program. In my experience, as well as that of my cohort and those who came before me, nobody cares what your degree is. The master's is listed as an entry level degree because that's what the current terminal degree is. Have never run into a job application issue with my BS. 

Only reason I upgraded was to teach. Maybe it's different in other regions of the country, but it hasn't seemed to matter here in the PNW.

While I can maybe see a doctorate being a terminal degree for the PA program itself someday, I don't believe we will see that in the employment field for a very long time,.if ever 

Disclaimer: All opinion,. anecdote, and personal experience of someone who just woke.up.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a slightly different take on this... get a terminal degree in the field you want to augment your PA education.  An MBA or MHA would be fine.  Only academics get doctoral degrees in these fields.  I do not think an MPH will cut it as your "secondary degree" as a PA as the DrPH supersedes the MPH and the MD/DO supersedes PA.  You'll be "midlevel" in everything you train for if you do the MPH.  I don't think the DHSc or DMSc has made enough inroads yet for a terminal degree for PAs and other than academics, I think its utility is limited.  This will change with time - but if you want to move up - get something you want that will help - not something that have you fighting every time you want to do something.  

G

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/5/2020 at 3:39 PM, MediMike said:

I got a Bachelor's degree 5 years ago from a well known legacy program. In my experience, as well as that of my cohort and those who came before me, nobody cares what your degree is. The master's is listed as an entry level degree because that's what the current terminal degree is. Have never run into a job application issue with my BS. 

I believe we went to the same program at different times. While I am a rare bird here, I attempted to join the Air Force as a PA without a Master’s and was shot down. Hard requirement.
Which is completely bogus if you ask me, but that is my anecdotal experience with my Bachelor degree. 

Edited by deltawave
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, deltawave said:

I believe we went to the same program at different times. While I am a rare bird here, I attempted to join the Air Force as a PA without a Master’s and was shot down. Hard requirement.
Which is completely bogus if you ask me, but that is my anecdotal experience with my Bachelor degree. 

Every corporate urgent care I have worked for has had a hard requirement for a masters.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kang1208 said:

Here’s my question- for jobs which required a masters degree, do you really need to have a masters in PA studies or it could be a masters degree in anything?

That would be up to the employer.  PA master's degrees vary.  So, they aren't all MPAS (MMSc, MSBS, MPA, MS).  Employer could require it be healthcare related.  My street smarts...So long as you are a PA-C and have a master's degree in anything would suffice for employment so long as there are no state requirements specifying what type of degree you must have.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, deltawave said:

I believe we went to the same program at different times. While I am a rare bird here, I attempted to join the Air Force as a PA without a Master’s and was shot down. Hard requirement.
Which is completely bogus if you ask me, but that is my anecdotal experience with my Bachelor degree. 

Military didn't cross my mind! Larger more bureaucratic organizations probably do have some set in stone standards.

Did you end up finishing a MS and joining up still?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More