Doctor of Health Science

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The Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc.) is a post-professional academic degree for those who intend to pursue or advance a professional practice career in Health Arts and Sciences, and Health Care Delivery Systems, to include clinical practice, education, administration, and research. Individuals who complete the D.H.Sc. face the particular challenge of understanding and adapting scientific knowledge in order to achieve health gain and results. This degree leads to a career in high-level administration, teaching, applied research, or practice, where advanced analytical and conceptual capabilities are required. The Doctor of Health Science is a degree that prepares scholarly professionals in healthcare.


In Europe and Australia, the degree is awarded after completion of two to three years of coursework and research beyond the Master's degree. The degree found its place in the United States in April 2002, under the leadership of Dr.s Richard Davis and Guy Nehrenz of the College of Allied Health at Nova Southeastern University,[1] the largest independent institution of higher education in the southeastern United States and seventh-largest not-for-profit, independent university nationwide, began to offer the D.H.Sc. degree to clinical professionals. Like its European counter-parts, an individual typically has to complete three to four years of study beyond the Master's degree. In order to be accepted into the program a person must possess a Master's degree from a regionally accredited United States university, and have prior health care experience. In addition to completing two to four years of intensive course work, candidates must complete one to three on-campus institutes, internships, and an applied research project or practicum. In 2008, the Arizona School of Health Sciences[2] of A.T. Still University, the first Osteopathic medical school in the nation, began to offer the D.H.Sc. degree.


The D.H.Sc. has been compared in course content to the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), and the Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science (PhD) degrees, but distinguishes itself from these degrees in focus and dissertation requirements. Furthermore, Master's credentialed paramedical professionals (i.e., Respiratory Therapist, Radiology technologist, Pathologists' assistant, Athletic trainer, Physical therapy, Physician assistant, Occupational Therapy), advanced practice clinicians/diagnosticians with Master's degrees, as well as mid- and executive-level healthcare administrators and educators, and public health professionals, are drawn to the D.H.Sc. credential in effort to advance their careers toward top executive echelons and academic appointments.

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