Why I Did the DMSc | Ryan O


While I was in PA school, I knew that I wanted to advance my education further. I did not know what I wanted to do, but I knew PA education was something I wanted to get involved in. I am younger than the typical DMSc student. I graduated from PA school at 25 and began the DMSc program at 26. I saw the DMSc program as a way to build foundational knowledge for someone who does not have official PA education experience.

When researching DMSc programs, I created an excel sheet and had a list of each program’s cost, duration, the focus of the school, and things that were important to me. Afterward, I began to narrow down my list and landed on the program at ATSU. The program sparked my interest because of its affordability, education concentration, program length of 2 years, and research focus.

I was initially worried about the cost of the DMSc degree. Yet, I found that the ATSU program was affordable, if not one of the most affordable programs in the U.S. I did not want to take out more loans for the DMSc, so I asked my employer about helping pay for the degree, and it turns out they are willing to help. It was a major help and financial relief. I also inquired about local scholarships in my area and ended up getting most of my DMSc tuition covered.

The DMSc program at ATSU has given me three things; a foundational knowledge of PA education, research and medical writing skills, and a seat at the table when it comes to hospital leadership. I feel well prepared by the courses that ATSU taught. I also feel more prepared and have a solid foundational knowledge for medical writing and research, and actually had one of my articles published in JAAPA because of the help from the program. As I enter into PA education, I feel confident that I have the research skills that are needed with a career in academia. I also believe that having a doctorate gives you a seat at the table when it comes to hospital leadership. Many of our mid-level colleagues have a doctorate, and having this degree prepares us to step into hospital leadership roles and make decisions.

I was beyond ecstatic when I found out I got into the DMSc program. I knew that ATSU was where I wanted to be and knew it was competitive to get into. Before the DMSc, I was worried that I would never feel completely fulfilled when it came to my career. The DMSc filled that gap. Having this DMSc degree will help me break into a new path of PA education.

When I entered the DMSc program, I expected a program that would make my assignments relatable and worth my time while attaining a challenging yet rewarding degree from professors at the top of our field. I got this and so much more through this program. I was most looking forward to the education concentration classes and the research thesis classes as I knew I wanted to hone my research skills. All of these classes met my expectations and more.

The DMSc program is phenomenal at ATSU. All of the faculty truly care about your success and are very well-accomplished PAs. I was able to feel close and build a relationship with each professor, which you cannot normally say with an online program.

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