|The University of South Dakota|
Doctoral Degree Program
|Catalog Link||Webpage Link|
|Physical Therapy (http://catalog.usd.edu/ - select graduate)||www.usd.edu/pt|
In addition to USD’s Health Science programs, pre-professional studies students can take coursework that prepares them for entry into graduate programs offered at other universities, including pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, medicine, chiropractic medicine, public health, mortuary science, etc.
This pathway is for individuals who desire a career in the health care industry rather than in a clinically-based profession. The student’s course of study will build a solid academic foundation in humanities, math, science and healthcare. The student will be encouraged to earn up to two minors in addition to the Health Sciences major to create a unique program that will be geared toward individual goals and to increase marketability when seeking employment. The graduate will be prepared for entry-level employment in health care or health related careers.
The Health Sciences Major at the University of South Dakota provides health career advancement for individuals who are already health care workers and who hold an AA, AS, or AAS degree and wish to advance in their current positions or in a related area of health care. After completing this degree, the graduate may go on to pursue graduate work in a specific area of health sciences if desired. Graduates of community colleges who have completed an AAS or AS in a healthcare field can complete the BSHS. Articulation agreements provide for ease of transfer to complete the degree.
Undergraduate research includes working with scientists in basic biomedical research, health disparities, clinical or translational research and data methodologies, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Individuals who choose research as a career choice have job opportunities in a variety of roles. Medical research scientists may be involved in studies to increase the body of scientific knowledge on topics related to medicine. They develop new, or improve existing, drugs, treatments or other medically related products. They may work in research centers/institutes, hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies that may be a private industry as well as the public and nonprofit sectors. The level of research may be basic and involve investigating the underlying basis of health or disease or it may be more applied and include conducting clinical research, investigating methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disorders.
The field of medical and health care research is expanding dramatically as evidenced by medical research occurring in our own state. Through academic partnerships, USD campus and University Center Sioux Falls students have the opportunity to work alongside a research scientist and develop the knowledge, skills and attitude to contribute as a research assistant in exciting biomedical research. This experience is valuable in determining if medical research is the career option to pursue. Medical researchers in Sioux Falls are seeking to cure Type 1 Diabetes, various cancers, the effectiveness of an investigational medication at slowing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on memory and daily activities, human genetics, and personalized medicine to name a few.
Public Health Professionals serve local, national, and international communities as protectors of the public’s health. National concerns such as the obesity epidemic; rise in chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease; disaster management; and the emphasis on wellness have generated new jobs and increased demand for those with public health education. With the addition of a new minor in Public Health and the joint USD/SDSU MPH, the pathway in Public Health is great start to determine whether or not a student might be interested in continuing their education in this direction.
A variety of jobs exist within the public health sector. Generalist positions that graduates with a public health minor might pursue include public health education and health services management. Health Services Managers, for example, are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the medical and health services offered in communities and to specific population groups.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014) from 2012 to 2022, employment of health services managers is projected to grow 23 percent and the employment of health educators and community health workers, 21 percent (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm). These rates are faster than average for all occupations. Continued growth is attributable to efforts to improve health outcomes, reduce health care costs, and expand education to individuals and communities regarding healthy habits and behaviors.
Clinical Informatics provides the opportunity to gain skill in the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in healthcare. The emphasis of this health sciences pathway is quality improvement with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained by completing these courses applicable to any person interested in a career in any area of health care. The application of information technology in delivering healthcare services includes everything from system design/implementation to clinical documentation such as visual images. As a field, use of data systems for information, analytics, and LEAN processes can assist healthcare providers in delivering patient care that is safe, efficient, and timely. Ultimately, this patient-centered care will lower healthcare costs and result in better health outcomes. Access to clinical data can also aid in research. The courses in this pathway address content valuable to anyone choosing a career in all clinical care areas of healthcare, healthcare administration, public health, and healthcare services.