During the August 2013 commencement, graduate Dana Madigan became the first student to complete a coordinated DC and MPH degree program offered through National University of Health Sciences and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“I am so excited to be graduating with both degrees and so grateful for all the support from everyone who has worked to make this opportunity happen,” says Dr. Madigan, who earned her master’s degree in public health from UIC’s School of Public Health in the health policy and administration division.
Dana Madigan and President Stiefel
Through the NUHS and UIC partnership, students can complete both a DC and MPH degree in far less time and at less expense than earning each degree separately. The program takes advantage of advanced standing credits in each school, and allows students to tailor their coursework to fit both degrees. For example, Dana completed her MPH field experience requirement through working in NUHS clinics at two Salvation Army facilities. Her MPH capstone project was on the role of chiropractic physicians in the National Health Service Corps.
“I have absolutely loved my experience in the coordinated degree program. It was a lot of work, but the programs complemented each other perfectly,” she says. “The dual program really made me aware of why I wanted to be a doctor in the first place. It helped me think more critically and better assess community health needs. I really hope other students take advantage of this program. It takes a little adjusting and dedication but it is definitely worthwhile.”
Dr. Madigan feels that the NUHS and UIC partnership is also a step forward for the chiropractic profession. “A lot of medical schools offer similar programs and I think this will help prepare chiropractic physicians to fill the health needs of underserved communities.”
Dr. Madigan has been a research assistant at NUHS since 2009, and was also a teacher’s assistant at UIC. In addition, she served as president of the NUHS Public Health Club, published research for and presented at conferences of the American Public Health Association, and was the first DC student to be selected for The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
This fall Dr. Madigan will start a research residency at NUHS while concurrently beginning a PhD program at UIC in the environmental and occupational health sciences division. “I hope that as a research resident at NUHS I can help other students see the benefits of the coordinated degree program.”