Select Page

Top 10 high ROI doctorate programs the MSMS prepares you for

by May 1, 2024

Home » NUHS Blog » Top 10 high ROI doctorate programs the MSMS prepares you for

In a post-COVID-19 landscape, the demand for healthcare professionals has never been greater. From specialized surgeons performing life-saving procedures to innovative researchers pushing the boundaries of medical science, today’s highest-earning medical careers encompass a diverse array of opportunities that cater to varying interests and aptitudes.   

National University of Health Science’s Master of Science in Medical Sciences (MSMS) is a rigorous and comprehensive program that trains aspiring medical professionals to confidently begin their academic journeys into these sought-after and high-paying careers. Our program is rooted in the study of medically relevant sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, neuroscience, and more. Graduates of the program become well-rounded candidates better equipped to continue their education in competitive health professions programs. 

Many students that enter the one-year MSMS program, aspire to become leaders in the healthcare field, such as medical, chiropractic, or naturopathic doctors, researchers, or instructors in higher education. Once they earn their MSMS degree, they are better equipped to not only gain acceptance into the medical school of their choice, they’re also more likely to succeed in the rigorous academic environment. 

The MSMS degree can help prepare graduates for the pursuit of further study in these demanding career fields:  

1. Physician and medical specialties (MD, DO)  

Physicians and specialists such as surgeons require four years of medical education at an accredited medical school, their salaries are among the highest of all health care occupations. According to a 2024 Forbes list of top earning medical jobs, the physicians and surgeons below make the following:  

  • Cardiologist: $421,330  
  • Orthopedic surgeons (except pediatric): $371,410  
  • Dermatologist: $327,650  
  • Emergency medicine physician: $316,600  
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon: $309,410  
  • Anesthesiologist: $302,970  

2. Naturopathic Medicine 

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are trained as primary care physicians who diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses. NDs require four years of training at an accredited naturopathic medicine university. They are highly trained diagnosticians and focus on the least invasive and least toxic therapies to address underlying causes of illness and to support the body’s own ability to ward off and combat disease. Naturopathic Doctors address chronic health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, asthma and heart disease, using modern medical science and natural therapies. Treatment modalities can include nutritional counseling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and minor surgery.  

According to the 2020 Graduate Success and Compensation Study conducted by the Association of American Naturopathic Medicine Colleges, NDs can expect to make between $80,000 and $150,000 per year.  

3. Chiropractic Medicine 

Chiropractic physicians help their patients explore natural, drug-free and surgery-free approaches that can help improve their health and minimize any painful symptoms they may be experiencing. They also provide preventive health care—in fact, thousands of back surgeries every year are prevented through natural and conservative care from DCs.  

According to Chiropractic Economics’ latest salary survey, chiropractors working in solo practices made an average yearly compensation of over $137,000.  In addition to private practice, more hospitals, clinics and private practices are integrating this type of care into their services too. At these integrated settings, DCs made an average yearly compensation of over $207,000, according to the Chiropractic Economics survey.  

4. Dentistry 

Oral health is intricately linked to overall well-being, with dental professionals playing a crucial role in preventing and treating various oral diseases and conditions that can impact a person’s quality of life. By promoting good oral hygiene practices and providing preventive care, dentists contribute to the prevention of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, underscoring the integral role of dentistry in holistic healthcare.  

Once you complete the four-year dentistry program, the field offers a diverse range of career opportunities, and options to explore further sub-specialties such as orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, and oral surgery. This diversity allows individuals to tailor their career paths according to their interests and strengths, whether it be in clinical practice, research, academia, or public health. With an annual salary of $159,000, dentistry is also among the highest paid health care careers.   

5. Podiatry 

Podiatrists specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions affecting the feet, ankles, and lower extremities, playing a crucial role in enhancing mobility, alleviating pain, and improving overall quality of life for their patients.  

Like other doctors, podiatrists require an additional four years of training at podiatric colleges rather than traditional medical school. The median annual wage for podiatrists is $148,000. 

6. Pharmacy 

Pharmacists play a crucial role in patient care by providing medication therapy management, counseling patients on proper medication use, and monitoring for adverse effects or interactions. The industry offers various career paths, including community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, research, academia, pharmaceutical industry, and regulatory agencies. Whether students are interested in working directly with patients or behind the scenes in research and development, there are many opportunities to explore within pharmacy.  

To earn a Pharm.D. and become a pharmacist, students must attend Pharmacy School, which is four years of academic preparation in the professional program. The annual salary for pharmacists is $132,000.  

7. Physician Assistant  

Physician Assistants (PA) are trained to practice medicine under the supervision of physicians, providing a wide range of medical services to patients across various specialties and settings.  

For a high median average salary of $126,000, becoming a physician’s assistant requires two years of additional training in a Master’s program. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow by 27 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations, providing ample job opportunities and job security for aspiring PAs.  

8. Optometry  

Optometrists specialize in providing comprehensive eye care, including vision testing, diagnosing, and treating eye diseases, prescribing corrective lenses, and managing visual conditions.   

After four years of optometry school, graduates become a Doctor of Optometry. They can pursue various areas such as primary eye care, pediatric, geriatric, specialty contact lenses, vision therapy, and low vision rehabilitation. Because optometry offers a diverse and dynamic scope of practice, it is a great career path that has a median annual salary of over $125,000.  

9. Veterinary 

Veterinarians play a crucial role in safeguarding the health and welfare of animals, serving as advocates for their well-being and ensuring they receive appropriate care and treatment. Whether working with beloved pets, livestock, exotic animals, or wildlife, veterinarians are entrusted with the responsibility of diagnosing and treating a diverse range of medical conditions, preventing diseases, and promoting responsible pet ownership and animal welfare practices.   

Typical responsibilities encompass treating illnesses and injuries, conducting surgical and medical procedures and dental work, and vaccinating animals against diseases. They also teach owners preventive healthcare. The median annual wage for veterinarians is over $103,000. 

10. Physical Therapy 

Physical therapists play a crucial role in helping individuals of all ages and abilities improve their mobility, function, and quality of life. Whether recovering from injury, managing chronic conditions, or seeking to enhance athletic performance, physical therapists develop personalized treatment plans to address patients’ specific needs and goals, empowering them to achieve optimal physical health and well-being. 

A doctorate degree is required to become a physical therapist. They typically work in private offices and clinics, hospitals, patients’ homes, and nursing homes. According to BLS, the median income for physical therapists is $97,720 per year. 

And More! 

Beyond enhancing your preparation for further study in a demanding avenue of health care practice, the MSMS degree can also provide a unique skillset for careers in medical research, pharmaceutical sales, and higher education.   

A Program that Paves the Way 

The MSMS program, offered at National University of Health Sciences’ Illinois campus, provides enhanced science preparation for students who are looking to enrich their undergraduate records in order to pursue additional advanced schooling in a competitive environment. To pursue an advanced degree, you need more than just passion, you need a sound return on investment. However, with both an increased demand for health care professionals, you can be confident that the time and money you spend on your preparation and degree will be well worth it.  

Subscribe to our blog

Follow NUHS on Social Media

About the Author

Dr. Kathryn Rioch

Dr. Kathryn Rioch

Kathryn Rioch EdD, MS, RDN, LDN, is Chair of the College of Allied Health and Distance Education and Program Director of the Master of Science in Medical Sciences Program. She has also been an instructor since 2010, teaching nutrition-related courses within the College of Allied Health and the College of Professional Sciences. Dr. Rioch has over 20 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics as a registered and licensed dietitian-nutritionist.  She received her Doctor of Education from Maryville University in 2021 and received her Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness from Benedictine University in 2014. Additionally, she completed her dietetic internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2002.    


Related Posts

NUHS Sports Medicine expert breaks exercise myths

NUHS Sports Medicine expert breaks exercise myths

In honor of Exercise Day April 18, Carlo Guadagno, DC, DACBSP®, ICSC, FICC, a National University of Health Sciences’ Florida faculty member, shares some of the most pervasive exercise myths that continue to circulate, shedding light on the truth behind them. Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or trying to catch up on a News Years’ resolution to live a healthier lifestyle, join us in debunking these misconceptions and paving the way for a more effective and sustainable approach to exercise.

read more
NUHS expert faculty share 7 diplomate specialties chiropractic physicians can pursue

NUHS expert faculty share 7 diplomate specialties chiropractic physicians can pursue

The broad curriculum offered by National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) provides chiropractic medicine students exposure to topics they want to study in more depth. Diplomate degrees, obtained through various professional certification boards under the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), allow students to pursue these interests and, eventually, use this advanced knowledge within their future practices. Diplomate degrees are a form of board certification that reflects advanced knowledge and training in a particular field.

read more
5 things you should know about the DAc-C program before you apply

5 things you should know about the DAc-C program before you apply

Going back to school to complete a doctorate degree doesn’t have to be a challenge. For those with a Master’s degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine, the new Doctor of Acupuncture completion program (DAc-C) at NUHS can be a surprisingly quick way to enhance your acupuncture practice.

read more

Defining the future of integrated health care.