Selecting a graduate program is a very important decision, and one that should not be made lightly. The online Master of Science and Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care program invites you to learn about some of its students' experiences by exploring the testimonials below.
Martha Brown Martin, MD
Class of 2019
Martin is a psychiatrist in private practice and also a psychiatry consultant at a hospice. When she began the MS in Palliative Care, her intention was to become a better-informed psychiatrist working in a hospice setting. Now, just halfway through the program, she's been so inspired that she's considering creating a practice in palliative care.
"The enthusiasm and expertise of the faulty is astonishing to me." Like all her fellow students, Martin selected a concentration after completing the core coursework. Hers is a clinical concentration. Her peers have moved into other tracks, such as leadership and administration, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of palliative care, and aging and applied thanatology (scientific study of death). Regardless of their concentration, though, "I have been so surprised at the sense of community that developed so very quickly with this online program. I feel like I really know my classmates -- who are spread all over the country and even the world."
Martin notes that she has taken a course outside her track (and plans to take more), and will do so again once she completes her requirements. It is this, the depth and breadth of the course of study, that she believes will provide her the skills and knowledge necessary as she considers a transition from practicing psychiatry to palliative care.
Kim Kirsch, BS, RN, CHPN, CMC, CDP
Class of 2020
As assistant director of nursing at Centra-Oakwood Health & Rehabilitation Center in Bedford, Va., Kirsch began the MS in Palliative Care to have the education and tools she needed to help her provide compassionate, quality end-of-life care. She explains that she is passionate about palliative care, and the School of Pharmacy's program had the focused education she was seeking.
"The MS in Palliative Care is a specialized and unique program, and I knew it was for me the moment Dr. McPherson called me personally to answer my questions and tell me all about the program," says Kirsch.
She says the best part of the program has been the camaraderie of like-minded colleagues with the same interest and passion for this specialized area of health care. "I have already learned so much and have been able to apply the principles and incorporate the skills into practice," she adds.
The program has had a career impact as well; Kirsch will soon be moving to a new position at Bon Secours in Richmond, Va., where she will be responsible for the education and mentoring of care managers and other health care providers at the hospital as they manage their most difficult cases.