Despite his workload, Dr. Irimia, an assistant professor of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, takes special pride in teaching his online students at MGH Institute of Health Professions graduate school.

“I have a passion for physics and I know medicine,” he explains, “So I really enjoy making physics relevant to students who are pursuing careers in the health professions.”

The online connection

“It’s very rare to find a physics professor with a strong medical background,” notes Christine Hovey, a student who used a physical science kit—mailed to her so she could complete the lab portion of a class at home.  

Many students take the online courses to meet the requirements needed to enter direct-entry health professions programs. These courses can lead to bachelors and master’s degree in nursing, master’s degrees in physician assistant studies and speech-language pathology, as well as clinical doctorates in occupational therapy and physical therapy.

Jack of all degrees

Prior to starting a three-year Master of Science in Nursing, Jonathan Gerbode-Grant took several courses, such as anatomy & physiology, research statistical analysis and several chemistry classes. Gerbode-Grant commends the standards set by professors like Oksana Berezovska, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and assistant in neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital. “They are passionate and driven people,” he sums, explaining they “want to inspire their students to embody those same beliefs.”