An Exploration into the Physician Assistant Entry-Level Doctoral Degree: Lessons Learned from Across Health Professions

Karen L. Gordes, Shani Fleming, Violet Kulo, James F. Cawley, Lucy Kibe, Gerald Kayingo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores current trends in the ongoing debate about transitioning to an entry-level doctoral degree for the physician assistant (PA) profession and identifies lessons learned from the disciplines of nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy, which have already transitioned to an entry-level doctoral credential. We conducted a mixed-method study that involved an interprofessional systematic literature review and an examination of publicly available databases. Based on lessons learned from other health professions, a model for implementation of an entry-level doctoral degree for the PA profession is presented here. Recommendations for the profession include establishing a clear objective for doctoral degree transition, providing flexibility for options in program delivery, and transitioning through a phased approach. Further studies are warranted to explore risks and benefits in detail and to establish PA doctorate essentials, competencies, and an accreditation plan before the profession transitions to an entry-level doctoral credential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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