Monday, August 24, 2009

Wake Forest fires the first shot....

Here we go, Wake Forest University fires the first shot. Found this over on the forums.


Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Applications are invited for the position of chair of the Department of PA Studies at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The chair has overall responsibility for all activities of the department and reports directly to the dean of the School of Medicine.
The Department of PA Studies was one of the first PA programs in the country. It is a pioneer in the use of problem-based learning (PBL) and had over 700 applicants for the 56 positions available in the class starting in 2009. Wake Forest will be the first institution in the country to offer a combined Master of Medical Science (MMS) and PhD program, pending final approval by the University’s Board of Trustees.
The successful candidate will have an established record of leadership in PA education (including exposure to PBL) and extensive administrative experience. A doctoral degree (or one in progress) and research experience are highly desirable. We seek a leader who is well grounded in all aspects of PA education and who also has a vision for the continued growth and development of the field.
To apply, send a curriculum vitae and letter of interest to

Burton V. Reifler MD, MPH
Chair of the Search Committee, at

Wake Forest University School of Medicine is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

So, it sounds like an entry level PhD program for PA's....Which is groundbreaking, this has the potential to really, and dynamically affect PA education, although not necessarily for the better. The proof is in the details, and still remains to be seen.



Kane said...

I'm unsure of what you mean. Is this groundbreaking because this is one of the first PhD PA programs in the country? How does this affect PA education? Do you mean that other schools are soon to follow? If so, is the PA profession going to be more difficult to get into or through? Would this further differentiate PA's from NP's in a good way? Does this mean higher wages or reimbursement rates?

Michael Halasy, MS, PA-C said...

This is the problem, no one knows. This will be the FIRST combined PA/PhD program in the country. Personally, I think this will likely be an isolated pathway that may spread to a couple of other universities, but certainly won't affect the majority of programs. PA school is already pretty difficult to get into, and I can't imagine it getting harder. This will really only allow those PA's that wish to pursue a career in academia, and/or research a path.

Dave said...

I LOVE the fact that we are evolving. We must do many different things to see what fits and what we will eventually take from each innovation and incorporate into real PA practice.
This is fine as long as we do non mandate doctorates (yet) or in any way infer that these people are better clinically trained as some of the DNP programs have done to non-DNP NPs.

RN_Trish said...

PA residencies would be a blessing!! I've seen great PA students bgut I've also seen some really young 'uns and some who just need a good job with money making potential and some of them scare me!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think making a Masters degree the standard in PA education is first priority. Having PhD degree for PA educators/researchers is critical for legitimacy for future PA education.

Anonymous said...

18 months residency program in EM with a DSc awarded is absurd. You've mocked and critized the 3-4 year DNP programs as being superfulous. I think a PA with 24 training in basic medical sciences then given 18 months "intensive" training in EM does make a mockery of Doctoral education. The EM training is important and relavent to EM PAs but the DSc is utter nonsense and hardly a legit degree.

Anonymous said...

PhD would be in Education NOT medicine.

Michael Halasy, MS, PA-C, DHSc(c) said...

I never stated that the DSc degree would be in any way comparable to an MD. I actually don't have a problem with the DNP degree from a PA standpoint, my problem arises from making a degree a mandate, and therefore potentially altering workforce supply trends. The other problem with the DNP is that there does not seem to be any contiguity between programs. The curriculums can vary widely, and most seem to be focused on an academic tract, and not a clinical tract. This also seems to be the best utilization of the DNP degree, by encouraging and increasing nursing school faculty to help correct the eventual shortage of nurses.