Jump to content

Another Doctorate program

Recommended Posts

  • Moderator
MCPHS University

Program Coordinator - DScPAS Program

Apply Now


For nearly 200 years, MCPHS University, formerly known as Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has been at the forefront of innovation in the healthcare world. We take pride in our history, yet are motivated by a curiosity about the future. That's why we are constantly updating our state-of-the-art labs, innovating our curriculums, and adding programs to coincide with the needs of an ever-changing healthcare landscape.

Faculty and staff continue to bring their talents and skills to MCPHS University to contribute to our mission of guiding and supporting students toward successful and sustainable careers in healthcare. Whatever position an employee holds, their efforts make an important impact on the overall quality of campus life. Employees are an integral part of a community that is proud of its heritage and the accomplishments that make MCPHS University a first-class educational institution.


The Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS) Program Coordinator oversees of the operations of the MCPHS University DScPAS program in collaboration with the Associate Provost for the Center for Online Learning and Academic Innovation.

  • Review, revise and publish a DScPAS program mission statement, program goals and objectives
  • Establish and monitor measurable program performance benchmarks
  • Ensure that the DScPAS program meets all applicable accreditation standards
  • Coordinate the development and implementation of DScPAS program policies and procedures
  • Establish, implement, and monitor program assessment, revising where possible
  • Recruit and develop program faculty and staff, including adjunct faculty
  • Work with the Office of Admission to recruit exceptional candidates
  • Advise students and oversee student performance and academic standing
  • Coordinate the program curriculum and establish measurable curricular performance benchmarks
  • Provide reports to university administration and accrediting agencies as required
  • Develop, organize, and perform continuous program self-study and evaluation
  • Teach and/or participate in teaching courses in the DScPAS and other doctoral programs as needed
  • Represent the DScPAS program in the University and external communities
  • Serve on departmental, school, and university committees

Additional responsibilities may be assigned by the supervisor.

Rank is commensurate with education and experience.


  • An earned doctoral degree in an appropriate discipline
  • If a physician assistant, current NCCPA Certification and eligibility for MA or NH state licensure
  • If a physician, current ABMS or AOA board certification and physician licensure in MA or NH
  • Knowledgeable about the PA role in medicine and current PA practice standards
  • Postsecondary teaching or administrative experience, preferably at the graduate level
  • Experience in higher education administration
  • Experience with online learning and teaching
  • Strong leadership, organization, and English communication skills
  • Ability to effectively work independently on numerous and diverse projects/tasks
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to effectively work in an interprofessional team environment
  • Excellent computer skills including facility with MS Office and learning management software
  • Experience teaching online and online education administration preferred

MCPHS offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits, including a substantial health/dental insurance subsidy, generous holiday/vacation policy, and a significant pension plan contribution.

Please attach a cover letter and a curriculum vitae. No phone calls, please. Principals only. Finalist candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check as a condition of employment. MCPHS University is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants who would enrich the University's diversity are welcome to apply.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS)

Location: Online
Start Terms: Fall, Spring, Summer

As a physician assistant (PA), you positively impact the lives of patients every day. Now, you have the opportunity to advance your career and make your mark in the world of interprofessional and collaborative practice.

One of the first programs of its kind, the Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS) program empowers PAs to meet the evolving demands of today’s healthcare field. This part-time program is offered online and allows you to build on your Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree to further your education and career.

Looking to the Future of the Field

Today in the United States, more than 115,500 certified PAs serve across all medical and surgical specialties. It’s an exciting time to be a PA – and at MCPHS, we value the contributions PAs make to the interprofessional healthcare team. We also understand that since the very first PA-specific master’s degree was awarded in 1975, the knowledge and skills required of PAs in the industry have increased. That’s why we are proud to be one of the first universities in the world to offer a Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS) degree. By earning a DScPAS degree, students gain the experience, skills, and knowledge they will need to excel in a growing and competitive field.

A Focus on Interprofessional Education

The program prepares students to participate effectively in today’s evolving healthcare workforce. By focusing on better preparing students for collaborative practice, the program’s innovative curriculum enhances the effectiveness of PAs on interprofessional teams. Students gain the experience, knowledge, and skills they will need to make an impact in an interprofessional setting.

Research and Scholarship

Students in the DScPAS program develop skills that are directly applicable to their roles as PAs. During the final half of the program, students are guided through a capstone project that helps them apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills to improve their practice. This hands-on research experience allows students to gain the support, insight, and skills they will need to make significant contributions to interprofessional practice throughout their careers.

Study Online

The DScPAS program is offered online, allowing students to balance career advancement with the rest of their busy lives. Designed for working PAs holding MPAS or equivalent degrees, the DScPAS program provides an online pathway for PAs to enhance their current practice and expand future opportunities. The format of this part-time program allows students to continue working while advancing their education.

Take the Next Step

Applicants to the Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program should use the MCPHS Graduate Application to apply.

  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) (or equivalent) from regionally accredited university
  • Minimum GPA: 3.20
  • Work experience as a PA preferred but not mandatory
  • Proof of state licensure (or equivalent) and current NCCPA certification (graduate PA applicants only)

The DScPAS curriculum is new and innovative; designed by an interprofessional team to better meet the demands of interprofessional and collaborative practice. Students may choose concentrations from a variety of MCPHS offerings to better meet their personal and professional goals.



HSC 801 Introduction to Doctoral Studies 3
  Concentration Course I 3
Semester Total 6


HSC 815 Healthcare Research Methods 3
  Concentration Course II 3
Semester Total 6


HSC 852* Question Development & Search for Evidence  3
  Concentration Course II 3
Semester Total 6


HSC 854* EBHC Capstone II:  Appraisal of the Evidence 3
Semester Total 3


HSC 854* EBHC Capstone III:  Dissemination Plan 3
Semester Total 3

Total credits to complete degree requirements


DScPAS Concentrations

Health System Administration – Students explore the complexities of the healthcare system from three perspectives: the challenges and needs of leadership, the cyclical nature of reform and the impacts of policy changes, and from the perspectives of managing financial and human resources in the process of healthcare delivery. This concentration helps to provide a grounding in leadership and management at the systems level.

  • HSC 781 - Leadership in Healthcare Administration
  • HSC 785 - Health Policy and Reform
  • HSC 787 - Financial and Human Resource Management

Educational Leadership – Students are quickly introduced to the challenges of delivering health professions education by considering the relationships between educational theory, course and curricular design approaches, and strategies that support effective and efficient assessments of teaching and learning. Students will appreciate the challenges of delivering educational material to adult learners across the health professions spectrum.

  • HSC 782 – Principles & Theories of Teaching and Learning
  • HSC 784 - Designing Curriculum
  • HSC 786 - Assessment & Evaluation

Clinical Management – Clinical managers are where the rubber meets the road in healthcare; they have the knowledge that ensures smooth operations. This concentration prepares students for the challenges of the health systems environment, the demands of stakeholders, and focuses on the needs of the patient as a co-producer of health.

  • HCM 752 - Quality Improvement


  • HCM 825 - Managing and Delivering Engaged Care
  • HCM 821 - Clinical Informatics and Data Analysis
  • HCM 842 - Practice Management & Leadership

In the second half of the program, students complete a capstone project on a topic of interest focused on applied-learning outcomes. Past capstone projects have included:

  • Implementing and assessing a ventilator associated pneumonia prevention protocol. Outcomes result in the advance practice for the entire facility, and by disseminating the outcomes and process, advance the profession, thereby preventing harm and saving lives at patients’ most fragile stage.
  • Evaluating the best practices and leadership required in the implementation of an antibiotic stewardship program in an acute care hospital. Outcomes result in the leadership required to decrease the potential for infections by reducing indiscriminate use of antibiotics.
  • Reducing central line infections in a surgical intensive care unit through the utilization of the IHI central line bundle. Outcomes result in reducing the potential harm and the costs associated with an intensive care stay for surgical patients.
  • Increasing high fidelity communication with emergency medical personnel transporting trauma victims to the emergency room. Outcomes result in getting, translating, and effectively communicating actionable information to the entire care team.
  • Establishing and upholding family and person-centered care for adults with multiple comorbidities in a primary care practice. Outcomes result in recognizing and promoting the patient as the most valuable link in the delivery of safe and efficient care for chronic illnesses.
  • Establishing the PA role in an orthopedic specialty clinic for children injured in sport. Outcomes result in maintaining future health by helping young athletes to actively and safely engaged in sport.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest HanSolo
9 minutes ago, EMfuturePA said:

doctor of PHYSICIAN ASSTANT studies. That is ridiculous.

I agree. I'd never do it based on the degree title alone. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree the degree title is less than inspiring. I guess it is 'safer' however to not encroach directly onto the realm of Medical Science.

This program has already been running for a year. I think there are some people enrolled in it. I have no idea what they're learning, nor do I have any idea what advantage/open doors having such a degree will confer (OK, aside from the ability to be director-level in a PA program). It certainly does not seem to be clinical training.

I am starting to agree with some on this forum that predict a residency will become a more standard part of PA education at some point in the near-ish future. Maybe that will help counter the DNP wave.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
6 minutes ago, charlottew said:

 I think there are some people enrolled in it. I have no idea what they're learning, nor do I have any idea what advantage/open doors having such a degree will confer (OK, aside from the ability to be director-level in a PA program).

They are learning to be doctors who assist "real doctors". They will be doctors of doctor assisting. pathetic.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, EMEDPA said:

They are learning to be doctors who assist "real doctors". They will be doctors of doctor assisting. pathetic.

I laughed.

Yes I agree it is a bit peculiar. It seems "doctorates" are becoming trendy, perhaps for admin type positions where alphabet soup and being referred to as "Dr. So-and-so" gives off a pleasant ring at fundraisers or conferences. 

It seems as though the capstone projects would be better served as research topics by PhDs (or even MS) of epidemiology or public health.

The classes also seem more like a medically focused MBA, I understand dual MD and MBA programs are beginning to catch on too. But the Sc.D. though somewhat falling out of favor at most universities, is generally considered to be equivalent to a PhD in the US, and being the only non-PhD adult in my immediate family, I can safely say a 2 year course with an online component and no teaching requirement not to mention questionable novel research component, is absolutely not equivalent. It appears to me to be a master's degree dressed up as a Sc.D. because the only applicants would already have a master's. I doubt anyone in academia/research would take it seriously, and academia/research is the precisely the realm of PhDs (or Sc.Ds). If you're looking to impress hospital administration that might be a different story though, but you'd still have to compete with MDs, and you would probably lose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The LMU DMS recently change their curriculum 


I think it is now shorter and cheaper than before, and they no longer promoting a "new provider" as separate from PAs.  It is close to the Lynchburg program except you are essentially study the same medical class (but more advanced).  I think this is a good change. We need more DMS programs, not Doctor of PA studies.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It boggles my mind that any school creating a doctorate for PAs thinks "Doctorate of Physician Assistant Studies" is somehow a good name; doubly so if PAs helped create the program and curriculum, which I'm sure some did.

It makes even less sense than a Master's of Physician Assistant Studies (we've never gone to school to study "Physician Assisting"), and it doesn't accommodate growth or change of the profession. Anyone who has been paying attention for the last 10 years knows that the current professional title is on rocky ground (confirmed with the vote at the HOD this year and the initiative from the AAPA in 2016 to "just say PA").

Creating a new degree with that title is shortsighted and foolish. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the point? Who would look at a "DScPAS" or equivalent and think "I'll hire them over....?" To be a better practitioner, I would think a residency would be better time spent, and if you're not doing it to be a better practitioner, then what? Research? PhDs are on a whole other level, you'd be at best, at the level of a 2nd year PhD student after completion (Physician Assistant to PhD Assistant much?). Or is it Admin related? Then why not a MPH or MBA?

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but all of these, including the LMU DMS just appear to be master's level programs but are geared toward those who already have a master's so marketing has them being called a "doctorate." PhD's possess two critical components, teaching and novel research, these programs don't have either, and online? lol really? And only 2 years, that is a master's degree "period." Fast tracking online degrees stink of the rash of online, for profit, middle management geared institutions that popped up in the late 90's and early 00's. I understand D.Ed, D.Eng, and to some extent Psy.D, but in the medical field it just doesn't make sense, medicine is more akin to research/hard science and the realm of MDs and PhDs as terminal high level degrees. Or am I just being old fashioned?

On a side note, I've personally had professors that included PhDs (obviously), MDs, Chiropractors, and a Podiatrist. As far as quality and depth of understanding, the PhDs are in a league by themselves. I've had some PhDs that would perhaps drop down into the "medical practitioner" group (usually newish grads), but no medical practitioners (including the MDs) that could rise to the PhD level. I even had a PhD physicist that was an HIV/AIDS specialist who I have no doubt would rival or quite likely exceed MD's (excluding those in a Tier 1 research institution) knowledge and understanding of the disease. I asked a few of my PhD professors as an undergrad (at a teaching university no less) how much primary literature they read, the average was 2-4 papers per day, 5-7 days a week; on the low end that is 500+ per year... every year, for decades in some cases. That amount of information consumption is difficult to comprehend. Or am I just being a vicarious elitist? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I think they took the name from the Army Baylor Fellowship programs in Emergency Medicine and Clinical orthopedics. The degrees granted are DSc PA EM or DSc CO. These are accompanied by 18 month fellowships with 3000ish clinical hours, probably more as most folks who I spoke with say they are pulling 60-80 hour week on average. That being said everyone I have seen who has graduated used DSc EM or DSc CO in their signature line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are learning to be doctors who assist "real doctors". They will be doctors of doctor assisting. pathetic.

Why did I picture Richard Pryor from Superman III when I read this?

"In jail there are rapists and robbers and rapists who rape robbers..."

Had me dying! Thanks E

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More