How Physician Assistant Doctoral Programs Prepare PAs for Success

As more people enter the physician’s assistant (PA) profession, the opportunities for further education continue to multiply. Physician assistant doctoral programs provide PAs the opportunity to take their expertise to the next level.

Touro University Worldwide offers one of the only online Doctorate of Physician Assistant (DPA) degree programs, representing the highest educational level a PA can reach. By obtaining a DPA, PAs join the ranks of other healthcare professions such as occupational and physical therapists, audiologists, and nurses earning doctoral degrees.

Graduates from a DPA program have the knowledge and expertise needed to excel as leaders in the PA profession. Leadership skills are critical as PAs increasingly take on responsibilities in healthcare with a significant impact on patient care outcomes.

The Growing Need for Physician Assistants

The role of physician assistants (PAs) is swiftly changing and becoming increasingly vital in healthcare. According to BLS data, the employment of PAs is projected to grow by 27% from 2022 to 2032, with a median annual salary of $130,020. This growth is propelled by PAs taking on more tasks traditionally reserved for doctors, such as diagnosing, evaluating, and treating patients, typically under the supervision of a physician.

Several key factors drive the expansion of PAs:

  • The escalating demand for healthcare services due to population growth and the aging Baby Boomer generation.
  • A rise in chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. 
  • Increased incomes, potentially widening healthcare accessibility. 
  • Technological advancements in medicine, broadening the range of treatments PAs can administer. 

This shift towards a team-based approach to healthcare, particularly in both rural and urban settings, underscores the growing importance of PAs in ensuring accessible, quality medical care. 

The Growing Need for Physician Assistants

Pursuing a Doctor of Physician Assistant degree offers significant advantages, enabling Physician Assistants (PAs) to deepen their problem-solving skills, which is crucial for improving patient outcomes. This advanced degree also arms them with robust leadership skills essential for effective management in various healthcare environments. As the role of PAs expands, gaining a doctorate can pave the way for greater autonomy in their careers. It opens up opportunities to serve on hospital advisory boards or pursue academic positions. This higher level of education not only enhances their capabilities in clinical settings but also positions them as key influencers in the healthcare sector. This helps drive innovation and shape future healthcare policies.

How the TUW DPA Program is Different

The TUW DPA program prepares graduates for leadership roles and teaches them the skills needed to deliver healthcare services more effectively. Some of the differences with the program include the following.

  • The program is 100% online, allowing students the convenience to advance their degree while maintaining professional and personal schedules
  • It takes an average of just 18 months to complete the program
  • Residency is not required
  • GRE in not required
  • Students can transfer in up to 6 credits
  • The program’s instructors are active scholar-practitioners who are either PAs or MDs.
  • The curriculum is directly applicable to PAs. It allows students to focus on their area of interest in the global healthcare industry

Courses in the DPA program include advanced studies in the scholar-practitioner model, evidence-based medicine, pharmacology and therapeutics, healthcare law and professional practice, healthcare management, and contemporary professional issues in medicine.

For PAs who want to reach the upper echelon of their growing profession, earning a Doctorate of Physician Assistant can help them attain their career goals. The DPA will also sharpen their patient care skills, leading to improved patient care across various environments.

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