New PLC: Entry-Level Doctoral Degree Discussion

In 2019, a resolution came to the floor at the PAEA Business Meeting to discuss the clinical doctorate as the entry-level degree for the PA profession. This motion was referred to our Board of Directors for further investigation.

The Board felt that the Association’s decision should be informed through a multi-step process involving various stakeholders. Step 1 was a funded opportunity created in April to incentivize new research related to the impact of doctoral entry-level degrees in health professions. PAEA provided five individuals/teams with funding to support their research on this important topic.

Now, for step 2, the Board would like to hear from you, our members. PAEA will facilitate two opportunities for you to share your thoughts and reflections on how an alternative entry-level credential may affect the PA profession. Today, we would like to announce the launch of a Professional Learning Community (PLC), “Entry-Level Doctoral Degree Discussion,”* where members can share feedback with us. PAEA will also host a virtual town hall in early September to discuss the feedback and research findings.

Lastly, PAEA will engage in facilitated discussions with our sister organizations (AAPA, NCCPA, and ARC-PA) in September at the cross-org meeting. These discussions will include the analysis of research findings, your feedback as members, and input from each organization to help the Board finalize a formal policy recommendation to be presented to the membership at our 2020 Business Meeting.

We encourage you to participate in the discussion on the PLC over the next several weeks and join us for the Town Hall in September as your comments will be a vital resource for the Board as they formulate a policy recommendation.

PAEA is excited to provide these opportunities. We hope you will join us and the Board of Directors as we continue to examine this topic of great importance to the PA profession. If you have any questions, please reach out to

*Members can access the PLC by signing into their Member Community account. For technical assistance, please reach out to