PAEA Membership Hot Topics: Entry-Level Doctoral Degree Town Hall

In 2019, a resolution came to the floor at the PAEA Business Meeting to discuss and potentially endorse 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 for five individuals/teams, to incentivize new research related to the impact of doctoral entry-level degrees in health professions.  

Step 2 includes you our members as the Board values your voices and feedback. PAEA is facilitating two opportunities to bring our membership in to engage in the process. Recently, we launched the “Entry-Level Doctoral Degree Discussion” PLC* where you can share your reflections on this topic. And today, we are opening registration for a virtual “Hot Topics” Town Hall on September 10 from 7:00–8:30 p.m. ET. During the town hall, you will hear from PAEA Board President Howard Straker, EdD, MPH, PA-C, and PAEA CEO Mary Jo Bondy, DHEd, MHS, PA-C, as well as a member of each of the five research teams. 

This session will provide the research teams an opportunity to share their findings with the membership and also provides a space for PAEA members to contribute to the dialogue surrounding how an alternative entry-level credential might affect the profession. 

Taking into consideration the research findings and member feedback, the Board will move into Step 3 of developing a policy recommendation. The final step will be for PAEA to engage in facilitated discussions with our sister organizations (AAPA, NCCPA, and ARC-PA) in September at the cross-org meeting. Following the completion of each step, the Board will formulate a formal recommendation that will be voted on at the 2020 Business Meeting. 

We encourage you to continue the discussion in the PLC and to register for the town hall. We hope you will join us and the Board of Directors as we continue to examine this important topic for the PA profession. If you have any questions, please reach out to 

Register Now! 

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