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Types of Doctoral Degree Programs for PAs

Types of Doctoral Degree Programs for Physician Assistants

Doctor of Medical Science (offered by A.T. Still University)

The establishment of ATSU's new discipline-specific Doctor of Medical Science program is an important pathway for physician assistants wishing to become leaders and scholar-educators in order to enhance the delivery of whole person healthcare to underserved populations.

Students in this exclusive post-professional, terminal PA degree program must be currently or previously certified or licensed to practice as physician assistants who want to advance their careers in whole person healthcare including:

  • Educational leadership
  • Industry leadership
  • Federal, state, local, and healthcare policy and advocacy

Doctor of Physician Assistant Studies*

This is a clinically-focused terminal degree anchored by clinical practicum to achieve defined clinical competencies over the course of the program. The focus is on incorporating current clinical trends and evidence-based medicine modeled after graduate medical education for physicians. Students can choose to advance their careers in delivering whole person healthcare in professions such as:

  • Primary care
  • Hospital medicine
  • Emergency medicine

Physician Assistant PhD*

Some individuals may consider enrolling in a very focused physician assistant PhD program in order to perform advanced healthcare research, fine tune their skills, or develop a specialization. This type of physician assistant doctorate program may require students to complete original research or submit a dissertation as part of their graduation requirements, additional coursework or practical training might also be components of a physician assistant doctorate program. Source:

Due to the specialization of this type of traditional PA PhD program, many of these doctorally-prepared individuals are not necessarily equipped with the skills needed to address issues of the modern workplace in order to properly train the next generation of PAs.

*These programs are not offered by A.T. Still University.

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Community Health Center

Waianae, Hawaii

As a leading provider of quality healthcare for area residents, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center also provides community employment and health education. More than 80% of the staff are local residents, and many were trained at the affiliated Waianae Health Academy. Find out more.

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From public health centers located in communities where services are needed most, to research and other leading edge whole person healthcare initiatives, you can create your own legacy by contributing to the specific cause that moves you most. Find out more.

Whole person healthcare

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Whole person healthcare takes an integrated approach that addresses body, mind and spirit as one. Students are encouraged to participate in wellness programs and study areas including nutrition and psychology to gain a more comprehensive understanding. Find out more.

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Let your light shine at A.T. Still University. Combining leading-edge whole person healthcare with a commitment to serving those communities where needs are greatest, we provide students the opportunity to truly excel as doctors, dentists, healthcare providers and healthcare leaders.