From the Managing Editor
Welcome to Volume 5 Number 2 of the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice.
Over the past several months, I have been involved in talks regarding professional versus research degrees and the recognition of these degrees. Several professions, to include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Psychology, have a professional degree such as DrOT, DPT, and PsyD. Along with this, these professions also have PhDs. Some of the PhDs are entry level and others are post professional. So who's on first?
Some argue that there should be no professional PhD programs. For instance, the AuD in Audiology is an entry level doctoral degree to practice Audiology while a PhD does not exist. Some may have a PhD in Hearing Sciences, but not in Audiology. A PhD program is a research degree, not a professional practice degree, so why the confusion?
The PhD in Physical Therapy is a post-professional degree that teaches research in the field of physical therapy. The PhD and DrOT in Occupational Therapy are both post-professional programs of which one is based on research and the other, advanced practice. The Doctor of Health Science degree (DHSc) is a post-professional degree for health care practitioners. Many have received promotion and tenure with this degree because it is non-profession specific and falls along the lines of health promotion or public health.
As can be seen, the lines are blurred. So how do we handle faculty promotion in these professions? Some only consider the PhD and perhaps an EdD to be terminal degrees, which in most cases is a requirement for faculty promotion. So does this mean that those with a DrOT or DPT will not be promoted in academia? Is the AuD or PsyD not a good candidate for a faculty slot to due the lack of career opportunities? In other words, do we not recruit practitioners to teach clinical professions? Do we need a separate promotion track for those with a clinical degree? Or perhaps, should we consider a clinical doctorate to be equal to the PhD or EdD? Perhaps all professional doctoral degrees should be considered terminal degrees for the profession.
There is no doubt that this is an issue across allied health academia and will be for many years to come. The contributions made to academia by the doctoral level practitioner can not be denied and should be recognized in promotion and tenure. You decide. I invite letters to the editor on this topic.
Once again, thank you for visiting, reading, and submitting material to the IJAHSP.
Nehrenz G. From the Managing Editor. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2007 Apr 01;5(2), Article 1.