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Ph.D. Programs in Health Professions Education

The need to improve the capacity for training health professionals has increased globally, and in parallel, doctoral level programs for health professions educators is also increasing. Based on the work of Ara Tekian, Ph.D., M.H.P.E., Associate Professor and Director of International Affairs in the Department of Medical Education, and Associate Dean for International Affairs, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, a list of 24 doctoral programs were identified worldwide that offer a Ph.D. in health professions education (HPE) or medical education. Programs were identified through a web-search, electronic communication with the directors of these programs, interviews with doctoral students and/or graduates of such programs as well as a literature review using the terms “doctoral programs in HPE,” “Ph.D. in medical education,” “Ph.D. in HPE,” and “doctorate and HPE” to locate publications about doctoral programs in HPE.

The inclusion criteria for any program listed in this study was the existence of a structured or an unstructured, but sponsored, doctoral program offered in English, Dutch, German, French, or Turkish (Tekian, 2014). The work of Dr. Tekian and Anthony Artino, Ph.D., describes four pathways to doctoral degrees in relevant academic disciplines although the degree title may not contain the term ‘health professions education’. Students can enroll in structured doctoral programs requiring the completion of courses, research, publications, and a dissertation/thesis (traditional “North American model”); complete a thesis consisting of four to six published papers on one topic in peer-reviewed journals and a thesis defense (traditional “European model”); pursue full- or part-time employment in HPE research, while under formal supervision of one to two professors to complete a thesis; or pursue a Ph.D. in medical sciences with research projects relevant to medical education or HPE (Tekian & Artino, 2014).

The list does not include doctoral programs offered by institutions without a designated host department or college, or doctorate in Science degrees. It also does not include new programs that are initiated but have not yet recruited any candidates.

The list will be updated as new information is received for those programs that meet the inclusion criteria.

Please contact Shirley Williams at inquiry@faimer.org with questions, suggestions, or additions to the list.

Country Institution Program
Australia James Cook University* Doctor of Medical Education
Belgium Ghent University** Ph.D. in Medical Education
Canada University of Calgary*** Ph.D. in Medical Sciences: Medical Education
Canada University of Ottawa* Ph.D. in Education with concentration in Health Professions Education
Canada Western University Faculty of Health Sciences* Ph.D. in Health Professions Education
Italy Ambrosiana University*** Ph.D. in Medical Education
Kenya Moi University College of Health Sciences* Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Education
Netherlands Maastricht University** Ph.D. in Health Professions Education
Netherlands Utrecht University*** Ph.D. in Medical Education
United Kingdom Swansea University* D.Prof. in Education for the Health Professions
United Kingdom University College London* Ph.D. in Medical Education
United Kingdom University of Dundee*** Ph.D. in Medical Education
United Kingdom University of Glasgow*** Professional Doctorate in Health Professions Education (DHPE)
United States Allen College*** Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education
United States College of Saint Mary*** Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with emphasis in Health Professions Education
United States North Carolina State University*** Ph.D. Specialization in Adult & Community College Education: Health Professions Concentration
United States Nova Southeastern University*** Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with concentration in Health Care Education
United States Seton Hall University*** Ph.D. in Health Sciences
United States Simmons College* Ph.D. in Health Professions Education
United States University of California, San Francisco / Utrecht University Medical Center, Netherlands*** Ph.D. in Medical Education
United States University of Illinois at Chicago*** Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies with focus on Health Professions Education
United States University of Texas at El Paso* Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

*face-to-face only, **distance/online only, ***both face-to-face and distance/online, #information not available

Sources: Tekian A. Doctoral programs in health professions education. Medical Teacher. 2014;36(1):73-81.

Tekian A, Artino AR. AM Last Page: Overview of Doctoral Programs in Health Professions Education. Academic Medicine. 2014;89(9):1309.

Note: FAIMER is not an accrediting agency and listing of a program in this directory does not denote recognition, accreditation, or endorsement by FAIMER.

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[last update: September 21, 2016]