Phi Beta Cons

Credential Inflation Hitting Health Fields

Sunday’s New York Times had this article on the rising degree requirements in various health fields. Pharmacists, for example, used to be able to work if they had a bachelor’s degree, but now a doctorate is necessary. While advocates for the rising degree requirements get a fair hearing, author Gardiner Harris gives skeptics equal time. He quotes Erin Fraher, assistant professor of surgery at UNC’s medical school: “Everyone’s talking about improving patients’ access to care, bending the cost curve and creating team-based care. Where’s the evidence that moving to doctorates in pharmacy, physical therapy and nursing achieves any of these?”

The article leaves you with the idea that the main beneficiaries of this trend are the schools that get to sell the additional courses that would-be practitioners now have to take.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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