Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology–Good Idea or Not?

The August 2, 2011 issue of the ASHA Leader featured an article titled “Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology: Philosophy, Implementation, and Success at the University of Pittsburgh.” The authors explore whether a new doctor of clinical science program at the University of Pittsburgh the answer to the increasing depth and breadth of SLP practice.

Apparently this is an issue that stirs up a lot of feelings among SLPs; when we posted a link to the article on ASHA’s Facebook page, more than 35 people weighed in on the issue. The article has also inspired several blog posts.

You can read the article on the ASHA website and add your own thoughts to the discussion.

Comments

  1. A clinical doctorate provides those of us who are working in the clinical arena, another option to elevate our skills and the profession.

  2. When I completed my Masters program 40 years ago, I was certain my future was in the clinical domain of aphasia. I followed that certainty, securing a position at The Rusk Institute after almost one year of effort. I found there something that is seriously in jeopardy today: a supportive mentoring environment for the expansion of academic knowledge and development of skills with the aid of master clinicians. A clinical doctorate, while undoubtedly worthwhile, is less relevant in an environment which sees shrinking availability of service for adult consumers. Rehabilitation centers are few, with shorter lengths of stay, and significantly less experienced clinicians. CFY’s may be earned by solo practitioners in a small nursing home, with an “off-site” supervisor and no opportunities for the kind of learning fostered by a talented individual with more than five years experience. People with aphasia and other neurogenic disorders will not be better served by a new influx of clinical PhD’s. Instead, they need wise, talented, experienced, and committed SLP’s who have been trained by people with just those attributes.