Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


PA Education & Leadership


Dr. Laura Witte




This investigation will assess if healthcare professionals who possess a graduate degree in a leadership discipline, including Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), Master of Public Health (MPH), and Master of Business Administration (MBA), demonstrate leadership performance that is superior to that of individuals who do not possess such a degree.


Completion of this investigation of contemporary research evaluated scholarly works from the following disciplines: Physician Assistant education, the Physician Assistant profession, healthcare management, healthcare administration, allied health professions education, and healthcare administration education.


Individuals possessing graduate degrees that focus on operational management, general administration, and financial management are highly-effective in healthcare leadership roles. Within the healthcare industry, individuals who obtain an MHA degree from a Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) accredited program perform with greater effectiveness than peers who hold non-MHA graduate degrees. CAHME accredited programs provide the foundational knowledge and promote the development of administrative skills needed to deliver effective leadership within healthcare organizations.


Research demonstrates that individuals who possess a degree in a leadership discipline from a CAHME-accredited program are highly effective in performing the tasks and decision-making encountered in senior leadership roles. Research from within the PA profession indicates that professional development for new PA Program Directors contributes positively to their leadership and long-term stability. Thus, by inference, PAs who obtain an MHA degree from a CAHME-accredited graduate program can be highly effective senior leaders within healthcare delivery organizations.

Key Words: graduate degree, administration, leadership, competence, performance, and healthcare.


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