Fellow laboratorians, I think many of us now know that we have at least two schools that are offering DCLS (Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science) program now. I wanted to know from those who want to advance your degree whether they would choose DCLS or PhD for their advanced degree? What would be the reasons behind your selection? Let's discuss about it on this great forum. I am sure many people are looking for answer this question. Hopefully we will have many people's opinion on this so that the advanced degree aspirants can decide.
I would like to add to this discussion by saying that I believe the first point to understand is the difference between an advanced practice doctorate degree and a PhD. Examples of advanced practice doctorates include DCLS, DCN, DNP, AuD, OTD, to name a few. There are also entry level practice doctorates i.e. Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) and PharmD. Advanced practice doctorate programs usually require certification and/or licensure as a practicing professional. For the DCLS certification as a Medical Laboratory Scientist is required.
All advanced practice clinical doctorates include clinical expertise as a component. This is not usually required in a research doctorate (PhD). The curriculum emphasis is also different. For advanced practice doctorate, research is a critical component with about 30%-40% of the curriculum related to independent research project, and about 60% -70% advanced science and clinical practice. With a PhD, the curriculum emphasis is higher for the research component (>50%). The remainder are required or elective courses in science and/or other related areas of study.
The goal of a DCLS program it to prepare practicing certified medical laboratory scientists for advanced practice in clinical laboratory science including roles involving participation, collaboration and consultation on inter-professional healthcare teams and with patients, advanced knowledge in science, leadership, management and research.
PhD vs DCLS? This is a self-reflective question based on your career goals. What are your career goals and how will the DCLS or a PhD help you achieve those career goals?Nadine
Nadine,Thank you for your clear explanation of the topic on PhD vs DCLS. I get this question often regarding "what graduate degree should I get" after I work in the clinical setting. It's a very complex question with no wrong answer. Your final statement sums it up quite well - it really comes down to a reflective, personal decision about one's goals with whatever graduate degree they choose to pursue.By the way, I'll be on the ASCLS presentation panel in Chicago regarding "Career paths" for our professionals. I will be discussing "how one becomes a professor" in our profession. If you are interested in this topic, then please come check it out. My plan is to produce a handout that might be useful on this topic of differing graduate degrees and careers.See you in Chicago!
Dr. R,Thank you so much for your valuable comment. I am glad that we are having this discussion so that prospective students of DCLS can decide what route they would like to take.Drona Pandeya, MS