Home » UofL launches new master’s degree in health professions education

UofL launches new master’s degree in health professions education

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The College of Education and Human Development and the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville have launched a new, fully online Master of Science degree in Health Professions Education (MSHPE).

“The goal of the MSHPE program is to magnify the impact of the health professions educator. Not only do health professions educators improve the outcomes of their patients, but they significantly improve the educational outcomes of their practitioner learners and impact the patients that those learners ultimately care for in the future,” Staci Saner, program director and assistant professor of medicine, said.

Employment in the health care industry is booming, with expected growth of 2.6 million jobs from 2020 to 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The curriculum within UofL’s MSHPE program will meet this need by equipping educators with the skills and expertise to be a highly effective health professions educators.

Additionally, many accrediting bodies are moving towards requesting background knowledge in teaching and learning for health professions educators. This degree will provide this necessary credential.

The new degree plan focuses on the needs for health care professionals who currently teach or plan to teach in their respective discipline—medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy or other health fields—and who want to become effective educators in a clinical or classroom setting.

Graduate programs in HPE—including certificate and degree programs—are viewed by many as a key strategy to contribute to a health professional’s conversion from competent clinician to academic leader, said Susan Hildebrand of the College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Organizational Leadership and Learning.

“The professionalization of the HPE workforce has been driven by a number of institutional and regulatory dynamics,” Hildebrand said. “Many clinicians have made education the focus of their professional roles, and institutions have responded by creating career tracks, such as clinician educator/scholar.

“Also, accreditation bodies increasingly require that residency leaders have the requisite specialty expertise and documented educational and administrative experience. With this explicit requirement, and with the need to maintain an educational environment conducive to educating the residents in graduate health care education competencies, institutions recognize the value of employing leaders who possess advanced training in education to maintain and improve their residency programs.”

Assistant Professor of Comprehensive Dentistry Wil Abshier has completed the program. “I recommend this program to anyone who just simply wants to be a better educator for their students,” Abshier said. “So many people in HPE are clinicians at heart but have no formal education in teaching. This bridges that gap.”

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