Revisiting the Professional Doctorate in Medical Speech-Language Pathology (Health Care Forum)
Editor’s Note: The following essay, “Revisiting the Professsional Doctorate in Medical Speech-Language Pathology,” by Rosemary Lubinski, is a thoughtful and balanced plea for reconsideration of a controversial topic. The Editor-in-Chief encourages a dialogue on this topic and welcomes letters expressing views, evidence, or insights either in support or opposition to the theme of this article. The preparation of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) for professional practice in medical settings interests a number of stakeholders including students, academic and clinical faculty, employers, patients, their caregivers, and third-party payers. Each of these constituencies has the same ultimate goal in mind: the SLP should provide quality services that will improve a patient’s ability to communicate and/or swallow effectively in everyday situations to the highest degree possible. This outcome should be achieved in a timely and cost-efficient manner. The recurring issue is how best to prepare SLPs to achieve this goal.