[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
Over the past decade, clinical doctorate programs in health disciplines have proliferated amid both support and controversy among educators, professional organizations, practitioners, administrators, and third-party payers. Supporters argue that the explosion of new knowledge and increasing sophistication of technology have created a need for advanced practice models to enhance patient care and safety and to reduce costs. Critics argue that necessary technological advances can be incorporated into existing programs and believe that clinical doctorates will increase health care costs, not reduce them. Despite the controversy, many health disciplines have advanced the clinical doctorate (the most recent is the doctor of nursing practice in 2004), with some professions mandating the doctorate as the entry-level degree (i.e., psychology, pharmacy, audiology, and so on). One aspect of the introduction of clinical doctoral degrees has been largely overlooked, and that is the marketing aspect. Because of marketing considerations, some clinical doctorates have been more successfully implemented and accepted than others. Marketing is composed of variables commonly known as "the four P's of marketing": product, price, promotion, and place. This report explores these four P's within the context of clinical doctorates in the health disciplines.