GW Masters’ Strengths Are Small Online Classes and Faculty Expertise

CHLM Offers Tuition Discount for GW Master’s Degree Programs

March 8, 2019

By Eileen Denne, CAE, APR

Among the major incentives for PAs to complete a master’s degree program at George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C., are the class size for their online courses and the national expertise of their award-winning faculty.

“We do our best to keep our courses to no more than 15 students,” says Leslie Davidson, Ph.D., OT/L, FAOTA, Chair of the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership. “This provides a nice ratio where faculty members get to know the students very well and the small size facilitates robust exchanges between students and between students and faculty. In addition, our programming is designed to be interprofessional in nature. This brings together multiple frames of reference that helps students think differently about content.”


The faculty, according to Davidson, are not only leaders in their fields but have been leaders on the national policy level. GW faculty members have helped craft national legislation including the Affordable Care Act, developed CMS initiatives, and current procedural terminology (CPT) coding, to name a few.

Another incentive is the 10 percent tuition discount offered through the Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management (CHLM). CHLM has partnered with top-notch universities like GW to offer partner discounts for certificates, master’s and doctoral degree programs.

In order to qualify for the discount, students need to first complete eight CHLM prerequisite courses; two are required and six are electives. Examples of courses include Billing and Reimbursement, Critical Factors of Leadership, and Evaluating Your PA/NP Workforce. Students can then matriculate to an eligible graduate program with a CHLM partner such as GW.

Four distinct program choices
“Each of GW’s master’s programs offer innovative excellence through interprofessional education. There are distinct advantages to choosing further study among the four programs,” Davidson says.

The master’s in Integrative Medicine uses the foundation of traditional medicine and layers on evidence-based practices such as nutrition, mindfulness, acupuncture and a suite of techniques that can augment the patient experience and improve patient outcomes. Davidson sees the degree as one for PAs who may currently practice in primary care, neurology, psychiatry, cardiovascular care, or GI.

For the master’s degree in Healthcare Quality, “We work with students to tackle quality initiatives in their place of employment.  Students are asked to evaluate and identify quality concerns in their facility and real solutions to real problems back to their workplaces,” Davidson says. “The status quo is never ok so we’re always looking at how things can be improved. Traditional applicants for this program are MBA students, hospital administrators, PAs, physicians, those who work in military operations, and CMS employees.”

The GW master’s in Clinical Operations and Health Care Management was launched to meet the needs of larger organizations with multi-dimensional operational structures. It offers a systems thinking approach to healthcare management, and includes finance and marketing classes, plus content in human resources and strategic communication.

“This degree is very much about working with students so they can immediately apply specific knowledge to their workplaces,” Davidson says. “Large organizations desire expertise in clinical operations. Professionals who are seeking leadership positions in small departments or students who want to be CEOs, CFOs, or COOs of their organizations can benefit from this program. If a PA wants to be in hospital administration, I recommend they take the Master’s in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management.”

The master’s in Clinical and Translational Research is designed for providers who want to take their clinical practice and explore evidence-based outcomes and outcome research. It is for those who want to understand the basic elements of research, write grants in multi-disciplinary teams, disseminate, and publish.

“It is often a struggle for clinicians to figure out how can they get research done,” Davidson says. “GW is the only institution that can provide this master’s degree using distance education.”

The degrees offer many opportunities for career advancement in healthcare administration, public service, health policy work, business ownership, research, and teaching.

Asked how easy it may be for PAs to complete any of the four programs, Davidson says it will depend on the individual. “The programs at GW are rigorous and demanding. But PAs are well prepared to practice across the continuum of care and in multiple settings. They understand healthcare from the provider point of view, as well as from the public health perspective and policy level. Given that they have already completed a rigorous education, they should be well equipped to be successful in the programs offered at GW.”

For further information contact Leslie Davidson, Ph.D., OT/L, FAOTA, Program Director, Online Master’s in Clinical Operations and Health Care Management, at [email protected].

More Resources
CHLM Degree Pathway Programs
MSHS in Clinical Operations and Health Care Management
MSHS in Clinical and Translational Research
MSHS in Healthcare Quality
MSHS in Integrative Medicine