Professional doctorates for paramedics: a personal journey

This article explores the journey of the author, a paramedic educator, who is undertaking a professional doctorate programme (DProf). He compares it with the more traditional PhD route, and looks at the differences in approach and the complexities involved in doctoral study. Professional practice is at the heart of a DProf programme, as its aim is to develop researching professionals rather than professional researchers. The author argues that paramedicine is a practice-based discipline, and doctoral research is aimed at creating practice improvement and continued service development. The author chose to study a DProf as the focus was on research and practice development shaped by personal experiences (reflexivity). Reflexivity can be personal or epistemological, with the latter stance encouraging students to reflect upon assumptions they have made during their research. The author hopes to inspire other paramedics to undertake DProf study while remaining grounded within their own practice.

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