Clinical doctorate programs have been in practice for over a century. Because of recent marketing concerns, some clinical doctorate programs have been accepted and successful more quickly than others. Some of these aspects of the inception of clinical doctorate degrees are often overlooked, though, and this is the marketing component.
In the beginning, medical students were not paid a lot. These salaries varied widely, depending on what specialty they studied in and how long they trained there. This was a time before job security for physicians in the United States was guaranteed by the government. It wasn't uncommon for medical students to become self-employed while continuing to train as an intern.
As medical schools became more competitive, they offered more money and prestige for their students. Graduates who took a course in psychology, for example, would be paid less than graduates who took a course in physiology. The increased popularity of such courses reflected the increasing importance of psychological training in the health care industry.
Doctorate programs were required for graduates who were seeking employment. There were no more self-employed opportunities for many graduates. They needed to choose between their doctorate program and their job. The best pay of all would be from a hospital or clinic where they could work as a nurse or physician assistant. There were few options other than this for people seeking advanced degrees, so they had to decide whether or not they wanted to become a doctor.
With the availability of a marketable career and the willingness of employers to pay well, the number of people applying to clinical doctorate programs grew. The competition to get into a reputable school increased dramatically, resulting in even higher pay for graduates. There was more opportunity to work and earn money than ever before, so people were willing to put in the hours required for furthering one's education.
Although the demand for a clinical doctorate program has continued to increase, it is still not as big a market as it once was. It is not common for a person to receive a clinical doctorate without working in a hospital or clinic in the United States. In fact, for the most part, doctors can't expect to become a clinical doctorate . . . . . . candidate until they are already in practice and earning a substantial salary. This leaves a relatively small group of people with a much more lucrative chance of obtaining a job than ever before.