In the past 15 years, the number of Master's degree programs in Health Professions Education (MHPE) has grown from 7 to 121 programs worldwide. New MHPE programs continue to be developed each year, due to increased demand for individuals with specialized knowledge concerning how to best educate future health professionals. During the 2012 Association of Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) meeting in Lyon, France, a symposium was organized to explore the reasons for the proliferation of MHPE programs worldwide. In particular, the issues explored included the need for such programs, their outcomes in developing education leaders and scholars in HPE, and facilitators, barriers and models for initiating such programs. This paper synthesizes the discussion during this symposium. Some of the reasons for enrolling in a Master's degree program in HPE include the formal credential, knowledge of a number of theories and frameworks, new approaches to problems and ways of thinking, the mentored project, and networking and working with faculty and students. The uniqueness of being a trainee in an MHPE program is the immersion in the medical education environment and the assimilation of a new approach to scholarship and a new approach to leadership.