Linda Sekhon 146x300

Having been a physician assistant since 1983, I have witnessed a steady growth in both the number and professional stature of PA providers through the years.  As a PA educator since 1996, I have served as both a professor and administrator and have been involved with the development of several PA programs, including High Point University’s. As such, I fully understand the rigor of PA education and the significance of our role in healthcare.  I consider myself fortunate each day to be a proud member of this profession.

At High Point University, we have taken a thoughtful approach in the development of a new program for experienced PAs that is forward thinking and consistent with the values inherent in the mission of our university. The proposed Doctor of Medical Science degree, which is currently under review by SACSCOC, will provide an avenue for licensed PAs who are interested in expanding their understanding of medical knowledge, developing their leadership and business skills, and promoting lifelong learning. I firmly believe that HPU’s D.M.S. program will be second to none and will have a significant impact on professional growth and PA practice across the country!!

We fully understand that PAs are already highly skilled clinicians and play integral roles in building successful clinical practices across the country.  We won’t teach you what you already know!  The D.M.S. degree is designed for you to learn how to interpret and evaluate medical literature and apply it to individualized care with a focus on the leadership skills you need to move into the positions you want to hold in your career. We’ve made the D.M.S. degree as accessible and flexible as we possibly could. Stay tuned for more details.

Sincerely,

Linda Sekhon, DHSc, PA-C| Professor,

Department of Medical Sciences – Founding Chair

One University Parkway, High Point, NC 27268

Mobile: 336-906-4926 |E-mail: lsekhon@highpoint.edu

Choose to be extraordinary!®

The proposed Doctor of Medical Science program, currently pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is for PAs who already have their Master of Physician Assistant degree. A natural evolution of the rigorous PA curriculum offered in entry level PA degree programs, the D.M.S. degree is a professional degree designed to supplement the knowledge base of PAs and improve clinical skills, communication, and leadership

At High Point University, we recognize that flexibility is a priority for practicing PAs.  Our curriculum is designed for the working PA with 100% online courses that allows you to attain a post-professional degree while balancing work and life.  Choose between six start dates throughout the year and study at your own pace.

Our intentional design builds upon the intensive entry-level PA curriculum to help you meet the changing demands of the nations’ complex healthcare environment and evolving PA profession.  You can expand your knowledge of core topics while focusing on one of two concentrations: Health Professional Educator concentration, Health Professions Administrator concentration.  We won’t teach you what you already know—we acknowledge the clinical experience of the most seasoned PAs and don’t require a master’s degree.

WHY A DMS DEGREE?

  • First and foremost, to ensure quality patient outcomes.
    • We recognize that PAs provide a high level of medical care. The DMS is a professional doctorate with a curricular design that focuses on a greater understanding of medicine, executive business, and leadership skills.
    • The DMS helps practicing PAs meet the changing demands of this nation’s complex healthcare environment. Students learn how to better interpret and evaluate the medical literature that can then be applied to individualized patient care.
  • For those seeking advanced education, holding a doctorate will create opportunities for increased decision-making and upward mobility in the workplace.
  • Better prepared clinicians can help to address provider shortages. Those with doctorates can also serve as faculty, educating the next generation of health care providers.
  • Influence the future direction of healthcare through acquisition of the necessary skillset to gain a seat at leadership tables.

THIS PROGRAM CONSISTS OF:

  • 6-week sessions
  • 50 credit hours
  • 18 courses (students choose the number of courses per semester that works for them)
  • Curricular areas of focus – Evidence Based Medicine in the Medical Sciences, Healthcare Leadership, Patient Safety, and Research Methods.
  • All courses, including the capstone, are delivered completely online
  • Taught by doctorally-prepared faculty
  • Flexible and self-paced
  • No residency requirements.

You will participate in scholarly activities through a required programmatic capstone and work with a faculty advisor to target a novel problem or current issue in clinical practice, leadership, or research.  Your capstone will focus on discovery, teaching, applications in clinical practice, or integration of ideas—areas that support the values of a profession committed to both social relevance and scientific advancement.

Proposed DMS Program Course Requirements Pending SACS Approval

The High Point University DMS program acknowledges the clinical experience of seasoned PAs and does not require a master’s degree. Individuals are eligible to apply if they have earned a PA degree from an accredited program and have either one of the following:

  • a license to practice medicine or
  • a national certification from the NCCPA

Prerequisites

  • Must be a PA that successfully graduated from an entry-level PA program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of Physician Assistant.
  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants certification/recertification OR a state license to practice as a PA.
  • High degree of professionalism expected
  • A master’s degree not required.
  • GRE not required.

Proposed Curriculum

  • Provides an avenue for PAs interested in expanding their understanding of medical knowledge and research, while advancing their personal and professional leadership skills.
  • With a focus on patient care, the curriculum is designed to build upon the intensive, entry-level PA curriculum It is not designed to “teach you what you already know”
  • All courses will be offered online allowing students to continue to work within their communities while taking classes and achieve an advanced degree in a way that best suits their schedule.
  • Proposed: Traditional DMS, Bridge Program (students who graduated within 6 months of matriculation), and Certificates

 18 courses Totaling 50 Credit Hours

Core (34 credits)

  • EBM in Medical Sciences (6 courses)
  • Healthcare Leadership (2 courses) with a focus on Diversity, Equity and inclusion
  • Patient Safety (2 courses)
  • Research Methods (2 courses)

Concentrations (12 credits)

  • Health Professions Educator Concentration
  • Health Professions Administration Concentration

 Doctoral Capstone (4 credits)

  • Proposal Development – 2 cr.
  • Capstone completion – 2 cr.
  • Capstone Extension – 1 cr. Optional

Proposed DMS – Bridge Option

  • Provides an avenue for current PA students and/or recent PA graduates interested in expanding their understanding of issues involving clinical practice and development of research and leadership skills that would result in a Doctor of Medical Science degree.
  • The Bridge curriculum differs from the standard DMS Program by focusing on the development of targeted leadership and research skills for clinically focused PAs and allowing options to explore and achieve additional skillsets to enhance success and movement toward future career endeavors.
  • This option is designed for PAs who have graduated within the past 6 months from an ARC-PA accredited PA program.
  • As a graduate from an ARC-PA accredited programs may initiate the admission process near the end of the didactic portion of their PA education.
  • Matriculants must earn certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants after graduating from their PA program and results must be received prior to matriculating.

 What is the advantage for Bridge Option? 

Traditional curriculum consists of 18 courses totaling 50 credit hours.

  • Bridge Option: Eight courses (22 credit hours) will be transferred from the supervised clinical practice experiences in the accredited PA program and will be credited toward completion of the EBM in Medical Sciences courses and Patient Safety Courses.

Proposed D.M.S. Program Details

HPU D.M.S. Graduates:

  • Will be more marketable in a field where doctorates are just starting to grow.
  • Will hold the degree decision-makers often look for when filling administrative and leadership positions.
  • Doctoral degree holders could teach future providers as part of a university’s faculty.
  • Will build the business acumen and leadership skills needed for today’s healthcare delivery approaches.

Student Goals:

  • Develop skills to critically evaluate the medical literature to advance patient care.
  • Become more marketable in a field where doctorates are just starting to grow.
  • Hold the degree decision-makers often look for when filling administrative and leadership positions.
  • Develop the necessary skills to teach future providers as part of a university’s faculty.
  • Build the business acumen and leadership skills needed for today’s healthcare delivery approaches

Innovation:

  • First fully-online academic degree program on campus
  • Start program at any one of the six starting points in the academic calendar
  • While must maintain forward academic progress, students can choose the number of modules they take at a time
  • First post professional doctoral program in the state of North Carolina specifically for PAs

Specializations/Tracks:

Two areas of Concentration (Certificate for both PAs and non-PAs)

  • Health Professions Education Concentration
  • Health Professions Administration Concentration (Clinic Owners/Healthcare Administration)

 Average Time to Complete Degree:

  • Standard Pace (2 courses/semester):  9 semesters (3 years)
  • The curriculum is self-paced for students to enter into the program at any one of six starting points in the academic calendar.

 Program Cost:

Tuition and fee charges anticipated for 2022–2023 academic year: $819.00 per credit hour.  Tuition increase is set at 3% annually.  At the expected standard pace of 9 semesters the total cost is estimated to be between $40,958 – $43,458 for 50 credit hours.

Enrollment cycle and admission deadlines:

  • Rolling Admissions: Admission decisions will be made on an ongoing basis. Applicants must have successfully graduated from a PA program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of a Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and must currently hold either a National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certification/recertification or a state license to practice as a Physician Assistant. A previously earned master’s degree is not required.

Accreditation/Rankings:

The proposed D.M.S. program is currently under review and pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

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