Facebook Pixel


Doctor of Medical Science

Developed for PAs and by PAs, the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program at the University of Lynchburg builds on what you’ve already learned, what you’ve already experienced, and what you’re already doing — culminating in a well-deserved doctoral degree.

Lynchburg’s DMSc was one of the frst programs of its kind in the U.S. The fexible, online program is designed for working PAs who are ready to take the next logical step in their feld.

PAs are an essential part of health care’s future. The DMSc makes you a better advocate for the PA profession and prepares you for a place at the boardroom table, where you can make decisions that impact your career, your patients, and the future of health care.

Dr. Jeremy M. Welsh, DHSc, JD, PA-C, DFAAPA

Associate Provost
Associate VP for Academic Strategy

Dean, College of Medical Science
Founder, Doctor of Medical Science

“It’s not about just having a ‘Dr.’ in front of your name. It’s all about leveraging the intense amount of work completed during your PA education. Decisions are being made in the boardroom. This program brings PAs to a level of parity with other health care providers and also brings them to the boardroom table.”


Dr. Ryan Turkekul, ’18 DMSc, ’17 MPAM, PA-C


As the demand for PAs increases, so should their role in administration and leadership.

Lynchburg’s DMSc program equips PAs to innovate, lead, and make decisions that will improve patient care and the way it’s delivered. The Lynchburg DMSc ofers PAs a relevant, clinical experience in their desired specialty, as well as education in executive leadership, research, health care law, and global health. The program includes a yearlong research project that gives PAs the knowledge, experience, and skills needed to publish in scholarly journals.

The 12-month program can be completed while you work as a PA. It fts into the life you’ve already created for yourself, regardless of where you are in your career or the world.

The Lynchburg DMSc gives PAs the skills, education, and status they need to:

  • Innovate through medical research.
  • Build and lead a health care team. 
  • Take a seat at the boardroom table.

For more information about the Lynchburg DMSc, visit lynchburg.edu/dmsc.

headshot of Cassie Evlerum

Dr. Cassie Elverum, ’18 DMSc, ’17 MPAM, PA-C

Child Abuse Pediatrics and Urgent Care Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Norfolk, Virginia

“The DMSc has helped me in my career over the past fve years as a PA much more than I would have expected. Part of my job entails testifying as an expert witness in civil and criminal hearings related to abuse and neglect of children. Having a doctorate degree has helped in the legal setting. The DMSc coursework also has made me more confdent as a lecturer in the community as well as at PA-specifc conferences, [and has helped me] feel more comfortable publishing in academic journals and textbooks.”

Lynchburg’s outstanding local and national partners give DMSc students extraordinary access to top-notch health care facilities.

AAPA’s Degree Pathway Program This program through AAPA includes modules on leadership and management to prepare students for attaining an advanced degree. The Lynchburg DMSc is the frst doctoral degree with this partnership.

Centra This regional health care system, serving more than 380,000 people in Virginia, offers Lynchburg DMSc candidates access to four hospitals, a regional cancer center, and a cardiovascular care and surgery center.

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California This center is home of the Arrowhead Orthopedic Surgery PA Fellowship Program. PA fellows from Arrowhead are enrolled in the Lynchburg DMSc.

Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System) in Charlotte, North Carolina Lynchburg faculty collaborate with Atrium so the Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship and DMSc can be completed simultaneously.

Medical Science Liaison Society Opportunities are available for society members pursuing the DMSc as well as DMSc alumni and students who are interested in becoming a Medical Science Liaison.

head shot of Melissa rocker

Dr. Melissa Ricker, DMSc, PA-C

PA Fellowship Director Center for Advanced Practice Atrium Health

“For PAs choosing to pursue a clinical fellowship, the University of Lynchburg can ofer a pathway through the Doctor of Medical Science that complements the academic preparedness and synergy of professional, research,andleadership opportunities. It is often this engagement that brings the PA increased job satisfaction, enhanced clinical competence, accelerated professional growth, and has redefined PA achievement.”