Doctor of Medical Science

Linda Sekhon 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 Doctor of Medical Science degree 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 DMS 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 DMS 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 DMS degree as accessible and flexible as we possibly could. Stay tuned for more details.


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:

Choose to be extraordinary!®

What is a DMS Degree?
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What is a Doctor of Medical Science?
As healthcare providers face greater demands, PA's continue to fulfill pivotal roles in managing patient caseloads, improving practice efficiencies, and ensuring quality patient care. A DMS degree is a doctoral degree that elevates PA's to new levels of care and leadership. Designed specifically for PAs, a DMS degree will build on your professional experience and provide a vital credential you need to step into leadership roles, advance your career and make a greater impact on improving patient outcomes. High Point University’s DMS program is designed with flexibility for working PAs with staggered start dates throughout the year and asynchronous classes that can be fully completed within 2 years.
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Doctor of Medical Science: Key Benefits
Earning your Doctor of Medical Science degree will:

• Provide the advanced training to ensure quality patient outcomes.

• Create opportunities for increased decision-making and upward mobility in the workplace.

• Enhance your marketability in a field where doctorates are just starting to grow.

• Create opportunities (as a doctoral degree holder) 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.

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Why a Doctor of Medical Science Degree?
The DMS is a doctoral program of study designed to supplement the knowledge base of PAs and equip them to innovate, lead, and make decisions to improve patient care and healthcare delivery. Several health professions (e.g., pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing) have already transitioned towards doctorate level education by advancing knowledge in the context of the workplace. Given that healthcare delivery continues to shift towards improved quality of care and patient outcomes, PAs must possess the information and skills to provide safe, efficient, and effective care. The DMS degree is a natural evolution of the rigorous and intensive PA curriculum offered in entry level PA programs. In fact, we believe that PAs already provide a high level of medical care and DMS programs should not teach you what you already know. Instead, the DMS should build upon your existing knowledge by augmenting education focused on strengthening the application of evidence-based medicine and developing business, education, and leadership skills. As a result, this enhanced skill set focused on knowledge application and improving communication, problem solving, and critical thinking will create opportunities for increased decision-making and upward professional mobility.
Doctor of Medical Sciences
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100% Online
The Doctor of Medical Science program, approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), is for PAs who already have their Master of Physician Assistant degree.

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.

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.
Doctor of Medical Science Academic Calendar 2022-2023
Fall 2022 Session ASpring 2023 Session ASummer 2023 Session A
Aug 22 Class begins

Sept 30 Class ends

Oct 3 – Oct 14 Fall Break
Jan 9 Class begins

Jan 16 MLK Day (No Class)

Feb 17 Class ends

Feb 20 – March 3 Spring Break
May 8 Class begins

May 29 Memorial Day (No Class)

June 23 Class ends
Fall 2022 Session B Spring 2023 Session BSummer 2023 Session B
Oct 17 Class begins

Nov 21 – 25 Thanksgiving Break

Dec 2 Class ends
March 6 Class begins

April 7 Good Friday (No Class)

April 10 Easter Monday (No Class)

April 14 Class ends
June 26 Class begins

July 4 Independence Day (No Class)

August 4 Classes end

At High Point University, we believe that every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. Although the Doctor of Medical Science is conveniently offered online for working professionals, we strive to deliver a curriculum built on quality.  Our dedicated and experienced faculty will provide our adult learners with courses designed with the necessary rigor for PAs to develop needed knowledge and skills associated with doctoral education. This includes focusing on knowledge application, reflective practice, improving communication, enhancing problem solving and strengthening critical thinking.

Our innovative 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.

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Linda Sekhon DHSc, MMS, PA-C
Founding Chair of the Department of Medical Sciences and Professor of Medical Sciences and Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
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Shaun Lynch PhD, MS, MMSc, PA-C
Director of Curriculum; Associate Professor of Medical Sciences; Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
John Schoultz
John Schoultz
Education Liaison, Doctor of Medical Science Program
Tracey Thurnes
Tracey Thurnes EdD, MPAS, PA-C
Adjunct Professor; Doctor of Medical Science

What are the certificate programs offered by the HPU DMS Program?

The DMS program offers two 12-credit hour certificate programs in either Health Professions Educator Certificate or Health Professions Administration Certificate. 

Health Professions Educator Certificate (12 Hours)

DMS 770 Principles of Adult Learning 3
DMS 772 Curricular Theory and Practice 3
DMS 774 Program Assessment and Evaluation 3
DMS 776 Online Teaching Theory and Practice 3

Health Professions Administrator Certificate (12 hours)

DMS 780 Business Planning 3
DMS 782 Health Care Finance 3
DMS 784 Operations Management 3
DMS 786 Healthcare Information Technology 3

What are the admissions requirements for the certificate programs?

Admissions to the certificate program is open to any healthcare professional or educator. Applicants must hold an earned Bachelor’s degree or equivilant from a regionally accredited institution or from a foreign university.  

Can I obtain a certificate in addition to a DMS?

Yes. A student may choose to earn a “Certificate” in the other area of study while enrolled in the DMS program or after graduation. Completed courses taken within that concentration will be used to fulfill Certificate requirements. For more information regarding certificate programs, please see the FAQs below. 

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition and fee charges anticipated for 2022–2023 academic year: $902.00 per credit hour.

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HAVE QUESTIONS? Meet with the Dr. Sekhon the Program Director to answer any questions. Register here.
'22-'23 Academic Calendar
DMS Academic Calendar