As the demand for PAs increases, so should their roles in clinical and administrative leadership. Healthcare is changing rapidly and PAs are an essential part of its future. PAs are well educated and trained in all areas of healthcare, and now, more than ever, PAs are seeking advanced clinical and administrative roles across the healthcare system. The DMSc prepares PAs to have an active voice in decision making that impacts their profession, their patients, and the future of the healthcare system.
Lynchburg’s DMSc Advanced Professional Practice degree concentration offers PAs didactic and practical learning experiences in leadership, scholarship, and professional development. This degree pathway is built for PAs practicing in any clinical specialty or nonclinical healthcare related role. The curriculum includes clinical experience in a desired specialty, as well as education in executive leadership, research, health care law, and global health. This also includes a doctoral writing project that gives PAs the knowledge, experience, and skills needed to publish in scholarly journals and deliver presentations.
The 12-month DMSc program can be completed simultaneously while you work as a PA. It fits into the life you’ve already created for yourself, regardless of where you are in your career or the world.
NOAA brought me in to develop the Aerospace Medical Department; everything I have learned academically in the DMSc I have been able to apply directly and immediately to my current position. I used the methods I learned in my first semester of the DMSc program to develop a viral surveillance protocol, and the protocol is being used for NOAA pilots and air crew.
-Joe Newcomb ’21 DMSc, PA-C
Advanced Professional Practice Degree Concentration Curriculum
The coursework includes three main areas of focus to support professional development for PAs in clinical practice and nonclinical healthcare related roles:
- Leadership development in administration, organizational behavior, healthcare regulation, global health, and disaster medicine that occurs in the PA 910, PA 920, PA 930, PA 940, and PA 950 courses.
- Engagement in scholarly work that occurs in the PA 960 and PA 961-963 courses.
- Application of doctoral coursework to the individual’s own work setting that occurs in the APP Practicum course series. Core concepts include professional development, growth mindset, and work-life balance.
The Advanced Professional Practice concentration enrolls every three months each academic year in January, April, July, and October. The suggested plan of study includes:
First 12-week academic term:
Second 12-week academic term:
Third 12-week academic term:
Fourth 12-week academic term:
**Students who started the program before April of 2022 will complete the Doctoral Project course series (PA 961-963).
Student Learning Competencies – Advanced Professional Practice Concentration
Upon completion of the Lynchburg DMSc Advanced Professional Practice program, graduates will be able to:
- Apply advanced and specialized medical knowledge with an emphasis structured beyond general practice by training within fellowship/practicum competencies* on:
- Medical Knowledge
- Patient Care
- Interpersonal Communication Skills
- System-Based Learning
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
- Analyze skills needed to provide leadership at local and global healthcare institutions.
- Design, develop, and execute projects that improve patient outcomes.
- Develop professional medical writing skills to advance the PA profession
*DMSc students who are in nonclinical health related fields will focus on administrative competencies of Leadership, Business, Healthcare Environment, Professionalism, and Communication and Relationship Management.
Advanced Professional Practice Program Completion
Students commonly work full-time in a clinical setting or a nonclinical health related role (e.g., Administration or Medical Science Liaison) to complete the APP Practicum courses. PAs who are professionally engaged at least 160 hours per 12-week term focused on clinical and/or healthcare administrative activities are eligible for enrollment and completion of the APP degree concentration.
Advanced Professional Practice – Residential Fellowships
The following information only applies to PAs who are graduates of the University of Lynchburg’s PA Program. Graduates of the University of Lynchburg’s PA Program can enter the Advanced Professional Practice degree upon completion of the master’s program. Residential DMSc fellows complete a modified DMSc curriculum. Learning outcomes and core concepts listed above are unchanged for residential fellows.
- Residential Fellows complete the APP DMSc degree in 9 months and enroll each October.
- Residential Fellows do not take the PA 960 Evidence-Based Medicine course in lieu of their master’s curriculum.
- Additionally, Residential Fellows, once matched with a fellowship placement, complete the PA 981, PA 982, and PA 983 Fellowship Courses, which follow core concepts and outcomes as the APP Practicum Series. Fellows must be professionally engaged at least 215 hours per 12-week term.
Residential Fellow Curriculum
The following information only applies to PAs who are graduates of the University of Lynchburg’s PA Program. The APP Fellowship enrolls Lynchburg Master’s graduates every October. The suggested plan of study includes: