PA Profession News Update
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You may have heard the big news--the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) House of Delegates (HOD) voted this past week to move forward with a title change to "physician associate" for the PA profession. The thought behind this change is to more accurately reflect what PAs do in clinical practice. This will also assist with legislative efforts aimed at improving practice laws and securing parity with other advanced practice providers and further define our positive relationship with our physician colleagues. See the AAPA Announcement at AAPA House of Delegates Votes to Change Profession Title to Physician Associate and at Rebranding the Physician Assistant.

Doctor of Medical Science

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Doctor of Medical Science

A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program provides a PA-specific doctorate degree designed by and exclusively for practicing physician assistants. The program offers concentration tracks in education, leadership, and clinical. Offered by ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS), this doctoral program is the only one providing an in-depth understanding of the elements needed to address the challenges in the U.S. healthcare system today. Different types of doctoral degrees exist for physician assistants, but the DMSc can be earned entirely online—without an on-site clinical residency. The DMSc program can be completed in 2 years or 3 years. Students can earn up to 15 AAPA Category 1 CMEs after completing the five (5) DMSc core courses.

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Designed for practicing physician assistants

ATSU’s physician assistant doctorate online is designed for PAs who are currently, or have previously been, certified or licensed to practice as a PA.

Not only can practicing PAs prepare to move forward in their profession, they also become leaders with the insight and expertise to help improve how healthcare is delivered in America tomorrow.

With an asynchronous learning model, the entire physician assistant doctoral program provides highly flexible online learning, which minimizes career disruption while maximizing new opportunities. PAs can continue to practice full time while obtaining their degree.

Medical science doctorate students, alumni, and industry experts

With highly flexible online learning, the physician assistant doctoral program minimizes career disruption while maximizing new opportunities for students to apply lessons immediately to their work setting and advance their career.

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Discover from our students and alumni how our DMSc degree is different.

Franchesca Giovannini Alexander, MS, '15, PA-C
DMSc Student
James (Jim) Ali, MS, '05, PA-C
DMSc Student

See what the experts are saying about the DMSc program.

Richard Bukata,
DMSc Thought Leader
Paul Caldron,
DMSc Thought Leader
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Bolster whole person healthcare within your community

The targeted learning model and assessment plan sets this physician assistant doctorate program apart from the typical doctoral program. Students earning their physician assistant doctorate gain the planning, implementing, and analysis skills they will need to positively impact outcomes at the patient, management, community, and system levels. They also attain expertise in blending critical thinking and evidence-based analysis with ethical, legal, and psychosocial considerations to bolster whole-person healthcare in the community.

With an expanded résumé of experience and accomplishments, graduates from this physician assistant doctoral program will have greater influence on the delivery and quality of patient care as a result.

Program essentials

Overview
Course list
Tuition
Faculty/Staff
ATSU
Curriculum
Requirements
Core courses
Education courses
Leadership courses
Clinical courses
Cost
Financial Aid
Administration
Faculty
Staff
University Catalog
Accreditation

Curriculum

​The ATSU semester credit hour was developed in accordance with the HLC policy

   
DMS Curriculum Overview Semester Hours
Core Courses 24
Education, Leadership, or Clinical Courses 12
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDIT HOURS 36


           
Course # Core Courses Semester Hours
DMSC 7000 Medical Writing 3
DMSC 7005 Foundations of Doctoral Study 2
DMSC 7010 Community Assessment & Health Promotion 3
DMSC 7020 Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health 3
DMSC 7030 Research Methods in Healthcare 3
DMSC 7040 Quality Improvement in Healthcare 3
DMSC 8300 Capstone I 3
DMSC 8310 Capstone II 2
DMSC 8320 Capstone III 2


   
Course # Education Courses Semester Hours
DMSC 8100 Adult Learning Theory 3
DMSC 8110 Curriculum Design & Delivery 3
DMSC 8120 Educational Technology & Simulation 3
DMSC 8130 Assessment & Evaluation Methods 3


   
Course # Leadership Courses Semester Hours
DMSC 8200 Organizational Leadership Management & Behavior 3
DMSC 8210 Health Economics 3
DMSC 8220 Ethical & Legal Considerations in Health Administration 3
DMSC 8230 Physician Assistants in Healthcare Policy 3


Clinical Courses

   
Course # Clinical Courses Sem Hours
DMSC 8400 Clinical Practicum 1 3
DMSC 8410 Clinical Practicum 2 3
DMSC 8420 Clinical Practicum 3 3
DMSC 8430 Clinical Practicum 4 3

Requirements

The Doctor of Medical Science program is designed to be a postgraduate program for PAs who are, or have previously been certified or licensed to practice as a PA. Persons eligible to matriculate in this program must satisfy all of the following criteria:

     
  1. The applicant is a currently certified/licensed physician assistant or, if retired, previously certified/licensed to practice as a PA.
  2. Completion of a master’s degree from an accredited university recognized by the Department of Education.
    • a) Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may be required to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.
    •  
    • b) PAs without a master’s degree may be eligible for the master’s equivalency option*. See below for equivalency requirements and contact an Enrollment Counselor for additional information.
  3. Candidates must have achieved a minimum overall graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  4. The applicant must submit transcripts from qualifying degree institution(s), to include at least:
    • Transcript showing completion of physician assistant program of study
    •  
    • Transcript showing completion of a graduate degree (if physician assistant program did not confer a graduate degree)
  5. Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

  6. The applicant must complete an admissions application, to include at least:

    • a) A current and comprehensive curriculum vita
    •  
    • b) Non-refundable application fee
  7. The applicant must be fluent in English (the language of instruction of this program). When the applicant speaks and/or writes in English as a second language, the applicant must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for review.

    • a) Acceptable minimal TOEFL scores for ATSU-ASHS applications are:
    •  
    • b) Internet-based total score = 80
    •  
    • c) Acceptable IELTS score is an overall band score of 6.5
  8. Applicants who speak and/or write English as a second language who have previously graduated from a college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education with a bachelor’s degree (or higher) are exempt from this requirement.
  9. Applicants who believe the TOEFL requirement should be waived may petition the Physician Assistant Department chair in writing.
  10. The applicant must be able to meet University technology requirements during the entirety of the doctoral program.

*Master’s Equivalency Option:

To meet the master’s equivalency the PA applicant MUST have a bachelor’s degree in physician assistant studies AND meet and document in a portfolio at least one (1) of the criteria below:

  • An approved military or civilian post-professional PA residency or fellowship
  •  
  • An approved medical specialty certificate program (i.e. public health certificate)
  •  
  • A Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) offered by the NCCPA
  •  
  • At least 15 credit hours of post-secondary education toward a master’s degree

Core courses

  • Medical Writing*
  • Foundations of Doctoral Study
  • Community Assessment & Health Promotion*
  • Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health
  • Research Methods in Healthcare*
  • Quality Improvement in Healthcare*
  • Capstone I
  • Capstone II
  • Capstone III

*Students are eligible to earn 3 AAPA Category 1 CME credits upon successful completion of these courses. This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 15 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. Approval is valid from 7/12/2021 to 5/29/2022. AAPA reference number: CME-202564

Medical Writing

This course examines, in practical terms, the elements required for successful publication of a journal article or health policy review. This course encourages good writing skills through choosing better words, writing better sentences, and preparing better tables, graphs, and photographs. All students are required to develop and submit a quality paper that meets the requirements for publication in a peer-reviewed professional or biomedical journal. The learner will demonstrate the ability to effectively organize and structure information in written form.

Foundations of Doctoral Study

This course provides doctoral learners with instruction on the use of the Canvas learning management system, Google suite, online meeting technology (i.e. Zoom), an introduction to AMA writing style/formatting, how to use the Still Memorial distance library services, using the University Writing Center, and how to create/update a curriculum vitae. Students also learn effective time management and work:life balance skills to ensure success in the DMSc program.

Community Assessment & Health Promotion

This course will introduce the Community Health Assessment (CHA) as a key component of evaluating the broader community health improvement process. Students will learn to objectively analyze community health data to identify priority issues, develop and implement effective health promotion strategies, and measure the effect of community health initiatives on a variety of community health indicators. Students will be exposed to current methods for conducting a community needs assessment. Discussions will center on choosing strategies that are culturally sensitive, clinically appropriate, and cost-effective.

Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health

This course will serve as an introduction to the social, cultural, behavioral, and economic factors that influence health status and population health interventions. The practitioner will improve insights on populations they have worked with or those they may work with in the future.

Research Methods in Healthcare

This course will describe qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research methodologies and the proper selection of methodology based on the research question. Additional topics include conducting a peer-reviewed literature review, critical analysis of study results and research methodologies, and ethical considerations in human subject’s research. A variety of data collection and analysis strategies will be reviewed.

Quality Improvement in Healthcare

This course will include components of The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) curriculum to prepare students to lead the development and maintenance of quality management in clinical and business settings. Students will develop foundational fluency in methods of healthcare data collection and industry-standard metrics of clinical quality and patient safety. Implementation analysis of quality improvement PDSA cycles, root-cause, and systems analysis will also be reviewed. Through team-based learning, students will explore how quality metrics enable evidence-based clinical and business decision-making.

Capstone I

This three-course series is designed to instruct the learner in the process of developing and conducting an applied research project. The applied research project will be designed to target a problem in either clinical practice, the PA professional sphere, or PA education. During the capstone course sequence, the learner will work closely with their faculty advisor as they progress from conceptualization to completion of the research project. In Capstone I, the learner will apply methods from the Research Design in Healthcare course to develop a proposal for their applied research project. The student will also conduct a literature review around their chosen applied research topic.

Capstone II

This three-course series is designed to instruct the learner in the process of developing and conducting an applied research project. The applied research project will be designed to target a problem in either clinical practice, the PA professional sphere, or PA education. During the capstone course sequence, the learner will work closely with their faculty advisor as they progress from conceptualization to completion of the research project. Capstone II will focus on the collection and analysis of data.

Capstone III

This three-course series is designed to instruct the learner in the process of developing and conducting an applied research project. The applied research project will be designed to target a problem in either clinical practice, the PA professional sphere, or PA education. During the capstone course sequence, the learner will work closely with their faculty advisor as they progress from conceptualization to completion of the research project. Capstone III focuses on the final preparation and submission of a quality product targeted at publication in the healthcare literature or presentation at a state or national level meeting. Each final applied research product will be reviewed and graded by the learner’s faculty advisor.

Education Courses

  • Adult Learning Theory
  • Curriculum Design & Delivery
  • Educational Technology & Simulation
  • Assessment & Evaluation Methods

Adult Learning Theory

Effective and efficient teaching requires an understanding of how adults learn. This course examines the learning process, particularly as it differs for adults. Topics include theories of behaviorism, cognitivism, humanism, constructivism, and social and adult learning; major learning style theories; andragogy versus pedagogy; and motivation for learning as it applies to informal and formal education and training. Utilizing this basis, students will examine how to apply these theories to the design, implementation, and assessment process.

Curriculum Design & Delivery

This course will introduce students to methods and best practices for medical education curriculum design and prepare students to be conversant in the foundational research literature of education for adult students. Students will design systems-based learning modules within their medical specialty. An introduction to psychometric principles will prepare students to create high-quality assessment items.

Educational Technology & Simulation

Computers, simulators, and even smartphones have become ubiquitous in education both in and outside of the classroom. This course will present best practices in utilization of technology in teaching and provide the learner the opportunity to learn course management through an LMS, develop familiarity with audience response technology (e.g., clickers), develop competence in office productivity software for common educational tasks, and explore hardware and software essential to producing asynchronous curriculum delivery and assessment (e.g., webcam, interactive publishing). Simulation is recognized in healthcare education as an effective way to teach and assess skills and behaviors. This course will teach the student how to create high-quality healthcare simulation programs, introduce the research behind simulation best practices, provide students with a template for effective simulation, and give students a basic understanding of the simulation process as it applies to healthcare education.

Assessment & Evaluation Methods

This course will describe best practices for measurement and assessment in education. Topics will include the role of measurement and assessment in teaching, instructional goals and objectives, validity and reliability, classroom tests and assessments, standardized tests, and interpretation of assessment scores and norms. Learners will develop instructional objectives, a variety of assessment items and assessment formats, and will construct rating scales, rubrics, and interpret assessment psychometrics.

Leadership Courses

  • Organizational Leadership Management & Behavior
  • Health Economics
  • Ethical & Legal Considerations in Health Administration
  • Physician Assistants in Healthcare Policy

Organizational Leadership Management & Behavior

This course will provide the learner with an understanding of how perceptions and thinking influence behavior in the workplace, and the skills necessary to manage conflict and lead change in teams, organizations, community partnerships, and health initiatives in their role as a physician assistant. Strategies for creative problem solving, communication and improved management practices will be explored.

Health Economics

Economics is a major influence in shaping health policy in the United States. An effective healthcare leader must be fluent with the basic health economic theory to guide their organization. This course will discuss such topics as demand, supply and market equilibrium, scarcity, risk aversion, moral hazard, adverse selection, quality of care and pay for performance to provide the student with a grasp of the market forces on the U.S. healthcare system.

Ethical & Legal Considerations in Health Administration

This course will provide an overview of the principles of medical ethics (autonomy, beneficence, and justice) and ethical theory. The discussion will review the ethical challenges faced in healthcare and health administration, the ethical requirements of human-subjects research, the right to privacy and the ethical decision-making process. The responsibilities and boundaries of the patient-healthcare provider relationship and the conflicting demands of providing quality care with limited resources will be addressed, as will the relationship and responsibilities of healthcare providers to society. Case studies will be included to develop ethical reasoning skills applicable to daily practice.

Physician Assistants in Healthcare Policy

This course will explore the evolving role of the PA in the structure of the current U.S. healthcare system; the challenges of access, cost, and quality; and the process of healthcare policy development. The evolution of healthcare reform will be used to illustrate the development of healthcare policy, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The impact of the ACA on PA practice, patient healthcare access, cost, and quality and projections for the future of the ACA will be analyzed.

Clinical Courses

  • Clinical Leadership Track

Clinical Leadership Track

The Clinical Leadership Track contains four (4) Clinical Practicum courses (Practicum 1, 2, 3, and 4) that combine new clinical knowledge and healthcare skills with structured learning experiences. Under the direction of and in consultation with DMSc faculty the student will develop a Learning Plan proposal that will define the goals and outcomes the learner will achieve by the end of the four-course sequence. The Clinical Leadership courses provide a blank canvas that allows the student to tailor the Learning Plan to their areas of interests. Patient contact hours are not required.

Cost

Review tuition and fees for the Doctor of Medical Science program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.

Tuition discounts are available for full-time ATSU employees, ATSU alumni, and employees of community health centers with ATSU ASHS partnerships. Contact the admission’s office for details.

Financial Aid

Federal financial assistance is available for qualifying students. For information on financial aid, visit Enrollment Services or contact them at 866.626.2878 ext. 2019 or by email at enrollmentservices@atsu.edu

Doctor of Medical Science program faculty & staff

ATSU’s PA program has a robust, time-proven curriculum for both residential and online PA programs with a strong faculty experienced in the online delivery of instruction. ATSU’s PA department currently employs doctorally-trained faculty. These faculty have received graduate degrees through online education, and have taught online courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C Emeritus, DFAAPA
Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C Emeritus, DFAAPA
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Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C Emeritus, DFAAPA LinkedIn

Dr. Danielsen is a Professor and director of the Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) program.

Since graduating from the University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 1974, Dr. Danielsen has distinguished himself as a clinician, PA educator, author, and editor. He received his BS in Health Science (cum laude) from the University of Utah in 1978, his Masters in PA Studies (MPAS) from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis on Internal Medicine in 1997, and his Ph.D. from the Union Institute & University in 2003 with an emphasis on Medical Education. He has been with A.T. Still University for over two decades as PA academic coordinator (1995-1997), chair of physician assistant studies (1997-2004), dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences (2004-2010, 2012-2018) and recently stepped down as dean to take on the new role with the DMS.

He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and as a board member and chairman for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Earlier in his career, he served as president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants (UAPA), the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants (ASAPA), and as chair of the Arizona Regulatory Board for PAs. Retired after 28 years of service in the US Air Force and Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Danielsen also is a former president of the AAPA Veterans Caucus and was honored with the Caucus’ Civilian PA of the Year Award in 2003. Dr. Danielsen was named Outstanding PA of the Year by the AAPA in 1993 and by ASAPA in 2011. In 2012 he was honored by the University of Utah, School of Medicine, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, Division of Physician Assistant Studies with the “Patron of the Profession” award for “unwavering dedication and service to the Physician Assistant Profession.” In May 2015 he received the Eugene A. Stead Award of Achievement by the AAPA. This is the Academy’s most prestigious award recognizing an individual for lifetime achievement that has had a broad and significant impact on the profession.

He currently serves as PA editor-in-chief for Clinician Reviews. Dr. Danielsen has published over nineteen peer-reviewed articles, twenty journal editorials, three book chapters, and his first co-authored book, entitled The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants, published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. He is also a Senior Consultant with the Academy for Academic Leadership and a proud member of Rotary International.

Dr. Danielsen teaches Medical Writing, Quality Improvement in Healthcare, and PAs in Healthcare Policy.

Albert F. Simon, DHSc, PA-C, MEd
Albert F. Simon, DHSc, PA-C, MEd
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Dr. Simon is a PA graduate of the Alderson Broaddus PA program in West Virginia. Prior to ATSU, he served as chair of the St. Francis University PA Program in Pennsylvania. His clinical practice experience includes internal medicine and occupational medicine. In addition to administrative duties, he teaches in the History and Physical Examination sequence.

Dr. Simon teaches Community Assessment & Health Promotion, Organizational Leadership, Clinical Practicum 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Kari Bernard, PhD, PA-C
Kari Bernard, PhD, PA-C
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Dr. Bernard joined the DMSc team in August 2021 as the inaugural Associate Director of Research & Capstone Activities and Associate Professor.

Dr. Bernard graduated from the Arizona School of Health Sciences PA Program at A.T. Still University in 2004.  Since then, she has practiced medicine in the areas of cardiology, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.  She was a faculty member with the University of Washington’s MEDEX Northwest PA program from 2014 to 2021.  During her time at MEDEX, Dr. Bernard served as Anchorage campus site director.  She also integrated a mindfulness-based wellness curriculum conceived by educators at Midwestern University PA program across all MEDEX campuses. 
 
Dr. Bernard completed her doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a focus on PA well-being in 2020.  While completing her dissertation on the influence of career development on PA professional fulfillment, she was selected as the American Academy of PAs 2019-2020 Research Fellow.  She has published several articles on burnout, including a discussion paper published by the National Academy of Medicine on PA burnout and job and career satisfaction.  She has presented at various state and regional medical education events and partnered with the Alaska Academy of PAs to host its inaugural clinician wellness conference in April 2021.  As a member of the American Academy of PAs Joint Task Force on Burnout, Dr. Bernard worked with other task force members to create a comprehensive plan for addressing PA burnout.  She currently serves on the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience.  Drawing on her clinical and academic background and a skillset in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Dr. Bernard supports the well-being of the healthcare workforce through academic leadership, research, and advocacy.

Jeffrey L. Alexander, PhD, FAACVPR, ACSM-CEP
Jeffrey L. Alexander, PhD, FAACVPR, ACSM-CEP
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Jeffrey Alexander, PhD, FAACVPR, ACSM-CEP is adjunct faculty in ATSU’s Doctor of Medical Science program and Associate Professor with the College of Graduate Health Studies.

Dr. Alexander has been with A.T. Still University (ATSU) since 2006 serving in various roles. In addition to serving as an inaugural adjunct faculty member of the Doctor of Medical Sciences in the Arizona School of Health Sciences, Dr. Alexander serves as an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Health Sciences Program and adjunct faculty for the Master’s in Kinesiology Program in the College of Graduate Health Studies. He is a founding member and associate researcher of ATSU’s Center for Resilience and Aging. His principal teaching responsibilities at the University include instruction and facilitation of doctoral student research, and exercise science specific to older adults.

Dr. Alexander’s research interests focus on improving the health and well-being of older adults. He is a Lead Trainer for the Matter of Balance (MOB) falls prevention program. He co-founded the Still Standing Falls Prevention Outreach Program at A.T. Still University which has trained hundreds of graduate health professions students as Coaches in MOB, and these students have delivered the MOB program to thousands of older adults in the Phoenix-Metropolitan area since 2009.

Dr. Alexander is a Fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and serves on the Association’s Research Committee. He is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Health Promotion and has published in various peer-reviewed journals and presented at local and national meetings and conferences. Dr. Alexander teaches Capstone I, II, and III.

Sondra DePalma, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Sondra DePalma, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
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Sondra DePalma, DHSc, PA-C, CLS, CHC, FNLA, AACC, DFAAPA is an adjunct assistant professor in ATSU’s Doctor of Medical Science program.

Dr. DePalma is the Director of Regulatory and Professional Practice at the American Academy of PAs, where she oversees PA regulations, policies, and reimbursement. She has experience in healthcare leadership and organizational management, is a published author, and a regular speaker at national conferences. Dr. DePalma continues to practice clinically in cardiology, a field in which she has worked for nearly 20 years and has earned advanced certifications in lipidology and hypertension management.

She earned a Doctor of Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Behavior from ATSU and has a graduate certificate in the Science of Healthcare Delivery from Arizona State University. She graduated with a Master of Health Science degree from Lock Haven University’s Physician Assistant Program, received a post-baccalaureate premedical certificate from Pennsylvania State University, and graduated summa cum laude with a BA from Mercyhurst University.

Dr. DePalma teaches Social Determinants of Health and Quality Improvement in Healthcare.

Alison C. Essary, DHSc, MHPE, PA-C
Alison C. Essary, DHSc, MHPE, PA-C
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Alison Essary, DHSc, MHPE, PA-C is an adjunct Professor with the Doctor of Medical Sciences (DMSc) program.

Dr. Essary is a graduate of the ATSU Doctor of Health Science Program. She is the Scrivner Family Director, Research, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (ResQIPS) Program at HonorHealth Academic Affairs in Scottsdale, AZ. She is a Clinical Professor and has been in academics for 20 years. She has maintained a consistent and robust record of research activity, including $2M+ in research proposals, $1.4M+ in awards, 70+ refereed manuscripts, and 80+ abstracts and presentations. Her research efforts were nationally recognized as the Physician Assistant Foundation

Dr. Essary was part of a national team invited to write a report on the state of burnout in the PA profession published by the National Academy of Medicine in 2018. The team published “Burnout, job satisfaction, and stress levels of PAs”; receiving the AAPA Research Article of the Year in 2019.

Dr. Essary teaches Quality Improvement in Healthcare, Capstone I, II, and III.

Larry Fisher, DHSc, PA-C
Larry Fisher, DHSc, PA-C
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Larry Fisher, DHSc, PA-C, is an adjunct Assistant Professor with the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program.

Dr. Larry Fisher was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and is a graduate of the MEDEX PA program, Alaska Class # 1 in 1995. After practicing in Alaska for 17 years, Dr. Fisher relocated to Arizona and entered the APA Program. Following graduation, he entered the DHSc program and graduated in 2017 while continuing to practice Family Medicine, Urgent Care and Pain management. As a clinic preceptor Dr. Fisher enjoys participating in PA education, and in 2017 began teaching bioethics to APA students at ATSU. Dr. Fisher was recently invited and accepted an invitation to teach Ethical & Legal Considerations in Health Administration in the DMSc program

Dr. Fisher is a member of AAPA, and ASAPA. He volunteers at an inner-city clinic for the underserved and underinsured on a seasonal schedule. He now resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, son, cats and dogs. His hobbies include cycling, supporting renewable energy, and brewing his own mead (honey wine). He plans to eventually return to Alaska to enjoy the wide-open spaces, fresh fish, and pioneer spirit

Dr. Fisher teaches Ethical & Legal Considerations in Health Administration, Capstone I, II, and III.

Melinda Moore Gottschalk, DMSc, PA-C
Melinda Moore Gottschalk, DMSc, PA-C
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Dr. Gottschalk graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern PA program in 1992. She received a Master of PA Studies from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2016 and earned a Doctor of Medical Science degree at A.T. Still University in June 2021. Her original research, "Ageism in the PA Profession: An exploratory study," earned Dr. Gottschalk AAPA's Research in Action and AT Still's Capstone of Excellence in 2021.

Since beginning her career as a PA, Dr. Gottschalk has practiced in orthopedic sports medicine, orthopedic spine surgery, urgent care, interventional pain management, telemedicine, and neurology-migraine emphasis.   Dr. Gottschalk served five years on an FDA advisory panel and was elected to two terms as Director at Large on the American Academy of PA's (AAPA) Board of Directors.   She has been appointed to various AAPA national positions, is active in the AAPA's House of Delegates, and is a Distinguished Fellow of AAPA. Dr. Gottschalk is a medical science liaison and adjunct faculty at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor.

Dr. Gottschalk is the current Legislative Affairs Chair for the Texas Academy of PAs (TAPA). She has served in numerous elected and appointed positions within TAPA and was elected President in 2008.  Dr. Gottschalk was appointed to the Texas Physician Health Program as the founding PA board member before her current appointed position as Secretary of the Texas PA Regulatory Board. Dr. Gottschalk remains committed to her career-long goal of promoting the PA profession through leadership, advocacy, education, and mentorship.

Dr. Gottschalk is teaching the Capstone courses. 

Michael Halasy, DHSc, MS, PA-C
Michael Halasy, DHSc, MS, PA-C
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Michael Halasy, DHSc, MS, PA-C is an adjunct Assistant Professor with the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program.

Dr. Michael Halasy is a practicing physician assistant at Mayo Clinic in the Spine Center where he manages an independent panel of complex spine patients from all over the world. He is an accomplished researcher and educator and is currently the co-chair of the multidisciplinary spine research committee at Mayo Clinic and is a health services researcher who works on health workforce research with a number of specialties and practices. He is heavily involved in healthcare administration as well. He was one of only 5 US researchers invited to the first international research collaborative on Audit and Feedback research. He has published numerous articles, has a background in health policy and healthcare economics, and has research interests in shared decision making, healthcare workforce studies, health economics, and organizational behavior. He has a Doctor of Health Sciences degree in Organizational Science and Behavior.

Dr. Halasy teaches Research Methods in Healthcare, Capstone I, II, and III.

Mary Kimmitt Laxton, DHSc, PA-C
Mary Kimmitt Laxton, DHSc, PA-C
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Mary Kimmitt Laxton, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, is adjunct assistant professor of ATSU’s Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program.

Dr. Laxton received her BA in botany from Duke University in 1976 and her MPA in management from the Indiana University Northwest in 1980. She received her certificate in physician assistant studies from the Philadelphia University in 1997 and her doctor of health science from Nova Southeastern University in 2016. She is a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistant and a member of the Alpha Eta Honor Society at Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Laxton held academic appointments in physician assistant programs at Arcadia University in Newark, Delaware and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 2012 - 2018. Dr. Laxton’s clinical experience is in internal, family, geriatric, and emergency medicine.

Dr. Laxton teaches Adult Learning Theory and Curriculum Design & Delivery in the Education track of the DMSc.

Bob McMullen, EdD, PA-C
Bob McMullen, EdD, PA-C
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Bob McMullen, EdD, PA-C Emeritus, MHS is adjunct faculty with the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) and Professor with ATSU’s Central Coast Physician Assistant program.

Dr. Bob McMullen is a 1988 graduate of the UTMB PA program in Galveston, TX. He spent his first 20 years practicing clinically in remote clinics and EDs in West Texas, Arizona and Maine. He joined the PA faculty at ATSU in Arizona in 2007 and was full-time until 2017. He has extensive experience in curriculum and assessment, as well as online teaching. He currently lives in New Mexico, where he is working remotely to help create the developing ATSU Physician Assistant Program in Santa Maria, CA. Dr. McMullen also teaches online in ATSU’s Advanced PA Program along with the Doctor of Medical Science Program.

Dr. McMullen teaches Educational Technology & Simulation and Assessment & Evaluation

Eric Matthews, PhD, MSEd, RT
Eric Matthews, PhD, MSEd, RT
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Eric Matthews, PhD, MSEd, RT, is adjunct faculty with the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program and Associate Professor in the College of Graduate Health Studies.

Dr. Matthews completed his PhD in education at Southern Illinois University with an emphasis in adult and vocational/technical education (workforce education and development). He also holds graduate degrees in education (administration and supervision) and museum studies. His professional medical preparation is in the field of diagnostic imaging. Dr. Matthews is certified in diagnostic radiography, cardiovascular-interventional technology, and magnetic resonance imaging by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Prior to coming to ATSU, he was the program director of the radiography program at Southern Illinois University.

Dr. Matthews has taught numerous courses on medical and educational history, his primary research interest. He enjoys qualitative-historical research and has served as a subject matter expert for several state and national organizations and museums on the topic of 19th century American medicine.

Dr. Matthews teaches Capstone I, II, and III.

Leon Moak, DMSc, PA-C
Leon Moak, DMSc, PA-C
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Leon Moak, DMSc, PA-C is an adjunct assistant professor in ATSU’s Doctor of Medical Science program.

Dr. Moak received his Doctor of Medical Science degree from the University of Lynchburg in 2020. He is an alum of the ATSU-ASHS master of science in physician assistant studies program in 2001 and also holds a certificate of advanced clinical studies in family and emergency medicine from ATSU. Dr. Moak started his academic career as a PA faculty member with ATSU from 2001 to 2009; serving as the director of the Advanced PA degree program from 2006 to 2009. The DMSc program is very excited to have Dr. Moak return to ATSU and for his passion for teaching.

In addition to his clinical duties in the emergency department at Chandler Regional Hospital/Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Chandler, Arizona, Dr. Moak serves as the Advanced Practice Provider Site Director. Dr. Moak is a member of the Society of Emergency Medicine PAs, AAPA, and ASAPA. He has served as director-at-large for the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants (ASAPA), director of online affairs for the Student Academy of AAPA, and volunteers in his community as an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America.

Dr. Moak teaches Capstone I, II, and III.

Joseph G. Weber, DHSc, MBA, MPAS, PA-C
Joseph G. Weber, DHSc, MBA, MPAS, PA-C
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Joseph Weber, DHSc, MBA, MPAS, PA-C is an adjunct Associate Professor in ATSU’s Doctor of Medical Science program.

Dr. Weber holds several degrees, including an associate in applied business, a bachelor of science in management science, a master of business administration, a master’s in physician assistant studies, and a doctorate in health sciences. He is also a licensed PA in the state of South Carolina with clinical experience in both emergency and psychiatric medicine.

Dr. Weber will be teaching Research Methods (Core Course) and Health Economics (Leadership Track). Dr. Weber has previously taught graduate level courses in research methods, biomedical ethics, and many other classes. He is extremely familiar with adult learning, course development, and assessment methods. Before becoming a PA, Dr. Weber was a computer engineer and has an extensive background in technology and medical simulation tools.

Dr. Weber teaches Research Methods in Healthcare, Health Economics, Capstone I, II, and III.

Kevin R. Kupferer, PA-C, DHSc, MsCI, MPAS
Kevin R. Kupferer, PA-C, DHSc, MsCI, MPAS
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Kevin Kupferer, DHSc, PA-C, MsCI, MPAS is an adjunct Assistant Professor in ATSU’s Doctor of Medical Science program.

Dr. Kupferer is a 2005 graduate of the University of Nebraska/USAF Program at Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. His clinical background is in family medicine and urgent care. He is a Primary Care Provider and Clinical Researcher with the Phoenix Department of Veterans Affairs. He has over 10 years’ experience managing and conducting biomedical research and clinical trials for the Department of Defense and private sector.

Dr. Kupferer completed a residency in clinical research with a masters in clinical investigations at the University of Texas HSCSA and a doctorate in health science through ATSU in 2013. He is a member of the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants (ASAPA), American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Society of Air Force PAs (SAFPA) and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).

Dr. Kupferer teaches Research Methods in Healthcare, Capstone I, II, and III.

Francis (Frank) Crosby Jr., DHSc, MPAS, PA-C
Francis (Frank) Crosby Jr., DHSc, MPAS, PA-C
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Frank Crosby, Jr., DHSc, MPAS, PA-C is an adjunct Professor in ATSU’s Doctor of Medical Science program.

Dr. Crosby received his doctorate in health science (DHSc) from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in 2013, his master’s in physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1997, his bachelors as a physician associate from the University of Oklahoma in 1982, and a diploma from the Air War College, Air University in 1996. He retired from the United States Air Force in 2005 at the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Dr. Crosby currently teaches medical ethics in healthcare for NSU. He is a founding member and past- President of PAs for Tomorrow. During his military career, he served in multiple leadership roles including deputy chief of medical staff, commander of a medical operations squadron, and as an AF liaison to the Joint Commission. He brings a wealth of experience in leadership and health policy to the DMSc program.

Dr. Crosby enjoys world travels with his bride of 44 years and has logged nearly 1000 SCUBA dives as a master SCUBA diver. When not underwater, he is often on the ski slopes of Colorado. He will be teaching Determinants of Health, Quality Improvement in Healthcare, and Organizational Leadership Management & Behavior courses.

Dr. Crosby teaches Social & Behavioral Determinants in Health and Quality Improvement in Healthcare.

Michael Champion, DHSc, MPAS, MEd, PA-C
Michael Champion, DHSc, MPAS, MEd, PA-C
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Dr. Champion graduated from PA school in 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio. He went on to earn a BS degree from the University of the State of New York in 1983. While stationed in Berlin, Germany he earned a Master of Education from Boston University. He returned from Europe in 1987 to attend the Clinical Perfusion training program at Penn State Hershey with a second year of training at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC. In 1994, Dr. Champion earned the Master of Medical Science at St. Francis College (now University) in Loretto, PA. His doctoral degree was earned at Nova Southeastern University in 2004 at the Doctor of Health Sciences program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Additionally, he went on to earn an MBA from the Western Governors University program in 2015. Most recently, Dr. Champion has attended the Master of Science in Surgical Science and Practice program at Oxford University, where his dissertation is being considered for his graduation fulfillment. Of note, Dr. Champion is the only PA that has been accepted to the Oxford program as it has been designed for only surgeons and he will be the only non-surgeon this program has graduated.

Dr. Champion has a total of 35 years military service, starting as a private and finishing as a colonel. His professional interests are in trauma surgery, cardiac surgery and emergency medicine. He served as a past AAPA Surgical Congress chair, is a Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA as well as a Fellow Member of the APACVS. He has served as president of the AAPA Veterans Caucus, the Society of Army Physician Assistants and a number of committees at AAPA. He has authored a number of articles and a book on surgical assisting. Dr. Champion continues to work in surgery and emergency medicine as well as run three corporate entities.

Richard E. Davis, Ed.D., PA-C Emeritus, DFAAP
Richard E. Davis, Ed.D., PA-C Emeritus, DFAAP
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Dr. Richard E. Davis received an Associates in Applied Science from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education from Southern Illinois University/Carbondale, a Bachelor of Science in Physician Associate from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Science in Adult Education from Troy State University, and a Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University. After almost 20 years of clinical practice as a Physician Assistant, he entered education as the founding director of the Physician Assistant Program, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Phoenix, Arizona (now A.T. Still University). 

In 1998, Dr. Davis accepted the position of Director of the Physician Assistant Program at Nova Southeastern University.  In 2001 he was appointed as the Interim Dean, College of Allied Health and Nursing, and permanent Dean in 2002.  Dr. Davis served as Dean until 2013 when he was promoted to Vice President for the Regional Campus System.

Dr. Davis has 20 years of military experience, having retired from the United States Air Force in 1989.  He has served his profession in numerous leadership capacities at the state and national level, including 6 years of service on the Accreditation Review Commission on Physician Assistant Education.  Dr. Davis has been recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and as a PA-C Emeritus by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant.  Dr. Davis retired from NSU in 2018.

Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
Dean
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Dr. Ann Lee Burch is the dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Burch received her doctor of education from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her masters of public health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her masters of physical therapy from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her BA is in psychology from the University of Rochester.

Prior to her appointment as dean, Dr. Burch served as vice dean for ATSU-ASHS. She served as the chair of the Physical Therapy Department from 2008-January 2012. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the director of physical therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

Dr. Burch’s area of scholarly interest and application of that interest is in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy of health care providers and healthcare professional students towards underrepresented patient/client groups.

Dr. Burch is the author of a Guide to Physical Therapy (Vault Publishers) which was written to increase information access about physical therapy to both high school graduates and re-entry adults. She was a co-investigator on an NIH grant at the University of Puerto Rico exploring the feasibility of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors living in San Juan. Dr. Burch has lived in Symi, Greece, Taipei, Taiwan, Ahmdebad, India and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is committed to research, teaching and service that further the understanding of the impact of socioeconomic and cultural variables on health.

 

She was a member of the class of 2014 cohort of Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017 she was the co-PI on a Centers for Disease Control, Association for Prevention and Teaching grant exploring a population health case study format for teaching and communicating the impact of social determinants of health on health disparities. She was recently appointed a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

Marlene Salas-Provance, PhD, MHA, CCC-SLP
Marlene Salas-Provance, PhD, MHA, CCC-SLP
Vice Dean
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Dr. Salas-Provance, is professor and vice dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Salas-Provance received her doctorate in speech science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her masters of health administration from the University of Missouri School of Medicine-Columbia. She holds both a bachelors and masters in Speech Pathology from New Mexico State University.

Prior to her appointment as vice dean, Dr. Salas-Provance served as associate dean of academic and student affairs for the School of Health Professions at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. She served as assistant dean and chair in the College of Education, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico and department chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Montevallo (AL). She held faculty positions at Fontbonne College and St. Louis University, in St. Louis, MO.

She has made extensive professional contributions to the American, Speech, Language & Hearing Association (ASHA), serving on the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council, member of the Financial Planning Board, and the Multicultural Issues Board. She served as coordinator of ASHA’s Special Interest Group (SIG) 14, Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse populations and was a founding member and coordinator of SIG 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is an ASHA Fellow and received ASHA’s highest awards for “Special Recognition in Multicultural Affairs” and “Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement.”

Dr.Salas-Provance has served as a clinical educator throughout her academic career, especially related to children with cleft lip and palate. She is a member of an international medical team with Rotaplast International and has traveled worldwide for over 15 years to provide clinical services to children with cleft palate. She implemented a program for graduate students in speech pathology to provide clinical services in Spanish to children with cleft palate in Lima, Peru. In addition to Lima, Peru she has provided clinical services in China, Bangladesh, Philippines, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Venezuela.

Dr. Salas-Provance is coauthor of the textbook Culturally Responsive Practices in Speech-Language and Hearing Science (Plural Publishing, 2019) which meets the needs for training students in healthcare professions regarding practice with individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Her research is focused on attitudes towards disability by diverse populations and addressing the use of language interpreters during healthcare and educational encounters.

Over the past ten years she has lectured extensively to international audiences, both in English and Spanish, including as invited speaker for the Congreso Internacional en Trastornos de la Comunicacion at Escuela de Fonoaudiologia (Speech Language Pathology / Audiology) de la Universidad de Talca, Chile and for the Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza, Lima, Peru, Endoscopic Evaluation of Velopharyngeal Dysfunction. She was invited keynote speaker for the First International Congress in Speech-Language Pathology and Orthodontics in the area of cleft lip and palate in Lima, Peru.

Dr. Salas-Provance was selected for the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Leadership Program and attended the National Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington DC (2017) for advancing female executives in higher education.

Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA, DFAAPA
Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA, DFAAPA
Director
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Dr. Danielsen is the director of the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program. Since graduating from the University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 1974, Dr. Danielsen has distinguished himself as a clinician, PA educator, author, and editor. He received his BS in Health Science (cum laude) from the University of Utah in 1978, his Masters in PA Studies (MPAS) from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis on Internal Medicine in 1997, and his Ph.D. from the Union Institute & University in 2003 with an emphasis on Medical Education. He has been with A.T. Still University for over two decades as PA academic coordinator (1995-1997), chair of physician assistant studies (1997-2004), dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences (2004-2010, 2012-2018) and recently stepped down as dean to take on the new role with the DMSc.

He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and as a board member and chairman for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Earlier in his career, he served as president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants (UAPA), the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants (ASAPA), and as chair of the Arizona Regulatory Board for PAs. Retired after 28 years of service in the US Air Force and Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Danielsen also is a former president of the AAPA Veterans Caucus and was honored with the Caucus’ Civilian PA of the Year Award in 2003. Dr. Danielsen was named Outstanding PA of the Year by the AAPA in 1993 and by ASAPA in 2011. In 2012 he was honored by the University of Utah, School of Medicine, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, Division of Physician Assistant Studies with the “Patron of the Profession” award for “unwavering dedication and service to the Physician Assistant Profession.” In May 2015 he received the Eugene A. Stead Award of Achievement by the AAPA. This is the Academy’s most prestigious award recognizing an individual for lifetime achievement that has had a broad and significant impact on the profession.

 

He currently serves as PA editor-in-chief for Clinician Reviews. Dr. Danielsen has published over nineteen peer-reviewed articles, twenty journal editorials, three book chapters, and his first co-authored book, entitled The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants, published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. He is also a Senior Consultant with the Academy for Academic Leadership and a proud member of Rotary International.

Albert Simon, DHSc, MEd, PA-C
Albert Simon, DHSc, MEd, PA-C
Associate Director
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Albert (Bert) Simon, DHSc, MEd, PA, is the former chair and current professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Previously, he served as founding vice dean at ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), where he was also chief operating officer for ATSU-SOMA. He was an integral part of the leadership team that developed the most innovative medical school in the U.S. from 2007-2012. For 37 years, Dr. Simon has served as chair of physician assistant studies departments at three universities: Saint Francis University, Baylor College of Medicine, and most recently ATSU. During his years as chair at Saint Francis University, their physician assistant program was the only non-medical school-based program ranked in the top ten physician assistant programs in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report in every ranking poll.

In his years of clinical practice, he has worked in occupational medicine at Volkswagen of America’s assembly plant in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, and inpatient internal medicine at the Van Zantz Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Altoona, Pennsylvania, as well as working family medicine in the Coalport Area Community Health Center. Being politically active in the physician assistant profession, he has served in a number of national leadership positions including president and vice president of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (APAP) and author of the Annual Report on Physician Assistant Educational Programs in the U.S. During his APAP presidency, he founded the Leadership-Training Institute as a vehicle to provide needed education to individuals entering into PA education. He has served as an educational consultant to over 25 physician assistant programs across the U.S. He has also served as the co-editor of Appleton and Lange’s Q and A for the Physician Assistant, one of the best selling board review books for physician assistants in the nation.

With an interest in continuous quality improvement, Dr. Simon was trained as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Examiner for the United States Department of Labor. He was also featured in the book On Q, Causing Quality in Higher Education by Daniel Seymour for his innovative approaches to quality management in an educational program.

 

Dr. Simon resides in the picturesque mountain community of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two dogs (Allie and Cole).

Kari Bernard, PhD, PA-C
Kari Bernard, PhD, PA-C
Associate Director of Research & Capstone Activities
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Dr. Bernard joined the DMSc team in August 2021 as the inaugural Associate Director of Research & Capstone Activities and Associate Professor.

Dr. Bernard graduated from the Arizona School of Health Sciences PA Program at A.T. Still University in 2004.  Since then, she has practiced medicine in the areas of cardiology, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.  She was a faculty member with the University of Washington’s MEDEX Northwest PA program from 2014 to 2021.  During her time at MEDEX, Dr. Bernard served as Anchorage campus site director.  She also integrated a mindfulness-based wellness curriculum conceived by educators at Midwestern University PA program across all MEDEX campuses. 
 
Dr. Bernard completed her doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a focus on PA well-being in 2020.  While completing her dissertation on the influence of career development on PA professional fulfillment, she was selected as the American Academy of PAs 2019-2020 Research Fellow.  She has published several articles on burnout, including a discussion paper published by the National Academy of Medicine on PA burnout and job and career satisfaction.  She has presented at various state and regional medical education events and partnered with the Alaska Academy of PAs to host its inaugural clinician wellness conference in April 2021.  As a member of the American Academy of PAs Joint Task Force on Burnout, Dr. Bernard worked with other task force members to create a comprehensive plan for addressing PA burnout.  She currently serves on the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience.  Drawing on her clinical and academic background and a skillset in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Dr. Bernard supports the well-being of the healthcare workforce through academic leadership, research, and advocacy.

Hailey Richins
Hailey Richins
Instructional Designer
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Hailey received her Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Utah State University and her Master of Education in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from the University of Utah. Hailey’s specialties are in adult learning and training in online learning environments and educational technology.

Beth Poppre
Beth Poppre
Administrative Manager
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Dr. Beth Poppre joined ATSU in 2005 in Student Affairs. After 14 years of serving as the Assistant and Associate Vice President-Student Affairs, Dr. Poppre transitioned to the DMSc program as administrative manager. Dr. Poppre is dedicated to providing excellent student service and helping the DMSc students navigate, succeed, and graduate. Dr. Poppre earned her master’s degree in student affairs Arizona State University and her doctorate degree in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University (online).

University Catalog

University Catalog Program guide Read the University Catalog to learn more about the Doctor of Medical Science online program and University.

Accreditation

A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

3325 Paddocks Parkway, Suite 345
Suwanee, GA 30024

Phone: 800.621.7440 | Fax: 312.263.7462
Email: info@hlcommission.org

ncahlc.org


Degree-granting authority for the Arizona School of Health Sciences has been given by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, 1400 West Washington Rd., Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Phone 602.542.5709.

Doctor of medical science faculty & staff

ATSU’s PA program has a robust, time-proven curriculum for both residential and online PA programs with a strong faculty experienced in the online delivery of instruction. ATSU’s PA department currently employs doctorally-trained faculty. These faculty have received graduate degrees through online education, and have taught online courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C Emeritus, DFAAPA
Program Director, DMSc
Albert Simon, DHSc, MEd, PA-C
Associate Director, DMSc
Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Department Chair, Program Director
Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
Dean, ATSU-ASHS
Craig Phelps, DO, FAOASM
President, ATSU
Clinton Normore, MBA
VP of Diversity & Inclusion

Career advancement

Students in ATSU-ASHS’ exclusive post-professional online physician assistant doctorate are practicing physician assistants who want to advance their careers in many exciting areas of healthcare including:

  • PA – Clinical Practice
  • PA – Educational Leadership
  • PA – Industry Leadership
  • Advocating for the PA profession and the underserved +

    • PAs with a doctor of medical science become empowered to be a voice for the advancement of the PA profession in healthcare, and for expanding the integration of the PA role within underserved populations as a key to cost-efficient care. They become prepared to take a leadership position in advancing whole-person healthcare, social responsibility, diversity and expanded access to care through forward-thinking health advocacy and promotion at the local, state, and federal levels.

      Graduates with a physician assistant doctorate also gain a greater understanding of how the legislative process affects healthcare policy and study strategies for boosting the role of PAs in improving healthcare care through legislative advocacy. They have the knowledge and insight to develop innovations in PA education to better equip future PAs, and assess PA workforce trends and predictive models to help guide the evolution of this workforce to effectively meet healthcare marketplace demands in the future.

  • Application +

    • Image of a hand writing on an e-tablet

      Applications are accepted year round. The program has four (4) start dates every year: July, September, January, and March.

      Please note: Applicants must be a licensed or certified physician assistant.

      Apply Now

      The $70 application fee is waived for ATSU employees, alumni, and those employed by a partnering Community Health Center.

      For additional information, contact an Enrollment Counselor:
      480.219.6118 or toll free 877.469.2878
      onlineinquiry@atsu.edu