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What is a Doctor of Medical Science?

Rocky Mountain College’s Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program is designed to support the College’s mission to “educate future leaders through liberal arts and professional programs that cultivate critical thinking, creative expression, ethical decision-making, informed citizenship, and professional excellence” through core themes of academic excellence, transformational learning, and shared responsibility and stewardship. The DMSc program aims to promote the physician assistant profession through the enhancement of knowledge in leadership, healthcare policy, quality medical delivery improvement, and research.

The Doctor of Medical Science is a doctoral program of study for physician assistants who already have their Master of Physician Assistant degrees. There is a national trend in the allied health professions to encourage clinical doctorate degrees. Rocky Mountain College advocates for lifelong learning and academic excellence. This doctorate program will supplement the knowledge base of Physician Assistants and improve clinical skills, communication, and leadership. The Physician Assistant role in medicine continues to grow and is rapidly changing. Physician assistants need further training to step into leadership roles, prepare to practice independently, advocate for the profession, and produce scholarly work. One important focus of this program is meeting the needs of our rural and underserved populations of Montana. Presently, approximately 50% of our graduates’ practice in rural Montana and a doctoral degree will better prepare our graduates in leadership, research, and practice in rural and underserved areas. Patients are often forced to travel long distances to see physicians and our graduates will be better capable to practice in geographic areas that do not attract physicians, meeting the healthcare needs of these underserved patients. As a program designed for working professionals, the DMSc is offered completely online.