Physician Assistants Earn Doctorate Degrees and are Recognized for Outstanding Service

Elizma Mercier, Betsy Piburn, Jennifer Harrington, Dallas Bauman

The Lincoln Memorial University-School of Medical Sciences (LMU-SMS) celebrated commencement for the Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) program on Saturday, December 11. A total of 20 physician assistants earned their doctorate degrees. Four of the graduates were recognized prior to graduation on December 11 for their outstanding contribution to the program.

 Elizma Mercier

Elizma Mercier, DMS, PA-C, of Alchua, Florida, received the DMS 2020 Class Advocate Award. She received undergraduate degrees from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia, and South University in Savannah, Georgia. She received a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska in Omaha, Nebraska. She is currently a physician assistant specializing in pediatrics at Kids Doc Pediatrics in Gainesville, Florida. Mercier was recognized by her peers as someone who is a class leader, who promotes the success of classmates, who constantly strives to improve the experience of classmates, and seeks to make the most of all DMS related endeavors. She has proven she is invested in the success of not only her current class but future DMS classes.


Betsy Piburn

Betsy Piburn, DMS, PA-C, of West Newberry, Vermont, also received the DMS 2020 Class Advocate Award. She received her undergraduate degree from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from University of New England in Portland, Maine. She is currently an emergency department physician assistant at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Piburn was recognized by her peers for her efforts in promoting the DMS program among classmates, colleagues, peers, professional and government personnel. She is an advocate for the DMS graduates and DMS program for the purposes of improving patient health care and medical education.



Jennifer Harrington

Jennifer Harrington, DMS, PA-C, of Harrogate, Tennessee, received the DMS 2020 Academic Leader Award. She received her undergraduate degree from Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Health in Physician Assistant Studies from Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Harrington is currently an associate professor of physician assistant studies for LMU-SMS. Harrington was recognized by her peers for her clinical knowledge, her involvement in academia, her desire to improve clinical education, her constant pursuit of educational excellence, and her willingness to serve students. Her colleagues describe her as an academic leader.


Dallas Bauman

Dallas Bauman, DMS, PA-C
, of Miami Beach, Florida, received the DMS 2020 Clinical Leader Award. He received his undergraduate degree from Utah Valley University in Provo, Utah, and a Master of Clinical Medicine Science, Physician Assistant from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. He is currently a physician assistant specializing in HIV medicine at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Miami, Florida. Bauman was recognized by his peers as a clinician who demonstrates advanced medical knowledge, practices evidenced-based medicine, stays up-to-date with medical literature, advocates for his patients, communicates well with colleagues and instructors and can be described as a leader in clinical medicine.


The DMS program was established in 2016 to match the continual need for additional high-quality medical providers in Appalachia and other underserved communities with the desire of many physician assistants to seek additional medical training. The clinical curriculum is taught entirely by board-certified physicians who are experts in their field of medicine. Utilizing a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous online didactics, the case-based curriculum design allows the students to interact with and learn from these physician experts. It is the only program of its kind that delivers 45 hours of hands-on ultrasound training. Graduates are prepared to be medical and/or academic leaders in their communities, institutions, hospitals and/or practices.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at

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