Alumni Spotlight: Elizma Mercier, DMS, PA-C

Elizma Mercier

Elizma Mercier, DMS, PA-C, celebrated her 20th anniversary as a practicing physician assistant by reaching an additional milestone – receiving her Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) degree from Lincoln-Memorial University-School of Medical Sciences (LMU-SMS).

Mercier is a pediatric PA who provides medical care for newborns to patients of 21 years of age. As a pediatric PA, she treats a broad range of illnesses and offers well-child checkups to monitor developmental milestones. She also performs various procedures such as circumcisions, frenectomies, laceration repair, wart and foreign body removals, chemocautery, incisions and drainage.

Mercier was challenged with practicing as a PA during the pandemic while also completing her doctorate at LMU. Though a challenge physically, mentally, and emotionally through COVID-19, Mercier says completing the DMS program solidified and enhanced her medical knowledge during a critical time.

“COVID has challenged my role as a provider in so many ways! Just the effort to breathe through a mask while trying to help our very nervous patients has been extremely challenging day in and day out. You have to literally put yourself on the back-burner and face the virus, patients, and pressures from society head-on, without glancing at fear,” Mercier said.


“The education provided allowed for additional skills to be learned and created perseverance in us, which in turn will strengthen our character, leadership skills, and resilience,” said Mercier. “This was the best decision I have made for my career at this current time. I wanted to increase my knowledge to provide doctorate level medical care for my patients, and I have received the satisfaction of knowing that I fulfilled a terminal degree’s education requirements.”

Mercier says there is one thing she learned from this experience that has kept her humble.

“I concluded the program with the knowledge that the more you learn about medicine, the more you realize that you are just scratching the surface of its depth,” Mercier said.

LMU’s first PA program was established in 2009 on the main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, and is one of the largest PA programs in the United States. In 2016, LMU launched a unique postgraduate training program for PAs with the Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) Program. In 2020, LMU opened a second PA program focusing on advanced surgical training in Knoxville, Tennessee. For more information about the LMU-SMS PA programs, visit

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 [email protected].

Return to Newsroom