Spotlight Saturday: Biomedicine Programs
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Spotlight Saturday: Biomedicine Programs

Salus University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Master of Science (MSc) graduate research degree program in Biomedicine. The program allows students to specialize in any area of health science, including, but not limited to optometry, audiology, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, rehabilitation services, biological sciences and clinical medicine.

The department recently marked its 10th anniversary, having been established since 2012. The brainchild of Felix Barker, OD, MS, FAAO, professor emeritus, and Anthony Di Stefano, OD ‘73, MEd, MPH, FAAO, vice president emeritus, Salus decided to develop and implement a graduate program and asked Pierrette Dayhaw-Barker, PhD, professor emeritus, to lead as its inaugural director.

Dr. Mitchell ScheimanMitchell Scheiman, OD, PhD ‘16, FAAO — the second graduate of the Salus PhD in Biomedicine program and its second and current director, said the unique selling point of the University’s program, from its inception, and something that continues to this day, is that it’s not designed for the typical student graduating with a bachelor’s or master’s degree who wants to continue their education.

“Our program is designed for the mid-level, full-time academic in any health-related field,” said Dr. Scheiman, a nationally recognized expert on binocular vision, pediatric optometry and vision therapy. “It allows them to continue working at their job without moving their families or having to change or give up their jobs. They can get the PhD while doing all that and it doesn’t disrupt life as much. That’s our main target and that’s the type of people we’ve been attracting.”

Master’s and doctoral students in Biomedicine will be trained and challenged to become independent researchers in their professions and use effective means to review literature; find and master the most specific and sensitive research techniques; produce and manage data with sensitivity to quality assurance; understand ethical and confidentiality mandates; and publish findings using methods that maintain the integrity of the research and its interpretation.

Doctors in the biomed labThere are flexible learning options, including the distance learning/online option and the on-campus option. The distance learning option meets the needs of the University’s international and domestic student markets. In this option, students take all courses online and establish research projects with mentors in successful research laboratories within the student’s community.

Students who chose the on-campus option will need to relocate to the Philadelphia area. With this option, courses are presented on campus and research projects are arranged with established mentors in successful research laboratories at the University’s Elkins Park, Pennsylvania campus or other sites in the Philadelphia community.

In the program’s 10-year existence, there have been 27 graduates. Designed to accommodate four to six students per year, the program currently has 16 students enrolled and pursuing the doctorate degree. In addition to Saudi Arabia, nine of the 27 graduates have been from that country, the program has expanded to include students from other countries as well, including Nigeria, Finland, Germany, China, Puerto Rico and the U.S.