2022 NC PA Program Highlight | Wake Forest University
by Cady Trvalik, PA-S, Wake Forest University
The Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, in the Innovation Quarter neighborhood.
The Wake Forest PA Program began in 1969 with a hallmark feature being the dynamic nature of the program’s small group-oriented curriculum, utilizing the Inquiry Based Learning model. The program is 24 months, consisting of 12 months of didactic, one month of clinical year prep, and ten month-long rotations. Class size is 88 students divided between the urban campus in Winston-Salem and the rural campus in the western mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Students also have the option to pursue an additional Master of Science in Law or Business prior to didactic year through the Emerging Leaders Program, in conjunction with the Wake Forest Schools of Law and Business, respectively.
The weekly curriculum is arranged into small groups, changing roughly every eight weeks as students progress through the five units that make up the didactic year. The first month long unit consists of anatomy and physiology; the second unit, months 2-4, consists of dermatology, endocrinology, and hematology; the third unit, months 4-8, consists of cardiology, pulmonology, and gastroenterology; the fourth unit, months 8-10, consists of neurology, psychology, and orthopedics; and the final unit consists of women’s health, urology and nephrology. Core classes consist of Foundations of Medicine, Patient Care, Clinical and Diagnostic Skills, Pharmacology, and Being A PA, an innovative course where critical contemporary socioeconomic and workplace issues within medicine are discussed.
Clinical rotations consist of core rotations in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, and Behavioral Health. Students can choose one additional selective rotation in a category that is covered on the PANCE as well as 3 electives of their choosing. Rotations vary in placement from rural North Carolina to Atlanta, Charleston, Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Asheville, Boone, and Chapel Hill in a vast array of medical specialties to choose from.
Katharine Anderson Society
During the didactic year, students have the option to pursue positions in the Katharine Anderson Society, the school’s chapter of the Student Academy of the American Academy of PAs, and demonstrate leadership for their class. Positions include class officers such as President, Vice President, and Treasurer, but also student representatives to the American Academy of PAs, NCAPA, and Piedmont Association of PAs. Students can also pursue the position of social chair, community service chair, and/or serve on the racial equity task force. The Katharine Anderson Society organizes community service events, social outings, and fundraisers to benefit our class charity, the Ronald McDonald House. Community service activities this year have included volunteering at the Crossnore Gardens home for children and volunteering with the Delivering Equal Access to Care (DEAC) clinic and Community Care clinic, providing entirely free healthcare to uninsured and other qualifying residents of Winston-Salem.
Free Hot Dog day in Bailey Park in the middle of the Bowman Gray campus
Classes of 2022 and 2023
The Class of 2022 looks forward to graduation, while the class of 2023 is excited to have just finished their didactic year and are now looking forward to clinical year preparatory sessions. The Class of 2023 was fortunate to have mostly in-person classes this year, despite the Delta wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and enjoyed lots of class bonding activities to de-stress together. These included class hikes, a community yoga class, an annual social, and class intramurals including volleyball, softball, and basketball, as well as a class kickball league and the annual faculty versus students’ kickball game. Students also have opportunities to complete certificates in Global Health, Medical Education, Health Disparities, or LGBTQ Health. The class is also pursuing a year-long graduate research project with a small group of other students, which they will present at the end of their clinical year.
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