The Wake Forest School of Medicine physician assistant program has a unique history of curricular innovation in medical education. From its beginning in 1969, it has featured inquiry-based, small-group, self-directed learning centered around real patient medical problems. We remain one of the few programs in the country with an educational experience focused on adult and applied learning principles. Our patient-centered approach immerses students in real-life cases and fosters their clinical problem-solving abilities.
A Future of Innovation in Education
We are building on our rich history, a signature pedagogy, and a collective commitment to leadership development. Our roadmap is built upon shaping excellence in PA education, envisioning the future of PA practice, and creating a generation of future leaders for our profession.
Our goals are focused on our students, our educators and scholars, and the rapidly evolving healthcare environment. Six primary goals guide our program in accomplishing our mission and achieving our vision of excellence:
- Attract the most talented students
- Prepare and inspire the faculty to provide innovative education and training experiences
- Develop a nationally preeminent curriculum and training models to meet tomorrow's workforce needs
- Train professionals to meet future clinical and research workforce needs
- Develop clinical and research training sites to prepare trainees for various work settings and experiences by leveraging internal and external partnerships
- Provide state-of-the-art infrastructure to support our faculty and students
Success is measured in a multidimensional fashion, incorporating evaluations of process, outcomes, and impact. Our benchmark for success is achieved when our students are highly engaged in the learning process, our graduates are both competent and compassionate, our educators are continually improving our instructional process, our scholars are translating new knowledge, and our community is being enriched through the service of our graduates.
- Shape an educational environment that fosters critical thinking, encourages intellectual curiosity, and cultivates professional behaviors and leadership skills
- Create a culture for student advisement and mentoring that nurtures self-awareness, mindfulness, resilience, relationship building, and an appreciation for lifelong learning
- Equip students with a foundational knowledge in biomedical ethics, professionalism, health equity, interprofessional practice, patient-centered communication, and established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences
- Construct opportunities for students to apply foundational knowledge within a core case-based educational experience integrating biomedical sciences, the optimization of health, and clinical problem solving in which students assume an important role in directing their own learning and cultivate their abilities to function as a team
- Design a competency-based, task-focused curriculum structured around organ systems and the diseases, disorders, and medical assessments physician assistants encounter within those systems
- Apply a constructivist approach by sequencing the curriculum around mechanisms of health and disease, progressing from basic to complex