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Physician Assistant, Nurse Anesthesia Programs Score High Marks

Two of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center‘s School of Medicine programs have earned high scores in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 edition of Best Graduate Schools. Each ranking is based on a survey of academics at peer institutions.

The Physician Assistant (PA) Program at Wake Forest Baptist is ranked as the number nine program in the country. This is the second year in a row that the program has been ranked in the top 10.

Beginning in 1969, the program’s patient-centered approach immerses students in real-life cases and fosters their clinical problem-solving abilities. The program is preparing the next generation of physician assistants to provide quality health care to wider populations than ever before.

“We are thrilled to once again be recognized for our efforts in training physician assistants to provide world-class health care to people all over the world,” said  Zachary Hartsell, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C., program director for the department of Physician Assistant Studies. “This recognition helps us attract the most talented students and prepare them for a dynamic career in the field of medicine.”

A class of 64 students is enrolled each year at the Winston-Salem campus, with an additional 24 students enrolled each year on the distant campus at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program is ranked as the number 10 program in the country. The program has ranked in the top 10 percent of nurse anesthesia programs for the past decade.

Established in 1942, the program is the longest continually running nurse anesthesia program in North Carolina. The program includes a focus on leadership development, and has produced more presidents of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists than any other program in the country.

Graduates of the program are prepared to plan, administer, and manage anesthetic delivery to a wide range of patients and in diverse settings.

“Our program has a long and rich tradition of preparing students to become leaders in our profession,” said Michael Rieker, D.N.P., C.R.N.A., program director of Nurse Anesthesia. “Once again being recognized as a top program is a testament to the outstanding faculty, resources and mentorship available to students at Wake Forest Baptist.”

The two-year Nurse Anesthesia program consists of 48 students with 24 students in each year’s class.

Wake Forest School of Medicine confers the Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree on graduates of the PA program and the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree upon graduates of the NA program.

Both programs are located in the 525@vine building in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

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