David Kuhns joins PA Studies on the Boone campus

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David Kuhns

The challenge of helping to develop the new site in Boone and the opportunity to be part of an internationally known team are what attracted David Kuhns, PA-C, MPH, to join the Wake Forest PA faculty. A PA for more than 30 years, he has often looked for different, nontraditional opportunities.

Only a few years after completing his PA education at Saint Louis University, and with his experience as a medic in the U.S. Air Force and a year of urban emergency medicine under his belt, David found his way to an island on the Maine coast. As the first PA to serve the community, and as the sole provider to the isolated 400 year-round and 3,000 summer residents, he established a rural health center where he provided primary care and advanced life support to patients needing to be evacuated to the mainland and also served as both school and town health officer.

After a couple of years of being on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, David looked for a change and returned to emergency medicine and worked in community hospitals around Maine.

Having long felt a desire to work with underserved populations, David served as the first PA with the international medical relief organization, Doctors Without Borders, in Somalia and then in Afghanistan. He later returned to Afghanistan with a British aid agency, Medical Relief International (Merlin).  In 1999, David was recognized for his work by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, when he received the Academy’s PAragon Award as the International Humanitarian.

Following a family tradition of teaching, David worked at the University of New England’s PA program. When word came of the chance to work with the burgeoning PA movement in the United Kingdom, David joined the faculty at the University of Birmingham. There he served as the Associate Program Director for three years and became the first American PA educator in Great Britain. Though now back in the US, David remains committed to helping the PA profession continue to grow across the UK. He still serves as an adviser to the Birmingham program and is also consulting with new programs.

David is excited about being part of the Wake Forest team and is very much looking forward to helping to educate the PA students in Boone and Winston-Salem. He also hopes to instill in some of them the ideal of looking to explore nontraditional pioneering roles for PAs.


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PA Studies

Phone 336-716-4356
Fax 336-716-4432

Mailing Address:
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Department of PA Studies
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1006 

525 Vine Street, Suite 540
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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