David Kuhns joins PA Studies on the Boone campus
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.