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Program Director for Physician Assistant Program
Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
Office Phone: 202-994-9279
Department: Physician Assistant Studies
- B.S., Howard University, 1987
- MS, Central Michigan University, 1998
- PhD, Howard University, 2006
Karen A. Wright is an associate professor and director of the Physician Assistant (PA) Program. She was appointed program director in 2015, and served as interim chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies until February 2018. Wright has nearly 25 years of experience in PA education. She joined the faculty of the Physician Assistant Program in 2008. She previously served as a PA faculty member and Academic Coordinator from 1995 to 2008 at Howard University. She has practiced clinically in geriatric medicine, internal medicine, and correctional medicine. Wright earned her doctor of philosophy in sociology with specialty concentrations in medical and urban sociology from Howard University in 2010.
Wright’s research interests include organizational structure, academic support, learning outcomes, academic integrity, PA workforce and diversity issues, and health disparities. She has published and presented nationally. She is a Distinguished Fellow in the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). She currently serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Physician Assistant Education and serves as the medical liaison between the AAPA and National Association of Minority Medical Educators (NAMME). In the past, she served on the editorial board for the Journal of Physician Assistant Education and was a recipient of a jointly sponsored AAPA-PAEA grant that funded research to explore factors influencing PA career specialty choice.
Wright also serves as assistant dean for student life and academic support in GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
- Physician Assistant
- Translational Health Sciences
View publications by this faculty member.
Maring J, Vail M, Wright KA, Tebbenhoff B, Canova K, Costello E. Attitudes toward academic dishonesty in health profession students. J Allied Health 2018 Winter;47(4):e97-3103.
Peterson ED, Hussaini SS, Murfin M, Smith BJ, Polansky M, Mast J, Klingler A, Peterson PR, Wright KA. Specialty certification and clinical flexibility. JAAPA. Accepted June 2018.
Industry Relationships and Collaborations
This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.