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Karen Wright Karen Wright
Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

Office Phone: 202-994-9279
Email: Email
Department: Physician Assistant Studies


  • B.S., Howard University, 1987
  • MS, Central Michigan University, 1998
  • PhD, Howard University, 2006


Karen A. Wright is an assistant professor and former director of the Physician Assistant (PA) Program. She served as program director from 2015 to 2023, and has served as interim chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in the past. 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.


  • Physician Assistant


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.

  • None