On Monday, Chancellor Holden Thorp unveiled the plans for a program that will enlist veterans to help solve some of the state’s most pressing health care needs.
The UNC School of Medicine’s physician assistant master’s program, which is designed to help special forces medical sergeants transition into civilian health care, is expected to accept its first class of students by 2015.
Dr. Bruce Cairns, director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, has been intimately involved in the process since the idea for the program began three years ago.
“My first and foremost goal, without a doubt, is recognizing and honoring the commitment of those who have served in the military, particularly in the last decade,” he said.
With the looming shortage of health care providers, military medics with a history of serving in austere conditions will be instrumental in providing care to underserved areas, he said.