WakeMed Health and Hospitals – PA Residency in Trauma Critical Care, and Surgery

WakeMed Health and Hospitals – PA Residency in Trauma Critical Care, and Surgery
(919) 350-8729 – Local Phone
(919) 350-7633 – Fax
3024 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27610

Physician Assistant Residency in Trauma, Critical Care, and General Surgery

Contact Information

Alden K. Casati, MS, PA-C
Program Director

(919) 350-8729 Ext. – Local Phone

Pascal O. Udekwu, MD, FACS
Medical Director

Brandon Roy, MD
Associate Medical Director

Description and History

WakeMed Health and Hospitals was founded in 1961 with 380 beds and 90 doctors. The trauma program was initiated in 1987, under the leadership of Dale Oller, MD. In 2002, Osi Udekwu, MD, became chair of the department and enthusiastically pursued expansion and innovation of the program. To date, WakeMed’s Trauma Program has grown and evolved into Wake County’s sole trauma center, as well as being a regional trauma center. In the summer of 2006, WakeMed was awarded a Level One Trauma Center designation after being at level two for many years. The trauma program is run alongside the Department of Surgery at WakeMed.

As the only alternate site for surgical resident education for the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill, we at WakeMed have a proud history of excellence in training physician residents. The first midlevel joined the trauma program in December 2002, and the midlevel program has now grown to be an essential aspect of overall trauma care. Additionally, our program participates in the training of fellow emergency medicine, oral maxillofacial (OMF), and family medicine residents, as well as medical and physician assistant (PA) students. We have now expanded our surgical academic program to include a PA residency program. We will provide an intensive 12-month experience with both didactic and clinical curricula for the management of trauma, surgical critical care, and general surgery patients. Our attending physicians are board certified in the areas of general surgery and trauma, surgical critical care, and pediatrics. With their supervision, PA residents (PA-C/R) will be trained to provide the highest level of trauma care, pre- and postoperative care, and critical care, with a focus on continuity of care. We anticipate accepting two candidates each year for participation in this program.


Didactic Curriculum
The 12-month residency consists of ongoing instruction in both didactic and clinical arenas. The PA-C/R will be engaged in educational and clinical responsibilities similar to those expected of our physician residents. We provide multiple educational opportunities including a weekly rounding conference, tumor board, ICU teaching rounds, resident presentation conferences, as well as a cycling lecture series from orthopedics, radiology, trauma, and continuous quality improvement. A number of courses are also offered to PA-C/Rs including ATLS, and ACLS/BLS/PALS/NRP.
Clinical Curriculum
Individual assessments will be made regarding current clinical competencies and advanced skills. Clinical instruction consists of rotations through the various services we offer: trauma, general surgery, clinic, elective and day surgeries, and critical care. Instruction will be provided by attending trauma/general surgeons, PAs, physician residents, as well as by auxiliary staff for the coordination of care.

PA-C/Rs will function with the same clinical expectations as those for their medical intern counterparts in their first postgraduate year (PGY-1 MDs). Clinical learning is enhanced by the daily assessments, management, and care of patients in coordination with attending staff. Clinical judgment and patient management skills will be fostered by taking call with the attendings.

PA-C/Rs will follow the same work hour guidelines as established on July 1, 2003, by ACGME.

“Surgical residents are limited to 80 hours a week (averaged over 4 weeks). They must have 10 or more hours off after in-house duty. They are limited to 24 consecutive hours plus up to a maximum of 6 hours didactic or patient care. Call cannot exceed every third night. They will leave by noon the day after call and will have one day off within every 7 days.”

At WakeMed, call duties will average no more than every fourth night, and a full weekday off every four-week block will be provided for personal needs.

Institutional affiliations

WakeMed Raleigh
WakeMed North

Admission Requirements

Applicants who meet the following admission requirements will be evaluated and chosen on a competitive basis:

  • Graduate of an ARC-PA accredited PA program
  • Have passed, or eligible to take, the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE)
  • Have passed the Physician Assistant National Recertification Examination (PANRE) when applicable
  • Licensed to practice as a Physician Assistant in North Carolina
  • Completion of the following application requirements:
    • Application
    • Resume/CV
    • Transcripts
    • Three letters of references
      • PA Program faculty member
      • Supervising or precepting physician
      • Personal reference
    • Personal interview

Anticipated timeline

The deadline for all application materials is in January. Interviews will occur starting mid-January and notification of admission/status will be in April. Residency will commence in September or December depending on graduation date.

Criteria for Selection

  • Interest in trauma, critical care, and general surgery
  • Excellent interpersonal skills as shown from references and personal interview
  • Enthusiasm for working with and instruction of surgical physician residents and students
  • Enthusiasm for working with a team of physicians, PAs, physician residents, and auxiliary staff
  • Sound academic ability as shown by school records
  • Strong work ethic and understanding of the rigors of post-graduate training
  • Desire to advance the PA profession through leadership, professional development, and positive interactions with medical/surgical team members, patients, and families.

Credential Awarded

Upon completion of the residency, the physician assistant resident will earn a certificate of residency completion.


  • Stipend:  $46,000 (based on FY 2010-2011)
  • Full benefits for PA including medical, prescription, dental, life insurance, accidental death and disability, and malpractice insurance, dependent coverage available
  • Mental health and employee assistance program
  • Free on-site parking
  • Day care center
  • On-call meal plan assistance
  • Call quarters
  • Lab coats and scrubs
  • Medical library on-site
  • Vacation and holiday schedule
  • ATLS, ACLS/BLS/PALS certifications

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