Wingate Faces

David Compton

David Compton, MD began teaching at Wingate University in spring 2009 after working full time in a primary care clinic in Charlotte. Before moving to Charlotte, he taught part time at Virginia Commonwealth University while working full time as a medical doctor.

“It’s just a reversal of what I was doing before,” he said about his role in Wingate University’s Physician Assistant Studies Program. “It’s (teaching) a lot more fulfilling.” He serves as an advisor and teaches several classes including pharmacology, clinical medicine, emergency medicine, research and statistics. To help maintain a balance between clinical and classroom skills, Compton works one 12-hour shift each week in an urgent care clinic in Charlotte. His passion is for teaching though.

“The students are incredibly bright and keep me on my toes all the time,” Compton said. “It’s actually fun to come to work. “ Because the program is intense, he stays available to students via email if they have questions while studying. His syllabus actually stipulates that he will answer questions emailed to him within the same day, any day of the week if the email is received before 8 p.m. “I try to give them the skills and knowledge they’ll need while they are both inside and outside of the classroom,” he said.

The PA profession and the PA program at Wingate are growing steadily. The inaugural class of PA students began in 2008 at Wingate with 20 students taking classes in the Hayes building. The class of 2013 has 31 students enrolled; the class of 2014 has 38 and they have moved their classes to the Levine College of Health Sciences. “At this point, the students are very motivated,” Compton said. “It’s a lot of work, but a pleasure to have these interactions with students.”

A new Wingate Advantage program begins this year. Incoming freshmen can declare their intent to pursue Physician Assistance Studies, maintain stringent grade requirements and other guidelines to be guaranteed acceptance into the program with the potential for a 6 ½ year completion with a master’s degree in PA Studies.

Compton discussed how the profession is more relationship-based than some other medical professions. “The demand for PAs, particularly in N.C., is unprecedented,” he said. “In my view, the PA will be the primary care provider of the future.”