International Outreach

The vision of the Wake Forest School of Medicine Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Program is to educate our students on a global scale.

International travel helps you learn about and identify with the needs of diverse populations. To keep abreast of evolving trends in health care and education, this program has pursued international outreach to promote anesthesia education, cultural understanding, and clinical expertise across national boundaries. We have been involved with organizations and groups in North and South America, Africa and Asia.

lnternational Accreditation

In 2012, as a testament to our commitment to international education and educational standards, we became the first program in the U.S. to be fully accredited by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists.

Educational Consulting

To support our global focus, we have established relationships with international institutions where we can share our experiences with one another.

  • 2005 – Leaders from the Kigali Health Institute in Rwanda spent a week learning about our teaching methods, evaluation techniques, interview process and transition from a diploma to a Master’s degree program. The visit established an ongoing relationship between our programs.
  • 2007 – Dr. Michael Rieker delivered lectures and presented gifts of textbooks and airway devices to the Nurse Anesthesia Program the Komfo Aonyke Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. The interaction began a process of developing a nurse anesthesia program in Ghana.
  • 2009 – With the support of Dr. Rieker and Dr. Holly Muir (Duke University) the new nurse anesthesia training program opens at Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Twenty students were admitted into the program.
  • 2011 – A student and faculty exchange program was initiated between our program and the Ridge Hospital program.

International Clinical Experience

To support our goal of educating students to appreciate the role that they play in national and international health care, the Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Program offers an opportunity for international experience in clinical care and an opportunity for selected students to earn a certificate in global health.

Global Health Certificate Program

The optional global health certificate program is a two-year multidisciplinary program focused on unique issues in diverse health settings.

Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), doctor of medicine (MD) and physician assistant (PA) students, along with faculty physicians, attend seminars, perform clinical work and complete a capstone project focused on global health.

Caring for Patients Around the World

Each year, many of our students elect to gain clinical experience administering anesthesia in another country.

About the program:

  • It started in 2006.
  • Over 80% of students in the Class of 2016 received international clinical experience.


  • Learn primitive monitoring and clinical techniques and medications.
  • Learn about alternate health systems.
  • Learn how to overcome system challenges in third-world environments.
  • Feel an uplifting sense of philanthropy.
  • Form strong bonds with domestic and foreign teammates.
  • Create life-long memories and a sense of global impact.

Life-changing Experiences

The mission trips are life-changing for many student participants:

"I can't thank you enough for making our program so open and encouraging to students taking mission trips. I wish students at all anesthesia schools had this opportunity, but I am aware that this is not the case. My hope is that I have built a bridge with this surgical team that future students will be able to cross and have amazing experiences like my own."

"The trip was great. I am so glad that I went and would encourage other students to go. We both had many people ask us if Wake students can come on more trips because we were the ‘best’ they have had. Both of the surgeons wanted to take us back to their hospitals in Tennessee, and the anesthesiologist offered us both a job in Nashville. I am grateful for the great preparation and training we get here and was proud that we were able to represent the program well."