Wake Forest University School of Medicine Establishes Center for Applied Learning

July 23, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University School of Medicine has established the Center for Applied Learning (CAL), a major new initiative to enhance patient care and safety through immersive learning (learning by doing). The center will use advanced instructional technologies to increase the clinical capacities and skills of health care providers.

James E. Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the medical school, has been appointed director.

CAL is designed to function as a regional, national and international educational service provider. The center will grow to meet the emerging needs for immersive learning shared by regional hospital partners, primary care clinics and academic institutions, and will include clinical training courses, specialized training sessions and continuing medical education.

The center, which began operations on July 1, combines faculty expertise from across clinical disciplines and brings together innovative resources for clinical education from a host of diverse training facilities. Among the resources are high-fidelity patient simulation laboratories, a surgery academy, an anatomical training center, a program in medical ultrasound, and standardized patient assessment examination rooms. The CAL laboratories total more than 28,000 square feet of teaching space.

The center will have national distinction in terms of total center size, the variety of instructional tools, the proximity of the immersive-learning labs, the unique curricula, and the level of faculty and staff expertise.

Johnson received his Ph.D. in anatomy in 1983 from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Neuroscience Division, in Munich. Before coming to the medical school as an assistant professor in 1990, he was an assistant professor in the department of anatomy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. 

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