Meet a Deac – Joanne Clinch

Today’s Meet a Deac is Joanne Clinch, a physician in the Student Health Service.  Our Student Health Service serves as the primary care physicians for our students.  The SHS is a comprehensive office and offers a wide variety of services, including: acute care for illness and injury, care for chronic illness, physical examinations, gynecological services, HIV and STD testing, preventive health, allergy injections, immunizations, referrals to specialists, health education, international travel clinic, laboratory testing, pharmacy, Sports Medicine Clinic, psychiatry consultation, day observation, and urgent care 24 hours during fall and spring semesters.  We hope you enjoy meeting Dr. Clinch.


What is your official job title?
I am one of the physicians in Student Health Services here at Wake Forest.

How long have you worked at WFU?
I have been part of the Wake Forest community for a little over two years. I have been practicing medicine now for twenty years; the first half of my career was in a typical family medicine private practice setting. When my family moved to Winston Salem in 2000, I joined the UNC School of the Arts Student Health Service as their medical director. It was there that I fell in love with the specialty of college health. I was fortunate to join the Wake Forest community when our Student Health Service expanded its staff to add another full time physician to meet the growing need of our student community.

In laymen’s terms, what do you do at WFU?
Part of what I love about my job is the variety of ways in which I function to serve our community. Primarily, I provide care to the students of Wake Forest University. The medical providers of Wake Forest Student Health Service embrace a comprehensive approach involving health education, health maintenance, acute care, appropriate care of chronic illnesses.

Much like family medicine, the type of medical conditions I might treat include infectious diseases, asthma, depression, injuries, acne, women’s health, STDs, eating disorders and health maintenance. Part of my role includes providing consultation for our travel medicine clinic, our physician extenders (PA and Nurse practitioner) and teaching fourth year medical students from Wake Forest School of Medicine who spend a month working in our clinic. I also liaison with  members of our Wake Forest Community as the medical provider to the Eating Disorder team, the CARE Team and the Crisis Management Team.

How would you characterize Wake Forest students?
Our students are wonderful! They are intelligent, caring and highly motivated. One of the things I love most about my job is the opportunity to get to know these fabulous students!

What advice would you give to students?
The advice I would give to students is to strive to find a balance between academics, social life, involvement in organizations and their health. There are so many wonderful opportunities at Wake Forest, it can be challenging as a student to avoid becoming over extended. I often see that students end up having to sacrifice attention to wellness to meet the demands of their schedule. This often means lack of appropriate amount of sleep, exercise and just “down time”. Those elements are so crucial to overall health and wellness, but are the first things to go when things get busy.

I would also advise both students and parents to think of the resources in Student Health Service as their primary care providers while away from home. Once students begin at college, they spend more time here than at home and it is important to develop a relationship with a medical provider. This is especially important for students with ongoing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, depression and others that require routine visits to make sure these conditions remain under good control. Our staff is very comfortable and has the expertise to help students with both acute and chronic medical conditions.

What do you like best about working at Wake Forest?
There are so many things I love about working at Wake Forest. I suppose it is that it is such a fabulous community. The professionals with whom I collaborate are amazingly talented, deeply caring and committed to supporting our students and their families. The opportunity to get to know and work with our students both in providing care and through outreach is exciting. It is a privilege to be a member of this team!

This is always my favorite part!  Let’s go!

Book you’re reading now: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.

What music are you listening to these days: Adele, Jack White and Bruno Mars

Favorite movie: That is always a tough one for me! I love inspirational stories, so films like Apollo 13, Miracle, The Blind Side and Remember the Titans energize me. I am also intrigued by “out of the box” movies- my favorite being Memento.

Guilty pleasure: Spending the day in my most comfortable sweats and curling up on the couch to spend the entire day reading a great book.

Favorite place to be on campus: Walking on the Quad at lunch on a warm spring or fall day admiring the incredible landscaping and the energy of the students! Off site favorite campus spot is being in the sea of Demon Deacon fans in a stadium full of the energy and excitement of football and basketball!

What most people don’t know about you: I am a certified cake decorator!

Categories: meet a deac