Happy PA Week!
Physician Assistant Week is October 6-12

What is PA Week?
National PA Week is held October 6-12th of every year in order to celebrate and increase awareness of the PA profession. National PA Week also serves as an opportunity for PAs to reach out to the community about health and preventative care.

What is a PA?
Physician assistants (PAs) are healthcare professionals nationally certified to practice medicine as part of a team under the supervision of physicians. PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to assisting in major surgery. They can prescribe medication in all states, the District of Columbia and most U.S. territories.

Why do we need PAs?
The PA profession was created to improve and expand healthcare. In the mid-1960s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage of primary care physicians. To remedy this, Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD, of the Duke University Medical Center put together the first class of PAs, all Navy corpsmen who had received considerable medical training during their military service. The first PA class graduated from the Duke University PA program on Oct. 6, 1967. PAs are patient-focused and patient-education driven. Today, there are more than 90,000 certified PAs in the United States. PAs can lower the demand for care by improving prevention, education and coordination of care.

How are PAs trained?
The PA educational program is modeled on the medical school curriculum, a combination of classroom and clinical instruction. The average length of a PA education program is 27 months, with the majority of students graduating with a master’s degree. PA education includes instruction in core sciences: anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, physical diagnosis, pathophysiology, microbiology, clinical laboratory science, behavioral science and medical ethics. PAs also complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, with an emphasis on primary care in ambulatory clinics, physician offices and acute or long-term care facilities. Rotations include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.

What does PA-C mean?
PAs must be licensed by their state to begin practicing medicine. All states, D.C. and all U.S. territories that license PAs require that they are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) upon graduation from an accredited PA program. In order to maintain certification, PAs must complete a recertification exam every six years (10 years beginning in 2014) as well as earn 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years. The credential PA-C means "physician assistant certified,” indicating current certification.

Why hire a PA?
PAs are essential members of a team-based approach to patient care. PAs can lower demand for care by improving prevention, education and coordination of care. The American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and other national medical organizations support the physician assistant profession as PAs can increase a practice’s accessibility, productivity, and revenue while contributing to excellent quality and patient satisfaction.

Download your PA Poster to print here.  Can be blown up to a maximum size of 24" x 36"