Honor our Physician Assistants during National Physician Assistants Week
Oct. 10, 2012 College News - Physician Assistants Week is celebrated annually in the United States from Oct. 6, which is the anniversary of the first graduating physician assistants class at Duke University on Oct. 6, 1967, through Oct. 12. It is the perfect time for the MCW community to celebrate the contributions of MCW’s 118 physician assistants (PAs).
PAs support all of the missions of the College – patient care, education, research and community engagement. In their patient care roles, they work in the operating room, the emergency department, procedural areas like interventional radiology, and in both in-patient and out-patient settings, and provide care at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital, and out in the community.
Physician assistants are authorized to practice medicine as part of a team with a physician. Their individual efforts can vary, but PAs can examine, test, diagnose and treat patients; prescribe medications; and provide preventive care counsel as part of the health care team.
The PA profession was first proposed to the American Medical Association in 1961, and Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr. of the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina assembled the first class of Physician Assistants in 1965, composed of former U.S. Navy Hospital corpsmen. He based the curriculum of the PA program in part on his first-hand knowledge of the fast-track training of medical doctors during World War II. There are more than 84,000 PAs nationwide.