Celebrating National Physician Assistant Week

National Physician Assistant (PA) Week is celebrated October 6th through October 12th to honor PAs and their contributions to the healthcare community. National PA day was first celebrated on October October 6, 1987, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of PAs from Duke’s PA program. October 6th is also the birthday of the PA profession’s founder, Dr. Eugene A. Stead Jr.

According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), there are more than 108,500 certified PAs in the United States. PAs represent one of the fastest-growing professions in the country, and it is because of PAs that more patients receive quality, affordable healthcare. While the PA profession does not turn 50 until 2017, Next Medical Staffing is going to participate in celebrating National PA week now!

The Next team has the privilege of working with some truly incredible PAs. We greatly appreciate the dedication of our PAs as well as the rest of the working PAs committed to providing excellent patient care. In Celebration of PA Week, we will be sharing statistics related to the profession and how important PAs are to the healthcare industry.

The AAPA published the following facts:
The Affordable Care Act (2010) recognized PAs as primary caregivers for the first time. Therefore, PAs gained the power to lead patient-centered medical teams. PAs have the authority to practice autonomously or in collaboration with other members of a patient’s healthcare team.

PAs are general medicine experts. To obtain a license and become certified, PAs must graduate from an accredited PA program and pass a certification exam. They must also participate in extensive continued medical training. This fact speaks to a PAs ability to administer exceptional patient care.

PAs are capable of making medical diagnoses, treating patients, and prescribing medicine. Since PAs go through an educational program similar to that of physicians, they possess the knowledge and skill set to make life-saving decisions.

Patients trust PAs. The AAPA has released information from a Harris Poll stating that collectively, PAs receive incredibly high patient satisfaction ratings. In summary, 93 percent of patients believe that PAs are trusted healthcare providers, 92 percent stated that PAs make it easier to get a medical appointment, and 91 percent believe that PAs improve the quality of healthcare.

PAs are highly sought after. Three-quarters of PAs obtain multiple job offers upon passing their initial licensing exams and certifications. In addition to this, well-respected media outlets such as Forbes and USA Today have named the PA profession one of the most promising professions available. Specifically, the demand has increased by more than 300 percent between 2011 and 2014.

More information can be found on the AAPA website, here.

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