Today is National Physician Assistant Day

Today is National Physician Assistant Day

October 06, 2020

October 6th is National Physician Assistant Day! What are Physician's Assistants? Also known as PAs, they practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons – they’re basically doctors without the MD. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. This is the day to celebrate and recognize the importance and skills of this career.

The profession of Physician's Assistant was created in 1965 by Dr. Eugene Stead at Duke Medical Center. The first physician assistants graduated from Duke University on October 6, 1967. Since then, this job has grown to tens of thousands of people.

If you see your Physician's Assistant today, wish him or her a happy day – and, let them know they’re appreciated!

  • More than 100,000 certified PAs practice medicine in the U.S. PAs can take your medical history, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, and develop treatment plans.
  • The number of PAs in practice has just about DOUBLED every decade since the first PAs graduated in 1967.
  • Nearly 1/3 of PAs practice in primary care.
  • PAs in training 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.
  • Physician Assistants prescribe medication in all states.
  • The average PA treats 3,500 patients annually and writes 2,600 to 5,200 prescriptions each year.