NATIONAL PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT WEEK
Every year from October 6-12, National Physician Assistant (PA) Week recognizes the PA profession. It is an opportunity to raise awareness and visibility of the profession. During the week, PAs are honored, and their role is publicized as a critical component in a wide variety of medical settings. There are over 110,000 PAs practicing in the US. today, about one-third of them in primary care and two-thirds in specialty care.
Physician Assistants typically do the following to expand the medical workforce and enhance quality of care.
- Take or review patients’ medical histories
- Examine patients
- Order and interpret diagnostic tests, such as x rays or blood tests
- Diagnose a patient’s injury or illness
- Give treatment, such as setting broken bones and immunizing patients
- Educate and counsel patients and their families
- Prescribe medicine
- Assess and record a patient’s progress
- Research the latest treatments to ensure the quality of patient care
- Conduct or participate in outreach programs, talking to groups about managing diseases and promoting wellness
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median US. salary for physician assistants is $108,610 per year or $52.22 per hour. The BLS predicts employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. It estimates about 37,000 openings for PA by 2028 because the demand for healthcare services is growing.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PAWeek
During the week, look for public health events to highlight the role of physician assistants. Ask a physician assistant to speak at a student job fair. Learn more about the role of a physician assistant. Consider visiting a PA for your healthcare needs.
Use #paweek to follow the conversation on social media.
NATIONAL PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT WEEK HISTORY
Before it was a week-long event, National PA Day was first celebrated on October 6, 1987, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of PAs from the Duke University PA program. October 6 is also the birthday of the profession’s founder, Eugene A. Stead, Jr., MD.
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