Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Celebration of Our Physician Assistants

Earlier this month, was Physician Assistant Appreciation Week and we definitely appreciate our PA's. Pictured (from left to right) are Daisy Rivera, PA-C and Carmen Rocha, PA-C. (Maria Garcia-Bulkley, PA-C is our third PA, but not pictured here.) The theme this year is "I'm a PA-- Ask Me What That Means". Despite PA's having been around since the mid-1960's out of a class of Navy Corpsmen returning from Vietnam, the public is less familiar with PA's than with nurse practitioners.
PA's are trained in a medical model to work collaboratively with physicians to provide care to patients in a wide variety of settings-- from remote primary care settings in rural areas to operating rooms in large university hospitals. They attend rigorous training programs with the majority these days graduating with a master's day and then take a national certifying exam-- hence the PA-C after our PA's names. In most states, PA's can prescribe medications and perform most of the same duties as a physician.
There are 151 PA Programs nationally-- locally there are programs at Drexel, Philadelphia University, Arcadia, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and University of the Sciences.
In 2006, Money magazine ranked PA's as the 5th best profession in the US. We like to think that our PA's are in the first best PA's in Philadelphia. Our celebration included this lovely cake, made by Pamela Hadley-Thornton.


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