This past week America recognized Physician Assistant (PA) week. It is a time to recognize the work of PAs in the medical field and their importance to a growing healthcare system both in the US and internationally.
On October 6, 1965, the first four PAs of America graduated from Duke University. Now there are over 85,000 PA's in the US and it's the 2nd fastest growing healthcare career out there.
This past week, the Wagner College Physician Assistant program celebrated PA week by inviting a few British doctors to campus to show them what PA's do and how they can become an integral part of the English healthcare system.
Currently Britain does not utilize PAs due to the fact that they are not allowed to prescribe medicines under British law. This is not a motivating factor for many PAs to practice there. Here in the US, all 50 states allow PAs to prescribe medications.
Through the week, the Wagner PAs showed the British what PAs do and how important they are to the healthcare system here in America. The Junior PA students did research presentations about psychiatric diseases and presented them to each other and the British.
These presentations were not only educational but also demonstrated what being a PA means. PAs practice medicine, but they also do research and continue medical education through projects like the students' presentations.
In all, the British were very impressed with Wagner College and the potential that PAs offer to any healthcare system.