History of PA Program

 A Profession: A Historical Perspective

1965    First formal program for training PAs was established at Duke University.

1968    The AAPA (American Academy of Physician Assistants), the national professional organization was formed.

1971    The AMA’s House of Delegates approved the Essentials of an Approved Educational Program for the Assistant to the Primary Care Physician. A set of standards for physician assistant programs.

1972    The Association of Physician Assistant Programs (APAP) was created.

1973    First national PA certifying exam is given by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

1974    The newly organized National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) assumed responsibility for administering the National Certifying Examination.

1976    Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation is established as an independent organization responsible for accrediting Allied Health Educational Programs (including PA Programs).

1977    Passage of Rural Health Clinic Services Act that required utilization of a mid-level practitioner (PAs, Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives). This act provided Medicare reimbursement for PA services in certified rural health clinics.

1979    PAs are employed in all 50 states.

1987    PA services are reimbursable under Medicare (Part A).

1991    PAs are commissioned officers in all branches of the military.

1992    PAs have privileges in thirty-three states. Approximately 21,000 practicing PAs in the USA

1996    Wagner College/Staten Island University Hospital Physician Assistant Program received Provisional Accreditation (April 4, 1996) and admitted its first class of physician assistant students.

1997    The number of PA Programs surpassed 100. Approximately 30,000 practicing PA’s are in the American health workforce.

1998    The Commission on Accreditation (CAAHEP) certified that Wagner College/Staten Island University Hospital Physician Assistant Program had completed an accreditation review and was judged to be in compliance with the nationally established standards. The first class of the Wagner CollegevStaten Island University Hospital Physician Assistant Program graduated on June 1998.

2000    The ARC-PA (Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the PA, Inc.) granted the PA Program Continuing Accreditation for five years.

2002    Wagner College was accredited by New York State Department of Higher Education to offer a graduate program for practicing physician assistants wishing to receive a Master of Science degree in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies.

2005    The Wagner College Physician Assistant Program transitioned to a three (3) year professional program offering its graduates the Master of Science in Advance PA Studies.

2008    ARC-PA granted Continuing Accreditation to the Wagner College Physician Assistant Program until 2011.

2011    ARC-PA granted Continuing Accreditation to the Wagner College Physician Assistant Program until 2018.

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