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The Pulse

  • Governor Proclaims Oct. 6-12 as PA Week in North Carolina

    Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed October 6-12 as Physician Assistant Week in North Carolina.

    North Carolina is considered the birthplace of the Physician Assistant profession. Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr. developed the initial curriculum for Duke’s PA program based on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II.  In 1965, Duke University Medical Center enrolled the first class of PAs.  Today, more than 6,000 physician assistants are licensed to practice in the state of North Carolina.   The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that PAs will be the second-fastest-growing profession in the next decade across the nation, increasing from 74,800 in 2008 to 103,900 in 2018.

    North Carolina’s observance of Physician Assistant Week is part of the national celebration of the PA profession which is held annually to increase awareness of both the PA profession and the importance of PAs in the health and wellness of patients.

    Physician assistants are represented on the state level by the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA), and nationally by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). In addition, seven affiliated regional chapters of NCAPA are active in North Carolina. The NCAPA headquarters in Raleigh-Durham’s Research Triangle Park is named in Dr. Stead’s honor.

    “PAs are a crucial part of healthcare teams and I believe the role of PAs in the delivery of quality healthcare to the citizens of North Carolina will continue to grow in the years to come,” said Don Metzger, President of NCAPA. “This proclamation by the Governor of North Carolina reinforces the tremendous contribution PAs provide to the citizens of North Carolina.”

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